’Surveillance Investigation can be defined as close observation of a person. It can be done for a place or object as well. In a nutshell, it is the practice of watching subjects so that observation can be documented. In case you are one of private investigators then believe it or not your success lies in getting your basics clear. To carry out private surveillance is essential.’’- Marion Greenway, private investigator. 

Surveillance component is a famed part of private investigation. For example, the famous Sherlock Holmes follows his opponent for key information. Surveillance is simply watching someone with the intention of getting complete information. As a result of surveillance, you can collect bulk evidence. You can use the same strategy of surveillance for places and objects as well. 

When Surveillance Should Be Used?

– Searching Missing Person 

– Investigating Relationships 

– Theft 

– Company and Worker Case 

– Inspecting Vandalism 

– Investigating Fraud

 – Other criminal investigations. 

Type of Surveillance 

There can be a plethora of ways to carry out surveillance investigations. To investigate you can use electronics, physical observation, interviews, and use technology. 

Electronic Surveillance: First things first, it is the most common type of surveillance used by private investigators. Generally, it involves using devices, for example, television, cameras, wiretapping, and radio. This surveillance also includes tapping into phone, email and social media of individuals. 

 Physical Observation: Next, one of most common ways is to do physical observation where private detective or investigator follows or watches subject under investigation. Many times, this involves a detective using disguise and prop to cover up his or her identity. It is possible that there could be multiple investigators working on the same case. 

Common Interview: Investigators can conduct interviews for extracting information. It is a direct and fast way to get your hands-on important information. List of people could include members of the same family, neighbour, and subject friends and office co-workers.

Technical: During technical interviews, complete emphasis is on photography and videography. While performing technical surveillance – private detectives can use dash cameras and surveillance cameras. 

Methods Of Surveillances 

There are plethora of ways to perform surveillance and it varies from one private detective to another. Many investigators choose hybrid ways to perform their investigation. In other words, they use more than one method for information extraction and surveillance. 

  1. Overt Vs. Covert: You can understand overt investigation as an investigation done using security cameras. Otherwise, covert is all about going undercover and following subjects of interest. 


  1. Mobile Vs. Stationary: As the name suggests, in mobile investigation – detectives are dynamically involved with their subject. Private investigators can go on foot or on vehicles. During stationary investigation – private detectives stay at one location only. 


  1. Mechanical Vs. Human: Last but not least, mechanical investigation includes use of video cameras, voice recorders, and other equipment. In human investigation – a team of members investigates sources of information directly. 


Making Preparations 

During initial private investigation, it is essential to be prepared for anything. It means you can never be fully prepared but making preparation will give you an extra edge. Millions of successful investigations always begin with their surveillance tactics by first gathering data. In the early phases – majorly focus is given to building the demographic of the subject. Investigators often use addresses and common habits to get an idea about the subject’s daily schedule. Nowadays, you can also get more information using a variety of social media platforms, for example, Facebook and Twitter. This information is then used in making preparation and building up plans. You can also map out different opportunities and note down required equipment. 

Wrapping Up 

Once you have understood the reasons behind surveillance, and the type of investigation you want to go for? Next, it is time to develop the art of investigation. You need to get down to good conduct in the field and then start gaining skills to draw out stronger evidence.