6 tips for lawyers requiring surveillance services.

Lawyers are aware that surveillance is the most effective tool to obtain information, confirm connections, develop new leads and collate evidence.

Surveillance can be either physical or technical and can be either static or mobile. The recent advances in camera miniaturization and wireless communications are unprecedented and provide many opportunities to monitor the activity a person or persons, a place or an object.

To ensure that you get the results you are paying for, consider these tips before engaging with a surveillance expert or service provider.


1. What is their background? Ideally, they do not come from a military or law enforcement background. Such experience encourages the use of multiple teams to follow the subject by foot, in vehicles or using drones. This is often overkill and very expensive in a commercial setting.


2. A one-person surveillance team is rarely effective because of events beyond their control. To follow someone in a car and then follow them on foot without a partner is fraught with the risk of compromise or the threat of a parking fine.


3. Surveillance operators must have the ability to become a ” grey” person and blend into the background. They must also be able to act, use their initiative and have advanced driving skills.

4. A surveillance operator needs to use a disguise to prevent the subject from identifying them early on. Apart from a simple change of clothes or shoes carried in a bag, an operator can change their shape and profile by: adding rigid foam pads to shoes to look taller; placing a half folded newspaper on each shoulder to make the waist look thinner; imitating stubble by rubbing burnt cork onto the face; or changing hair colour using talcum powder and cigarette ash.


5. If an observation post (OP) is necessary for a static observation position, black sheeting should be erected at an angle behind the operator in the room to prevent casual observation from passers-by outside the building.


6. Understand the difference between ” loose” and ” close” surveillance. Loose surveillance means that the subject can be under surveillance for short periods of time until regular patterns of behavior become known. Close surveillance means having the subject visible at all times to gather some basic information like home address, vehicles driven, employment and associates.


Visit our professional surveillance services for lawyers page, for more information and to get in-touch.

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