Surveillance Techniques

The word “Sur-Veillance” is French and literally means “to watch from above.” In modern parlance surveillance is defined as the systematic observation of person, places, or things to obtain information.  Investigative surveillance is a skill but it is also an art. It can play a significant role in a wide variety of cases like employee thefts, insurance fraud, child custody, harassing neighbors, legal process service, divorce cases, elder abuse, and many more.

Surveillance can be static or mobile or can be overt or covert, or a combination of different tactics. Overt surveillance is surveillance conducted in the open with the intent of being seen. Covert surveillance is an investigative technique that involves the surreptitious and systematic observations of places and persons for the purpose of obtaining information. Sometimes surveillance involves “tailing” an individual on foot or in a vehicle and capturing their activities on video. Other times surveillance involves the use of advanced stationary or mobile electronic tracking devices. Sometimes, experienced investigators will use overt surveillance in conjunction with covert surveillance to lull a person into believing that “the coast is clear.”

Surveillance services are often one of the best options to determine exactly what a person’s activities are or who they associate with. Surveillance can often realize results quickly but sometimes longer periods of surveillance are required. One of the practical concerns with surveillance is that it can sometimes take many hours to produce results. Babnick and Associates understands that most clients do not have unlimited budgets so before we conduct any surveillance we formalize our investigative goals and conduct research to determine what time periods and locations will be most advantageous to watch a target.

Some people may ask, “Can’t I just do my own surveillance”? The answer is yes . . . you can do your own surveillance just like you can do your own dental work and many other things. If you decide to do your own surveillance there are many practical and legal potential pitfalls.

If you are not familiar with local stalking laws or the legal intricacies of torts like trespass, invasion of privacy, defamation, slander, bad faith, and intentional infliction of emotional distress, you could quickly find yourself on the wrong side of the law. Additionally, if you are not knowledgeable in “pre-surveillance” techniques, the advantages and disadvantages of “loose, close, and combined” surveillance techniques, or surveillance practices like “covert reconnaissance, convoy surveillance, and rough shadowing,” it is best to leave your surveillance needs to a professional.

George Babnick and his associate investigators are well trained and experienced in surveillance methods and techniques. They have up to date information on legal and technical procedures and have the professional expertise and the electronic equipment to conduct effective and cost efficient investigative surveillance. Simply put, they can find out what you need to know.