10 Tips for a Successful Surveillance

Get off on the right foot with my top 10 tips for conducting a physical surveillance!

Ten Tips for a Successful Surveillance

  1. Do your Homework (Operational Planning)
    1. Know all aspects of the case
    2. Clarify case objectives
    3. Virtually scout the neighborhood
    4. Determine what equipment you are going to need
  2. Mental Attitude
    1. Think positive – think success!
    2. Avoid negativity
  3. Have a Pretext
    1. Have a reasonable explanation of why you are in a neighborhood
    2. Project your pretext – You an investigator or a real estate agent to your subject?
  4. Positioning for Mobile Surveillance
    1. Are you too tight?
    2. Think about your objective
  5. Access Subject Habits Early
    1. What are the habits of your subject?
    2. Driving, interests, behaviors
  6. Don’t Overestimate your Subject
    1. Don’t lose them unnecessarily
    2. Don’t become paranoid
    3. Change your behavior based on your subject’s behavior
  7. Hanging Loose – Engaging and Disengaging
    1. What are the case objectives?
    2. Contact client and get advice
    3. Don’t disengage to soon
    4. Disengage if you sense a “burn” will result
  8. Eye Contact – Avoid
    1. Use peripheral vision
    2. Focus attention on neck down
  9. Objective
    1. Stay focused on objective unless it benefits the case
    2. Changing objective may lead to bigger case or more intelligence
    3. Ensure it benefits the client or overall case
  10. Enjoy the Work
    1. If you don’t enjoy surveillance work, don’t do it!
    2. Take the good with the bad
    3. If you are making the same mistakes, learn the fundamentals
    4. Study, read, learn, take classes


Leave a Reply