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How to Order Surveillance

A successful investigation starts and ends with the client. The more involved the client is, the better chances we have of obtaining useful footage on the subject. The following information will guide you on how to properly order surveillance to ensure the best results.

communication2Provide as much information as possible. The most important stage of surveillance is the preliminary investigation. This provides the investigator with useful information to both schedule and perform the surveillance. We want to know everything about the subject. Whether it is a small detail, rumor or witness testimony, every available piece of information assists in the investigation. In our eyes, there is no such thing as too much information.

Provide a detailed physical description. Sex, Race, Age, Height, Weight and Hair Color are only the beginning. Include scars, marks, tattoos, facial hair and the type of clothing. When a picture is available for the subject’s work ID, or a copy of a State ID provided for initial employment, make sure to include it when possible. This helps ensure that we are following the correct subject.

Order at least 3 days. A three-day investigation produces results that are 30-50% higher than a one- or two-day investigation. Three days allows us to work the case around the subject and obtain insight into their activities. With three days, we can schedule two weekdays and a weekend day to attempt to accurately document the subject.

The first day is used to confirm the subject’s identity. We also attempt to document the subject for future surveillance efforts. This day dictates how the rest of the surveillance is scheduled. If the subject is active earlier or later than our initial day’s start time, we can adjust the next day’s accordingly.

The second day has far greater percentages of success than the first. Now, armed with intelligence gathered on the first day, we can customize the surveillance around when the subject is most active.

The third day is used to increase the amount of evidence gathered and has the highest success rate of all three days. It can be used to prove that the subject is active more than just the one or two days, or it can be used to document that the subject is not injured after useful footage has been obtained. The third day can also be used to attempt a weekend day if the subject was not active on a weekday or vice versa.

Indicate the subject’s work schedule. Even though the subject is not currently working, their previous work schedule is critical when scheduling surveillance. Most people are very habitual when it comes to wake and sleep times. If a person is an early riser for work, then this will likely be no different during our surveillance. Similarly, if the subject works in the evening hours, they most likely rise later.

State the subject’s position or trade at work. Although this may not always aid in an investigation, it may allow us to search for similar positions in the area where the subject lives. For example, if the person is an electrician or mechanic, there is a good chance that they are working somewhere else or performing side jobs. Again, this might also assist us with the start and end time scheduling of the surveillance.

Note any upcoming doctors’, physical therapy, or IME appointments. A pre-scheduled appointment can be valuable in surveillance for numerous reasons. First, it can force a subject out of their residence if they are generally inactive. They might run errands now that they are out of the house. Second, this gives us a prime opportunity to identify the subject if they have not been observed previously. Lastly, it may provide us with footage that is inconsistent with the footage we have proving that the claim may be fraudulent. We have many investigations where an individual was documented ambulating without any problems for numerous days and is later documented wearing braces, using canes, limping, or even attempting to appear injured at the appointment. That is the time when they know they are being watched.

Participate while the case is being worked. We provide daily updates not only as a service to our clients, but also as another method to obtain greater results. Through communication with our clients we can guarantee the person being observed is in fact our subject. We can alter surveillance dates with new information acquired, or we can properly schedule additional days based on results already obtained.

If we do obtain some useful footage, do not close the investigation.  Too often we find that our clients regret not performing additional surveillance. It is good idea to solidify your case by constantly proving that the subject is acting outside of their restrictions over a long duration of time. This can be accomplished by waiting a few weeks and then reworking the individual in order to consistently prove that the person is exaggerating their claim. When you are equipped with similar footage over an extended time period, it is more difficult for the subject to build a defense or use the “good day/bad day” excuse. The biggest mistake you can make is to act too early and jeopardize your defense.

Understand that surveillance is not a science. With everything above taken into consideration, we cannot guarantee that the subject will be active. We also cannot make them active. The information is only provided to increase our chances of obtaining some useful footage to accurately depict the subject’s activities and mobility.

You must understand that there are a lot of variables that are out of our control, for example:

  •  Losing the subject is possible when following him discreetly.
  •  Rural areas are extremely difficult for our investigators to film the subject around the residence.
  •  Small towns pose a whole new challenge to investigators.
  •  High-crime areas might interfere with our success rate because people are already watching out for investigators.
  •  We cannot film everywhere the subject goes because of privacy laws.

Ready to start your investigation? Complete our online form or call us at 1-800-960-6748.