Getting Burned on Surveillance? 15 Honest Questions to Ask Yourself.

If you are getting burned on a surveillance you need to know you are not alone and there is a cure for is this happens frequently.  Investigators all over the world are getting burned on a surveillance case as you read this very article. After reading this article your number of incidents will decrease but will not end.

Claimants, and individuals in general are more aware of their surroundings than ever and even more suspicious of activity in their neighborhoods.  This makes things increasingly difficult on surveillance investigators as it requires investigators  to become more stealthy in their efforts.

What does “Getting Burned on Surveillance” Mean?

If you are unfamiliar with the term “burned”, it simply means that the individual you are watching or following has become aware that they are being followed.  They might not know the exact reason but it does not matter because once they are aware of your presence their behavior and daily activities will change which will typically defeat the purpose of the surveillance being conducted.

Surveillance frustration15 Questions to Ask Yourself Honestly

I was always told that I needed to find the happy medium of surveillance.  The effort on a surveillance that is, neither too aggressive nor too passive.  Passive investigators lose their subject frequently and have difficulty determining whether claimants are home or any additional information through investigative techniques.

Investigators that are too aggressive set up their surveillance position too close to the subject’s residence, pretext the subject/claimant too aggressively and may pretext neighbors too aggressively which puts the neighborhood on alert.

Below are 15 questions you should ask yourself.  These questions are in no particular order but you must answer them none the less.

1.       What kind of surveillance vehicle do you have?

I go into great length  on my thoughts of surveillance vehicles which is post #15 and post #26.   You really need to be honest with yourself in regards to whether your surveillance vehicle is surveillance worthy.   Are you using you using the surveillance vehicle you have because you have no choice?  Is it because you like the comfort of it but you know it sticks out with your claimant’s or subjects?

I once knew of a female investigator that chose to use a large over sized ugly van and would not change because she could have a toilet and be comfortable.  She repeatedly got burned on cases because her vehicle stuck out like a sore thumb.

Are you using a vehicle that is causing you to get burned more than you should? Are you that investigator?  Be honest with yourself.

Surveillance Tips2.       Where are you parked? Is it too close?  If neighbors or police approach your vehicle will your subject see?

Where you start surveillance is typically where most investigators get burned on their case.  If you are too close, don’t fit into the neighborhood or the claimant notices you then they will likely notice you when you follow them out of the neighborhood.  I always recommend more than 5 houses away however you may need to be further away depending on the layout of the area.

Try to anticipate worst case scenarios.  If neighbors approach you and begin to make a scene near your vehicle, will your subject see it?  Will the news of a suspicious vehicle make it to the subject?  Will the subject/claimant see the police approach your vehicle?

3.       Does your vehicle blend into the neighborhood?

Are other people parked on the street?  If not, you may want to consider not parking in the area.  If you have to park in an awkward location that you know in your heart is going to draw attention to yourself you might want to consider parking somewhere else.


About securityteknews
Ralph Thomas is author of over 32 books on various aspects of conducting investigations, founder and director of The National Association Of Investigative Specialists,CEO of Thomas Investigative Publications, Inc, The Spy Exchange And Security Center and SpyTek Wholesale Imports. Thomas is a member of the Executive Security Council of Griffith Colson Intelligence Service, a private intelligence agency. Thomas's latest project is NAIStv on the Griffith Media TV Network. He has also developed A Native American Store in Georgetown Texas called Tribal Impressions. You can review his person home page off of:

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