Your time is limited, and your client expects quick results from your surveillance. The clock is ticking. How can you maximize your time to get the most out of your surveillance when time counts? Following are a few tips from a few masters of surveillance:
1. Spend time planning. Seems simple, but it is one of the tasks that investigators fail to do well. They rush out to conduct surveillance only to find several hours wasted as their target sit's at home, or at work. Set a schedule for the most opportune times.
2. Interview your client to create a schedule. Identify work times, home times for infidelity cases, and when do they think the individual is more apt to be worth surveilling. This will vary depending on your investigation type. Infidelity cases can often be narrowed down as the client has direct knowledge of the target's schedule. Injury claim cases will require more time and there is limited information about their schedules.
3. Encourage your client to notify you of schedule changes, or changes in habits where and when possible. This information will help you maximize your surveillance time.
4. Get help! Having two investigators will help you cover more times of the day as well as switching off to reduce the chances of being caught. This is important with rural area surveillance as it will be easier for the target to identify you if you are working alone. Remember: Someone who knows they are being followed will probably change their activities to look innocent!
5. Make sure your recording equipment is charged, functioning properly and ready. Have back-ups in the event one fails. There's nothing worse than surveilling someone for hours only to miss the chance to get video when the recorder battery dies. One investigator shared that she spent hours waiting for the target and his girlfriend to emerge from a motel only to find her video recorder wouldn't work properly because of a software malfunction.
Pro PI staff
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