Private Investigations Since 1992

ON SURVEILLANCE

Part One             

We have had many requests for surveillance services since we began this business in 1992. Looking back now, I have realized I turned most such requests down, either by steering the prospective client to a different method of getting to the truth or developing evidence because I knew the effort would be a waste of the client’s money. 

Any surveillance project requires a budget sufficient for the investigator to travel to and from the surveillance site, to be on surveillance, and time to produce reports and video or photographic evidence. Most private individuals lack the financial resources to pay for even a full day of surveillance and then pay for an attorney to follow through on their behalf. The same is true of many small businesses.

When surveillance is successful it can pay off big-time like nothing else – the evidence, if obtained legally as in without trespassing, for example, can be so detrimental to the other side that our client wins hands-down. 

The flip side of the coin is that surveillance is like hunting or fishing: to be successful the investigator must be at the right place at the right time. Simply knowing this requires time spent on research and preparation, and therefore more cost to the client. I have had surveillance projects that went into the five figures realm and achieved no results. On the other hand, I have had cases in which I or one of my team scored the very first day.

In domestic cases in which spousal infidelity is suspected, I usually tell the client “In my business we say ‘surveillance begins when trust ends.’ Where is your trust in this person?” If they tell me it is gone, I say “You don’t need me or anyone like me. Spend your money on an attorney instead.”

In the next installment I will address when surveillance is the best choice.

Blog