Surveillance is the process of obtaining information also known as intelligence by watching the movements of a subject of interest (SOI) Covert Surveillance is doing this in an unobtrusive manner discreetly without the SOI becoming aware of your presence or what you are doing.
There are multiple reasons that people invest in Covert Surveillance and the range of clients and requirements are extremely diverse.
Aside from Governments who have the capability to deploy huge Surveillance resources in the interest of National Security the largest clients in the civilian world are businesses who need Covert Surveillance for a range of corporate issues generally in support of an investigation. This can often involve on-going multinational full-scale operations involving hidden technical equipment such as cameras, tracking devices, audio devices and large Surveillance teams. On a Government scale the resource to run a Surveillance team could include as many as 20 people operating in a variety of on the ground roles with support from various other departments with specialist capabilities. In the commercial world a team will generally be considered large if it contains over six people.
Corporate Clients make up a diverse range of clientele, legal firms are frequently used to liaise with the company running the Surveillance, they may represent their clients by deploying Covert Surveillance to assess the movements of businesses competitors or to obtain detailed information about a potential associate or donor, to provide an insight of their private activity to mitigate against reputational damage in the event that they are involved in activities which contrast to a business’s ethics or code of conduct . Large organisations also attract problem employees, employee fraud is prevalent in almost every industry and Covert Surveillance can take the form of undercover agents posing as employees or contractors to build a case against employees determined to steal, defraud, sell intellectual property or damage the reputation of their employer. A common corporate request Is to obtain information about a person or company who has cheated or defrauded another company, this is especially prevalent when businesses have dealings with overseas associates and investigations can often involve working overseas on behalf of a client.
An important factor seldom considered is Hostile Surveillance Detection against a Corporation. Counter Surveillance (sometimes incorrectly confused with Anti Surveillance) when used correctly will identify Hostile Surveillance against a Business, CEO, employee, business property or asset and can be used to prevent reputational damage, sabotage and attacks.
Insurance Fraud is a large market for Surveillance Company’s, the operations for insurance-based clients range from single person deployments to large teams depending on the scope of the claim. This can include medical claims but is also used to identify assets that the SOI may be declaring as lost or stolen. The clients in these types of cases require extensive footage of the SOI carrying out tasks which they may be claiming they cannot achieve sometimes it is used as a bargaining ‘without prejudice’ tool by the company to reach an agreement with the SOI but it needs to be collected in an ethical and legal way suitable for use in court should the requirement arise.
Surveillance is used equally by male and female clients; a common request relates to child custody agreements. Many parents require peace of mind that their child is being properly cared for, in the correct location and with the right people after a relationship breakdown. This request also applies to childcare arrangements if clients wish to know how their nanny copes with their children.
One of the generally smallest in scale but high in frequency requests for Covert Surveillance relates to Infidelity. The most basic request is for a tracking device to monitor the vehicle of a partner who is suspected of cheating. When a pattern of life is shown which does not equate to the whereabouts that the SOI is claiming then a small team of between 1-4 people will generally be used to identify the activity of that person and obtain evidence of whom he/she is cheating with. Sometimes this is all the client needs to confirm their suspicions and sometimes the evidence must be collected and presented in court.