This British Columbia investigations firm breaks it down to the basics.
1. The Cameras
Our bread and butter has always been surveillance. A traditional camera is good for taking still shots, but while on the move it’s important to have a good digital camcorder.
Today, cameras can really be put into anything (watches, phones, glasses, pens, coffee cups, hats, electrical boxes, purses, Gopros, you name it). A simple JVC 60x dynamic zoom/ 40x optical zoom camcorder with timestamp compatibility will get the job done.
There are few situations where video cannot be obtained using a good camcorder paired with a 1080p dash camera and a LawMate 1080p Key Fob covert camera.
The sky is the limit on cameras … and so is the price.
2. The Surveillance Vehicle
It’s practically our home … and office. Personal preference among our investigators is a traditional black or silver SUV, but cars are sometimes a must to blend in while following the wariest subjects.
As for using vans as go-to surveillance vehicles, we say YES — they are just plain comfortable.
A good surveillance vehicle will be equipped with all your cool gadgets. It is good to keep organized, since you’re spending long periods in such a small space. It’s also helpful to have limo-tinted windows and a nice set of blackout curtains.
In Canada, a Honda Civic is virtually undetectable, if you’re willing to cram yourself into the back seat for an extended period of time.
It’s great tool for following a target and blending in.
3. The Internet
We love the internet. It’s a great tool for scoping out an area before surveillance and gathering intel on a target.
Public records are becoming more and more available online and social media is great for monitoring a target’s activities. The #OSINT community on Twitter is a great place to start learning techniques in online investigations.
There are some very beneficial resources and training out there provided though Toddington International Inc., OSINT Curious, Justin Seitz’s Hunchly, and Michael Bazzell’s IntelTechniques. (Rumour is that he is has already found his successor for future training videos.)
About the authors:
Kusic and Kusic Ltd. is a Vancouver-based private investigation firm specializing in video surveillance, litigation support, anti-counterfeiting, security/protection and more. Follow them on Twitter: @KusicandKusic.