Following someone, while documenting their actions and whereabouts, may seem easy; you just follow them in a car, right? However, there is extremely important strategy which only a seasoned professional will implement in the effort to remain invisible and achieve quality evidence for their clients. Sometimes this video evidence must be used in a court case; therefore amateur work is not acceptable.
Here are some of the most common issues a video surveillance specialist faces while on the job:
- The Right Equipment – The equipment an investigator uses can dictate the quality of evidence they collect. You need a high quality zoom to be able to capture the specifics while maintaining a proper distance. Furthermore, the video needs a timestamp to authenticate its validity for use in court. These are just a few factors that amateurs could overlook when choosing what type of technology to use.
- Getting the Right Angle – Since the subject could be on the move and a shaky/moving camera can make its contents more difficult to digest, placing the camera in an optimal position is key. The footage needs to capture all the important details and actions. Who the person is with and how they act because that lens serves as someone else’s vision. All of this requires planning ahead, with the ability to quickly change the plan if circumstances change.
- Traffic Problems – Knowing how to follow a subject is vital. There’s a balance of distance – close enough to track but far enough away to not draw suspicion or red flags. This situation is complicated by tolls, traffic lights, turns and of course other drivers. The use of a two-man team can provide an advantage by allowing an investigator to use strategy.
- Destination and Parking – The person being pursued know their destination, but an investigator may not. An investigator needs to carefully react, keeping an eye on the subject in question while maintaining an air of invisibility. The situation may also require the subject be followed outside of the car on foot, therefore it takes an investigator with the experience and technology to stay in the background while obtaining pertinent footage.
- Create a Storyline via Surveillance – When used in court, evidence needs to be streamlined, demonstrating a clear and thorough process from beginning to end. Without this step-by-step approach that creates a vivid picture of the subject’s lifestyle, doubt of validity can creep into the equation.
Video surveillance is not an easy task as it may appear. To do the job right, you must have an experienced investigator with tried and true techniques that will ensure the highest quality results.