Private investigators spend a great deal of their time conducting surveillance investigations. Generally, there are two main types of surveillance an investigator will engage in: fixed and mobile. A fixed surveillance requires the investigator to remain in one location and maintain constant observation of a location, person or vehicle. Fixed surveillances require the ability to blend into your environment, patience, and proper equipment. To be successful during a fixed surveillance, blending in is key. The investigator needs to conceal him/ herself or have the ability to not draw attention. Once the investigator is able to establish a good fixed location, the next step is having the patience to remain in one location for hours on end without drawing attention to yourself. For example, if an investigator is conducting a night-time surveillance in 10 degree weather, running the car engine to stay warm will give away your location. Therefore, an investigator needs to prepare for such a scenario. This is where proper equipment comes in. When one talks of private investigations and equipment one automatically thinks of things like cameras and binoculars. These are important, but there is other equipment to be considered, such as clothing, rain gear, food and water. I personally have what I call my ‘to go’ bag which contains all of the equipment I will need during my surveillance. During winter months I also maintain a ‘to go’ bag which contains all of my cold weather and wet weather gear. The following is a list of items I carry.
35mm camera with multiple lenses
Windshield mounted tracking camera
Multiple chargers for all of my equipment and phones
GPS tracking device
Extra batteries for all devices
Plastic and paper bags ( to collect possible evidence)
Plastic bottle to relieve myself ( maybe the only advantage of being a male
Mobile GPS navigation unit
Extra tee shirts during summer months.
Winter ‘to go’ bag
Complete Change of clothing ( wet clothes in cold weather is not good)
Please note: You can always takes clothes off, but you cannot put on dry, warm clothes
that you do not have.
Remember the keys to a successful fixed surveillance are: the ability to blend
into your environment, patience, and proper equipment.