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What does a surveillance specialist do?

Surveillance plays a vital role in missing person searches, criminal and fraud investigations and infidelity investigations. If you need to observe and document a person’s movements and interactions or have a place or object closely monitored to document events or activities, you will need the professional services of a surveillance specialist in Phoenix, Arizona

The objective of surveillance is to gather evidence of wrongful action, information that can be valuable to an interrogation or used in court, and intelligence that serves as a basis for putting forward a plan of action.

For a private investigator, surveillance is part and parcel of the investigative process. Traditionally speaking, the art of surveillance comprises three fundamental elements: look, listen and follow.  The process of surveillance has evolved to add to this time-tested approach, along with the use of sophisticated digital and electronic tools. Surveillance can now include online surveillance that includes social media analysis, telephonic and video surveillance.

How well the surveillance is conducted can make or break an investigation.  The introduction of surveillance technology has enhanced the investigator’s expertise in gathering and documenting intelligence. But to be successful in getting the job done, a private investigator will need to rely on more than just their ultra-modern bag of high-tech tricks.

6 Essential skills of a surveillance investigator

A surveillance investigator’s tricks of the trade will also include a complementary set of must-have competencies.

To succeed as a surveillance specialist, it is helpful to have as many of the following soft and technical skills as possible:

  • A heightened sense of curiosity

Individuals who have a strong sense of curiosity and who love solving puzzles and mysteries thrive in detective work.

  • Analytical skills

Whether it is in deciphering evidence or making rational decisions, having a good analytical mind will serve a surveillance investigator well.

  • Patience and determination

Surveillance in most cases does not produce instant results. It is a process that is often defined by long periods of time just sitting around observing and waiting for something to happen.

  • Legal knowledge

It is important to stay within the bounds of the law when conducting surveillance so a surveillance investigator will need a good grasp of the law.

  • Tech-savvy

Visual evidence such as photographs and video footage remain key sources of valuable evidence and a surveillance specialist will need to be proficient in the use of discreet high-tech devices.

  • Ability to be invisible

It is of the utmost importance that an investigator blends into the background and operates under the radar whilst conducting surveillance.  Changing appearance (wigs, hats, etc) are effective tricks of disguise.

Surveillance investigator responsibilities

The day-to-day responsibilities of a surveillance investigator will vary depending on the specific nature of the surveillance carried out. Common responsibilities include:

  1. Researching the person or place of interest
  2. Setting up surveillance posts
  3. Monitoring communications
  4. Operating recording devices
  5. Actively following the target
  6. Report findings back to clients

Why is surveillance used as part of the investigation process?

Surveillance forms a mandatory part of investigations that require visual confirmation of the activities or location of a person of interest. The practice can be a particularly valuable tool in finding missing persons, investigating infidelity, false claims in worker’s compensation cases, insurance fraud and vandalism investigations.

Why choose Cutty & Associates?

At Cutty & Associates, we take great pride in the professionalism of our surveillance operations. Our surveillance specialists are highly trained and experienced experts committed to protecting client confidentiality and delivering results as well as customer service excellence. We have become renowned for our high degree of integrity which has earned us the favor of being the choice provider of private investigations in Arizona.

Learn more about what we do by speaking to one of our client representatives today.