Thursday, July 27, 2006

PI School Part IV: Surveillance

It's been a little longer in between these posts, but hopefully y'all are still comin' back. If you don't know what I'm talking about, scroll down some more and catch up.

The main point that Mr. Biggs hammered home into our tired brains for two weeks straight was that successful surveillance is all about preparation.

Scout out the area you're going to work in, try to become familiar with it, but more importantly get a feel for the clothing worn in the area. You want to make sure to wear clothes that help you blend in. If you're going to tail someone for a few days, especially if it involves travel interstate, you'll also want a change of clothes. Or two.

Ladies and men alike will need an empty bottle or container, one which can be sealed. A thirty second toilet trip in the bushes is enough to lose a target completely.

Make a checklist of things to pack into your car or have on your person.

These can include: still camera, video camera, microphone, notebook, sunglasses, cap, jacket, water bottles (to be used for drinking, and when empty, 'refilled'), maps (you don't want to risk getting lost in an unfamiliar area), a mobile phone (keep in contact with a fellow PI or the client), loose change and notes (handy for road tolls or buses and trains), and a spare tank of petrol (you may be on the road for a long time).

As you can see, preparation means covering all bases, even the ones you haven't thought of. Make a checklist and avoid getting burnt.

Some other tips on surveillance:

Never make eye contact. Simple one, but without practice, difficult. Ladies can use the old compact mirror trick while applying makeup and men can use all kinds of objects for reflections. Nothing beats just kind of looking around, though.

What to do if you get made: drop out of the surveillance immediately. Walk on in the same direction and don't look back. If you have another person working with you, tell them. If the target is suspicious, they may try using a dead stop to fool you into a reaction. Don't fall for it. Keep walking. If your car is parked nearby and you have a change of clothes, take advantage of this and see if you can recapture the target at a known location.

If the target enters a shop or a pub, follow them in unless you know for certain there is only the one exit. Even then, following them in can make you part of the furniture. If they see the same guy waiting for them around every corner, they'll catch on all too soon.

Speaking of corners, take them quickly. Usually you keep a good distance from a target, but if they turn a corner it's best to rush forward and slow down just before you turn. If you let them get too far ahead, it's possible for them to disappear into a shop or take another turn out of sight.

That almost brings us to the end of this series on my experiences at PI school. Tune in soon to find out why I never finished the course in PI School Part V: The Dropout.

15 comments:

Sandra Ruttan said...

Daniel, this is such a great mini series.

Oh, and guess what I got in the mail today? Something with your name in it - great to see it too. Congrats.

jamie ford said...

Great stuff. My recreational stalking just jumped to a whole new level.

Daniel Hatadi said...

Sandra, I'm checking my mailbox every hour, on the hour until it arrives.

And Jamie, it works well for general neighbourhood assassinations as well.

anne frasier said...

this is so cool, daniel!

Anonymous said...

Water is the essence of moisture!

Daniel Hatadi said...

Thanks Anne!

WHen you question your training, all you do is train yourself to question.

Anonymous said...

I can smell infinity approaching at the speed of light...

Anonymous said...

and if you fail to plan you plan to fail

Anonymous said...

At dusk even a short man cast a tall shadow...

Anonymous said...

DANIEL HATADI

is

I HALTED DIANA

It all makes so much sense

Daniel Hatadi said...

Stop that now, Monkey!

Anonymous said...

He made me do it!!!

Daniel Hatadi said...

Is that you Spencer?

Get back to work!

Anonymous said...

Its writing not rocket surgery

Anonymous said...

http://www.catsthatlooklikehitler.com/