Surveillance is the activity of watching and following a target to see what they do, where they go, and who they meet.
Surveillance is considered fundamental to an intelligence professionals tradecraft, as they need to operate without other people seeing, knowing or following them.
Surveillance provides intelligence professionals insight into their target not otherwise available.
So, how does Surveillance work?
The role of the surveillance team is to follow, record and document the movements of the target often taking photographs of people they meet, places they go and activities they conduct.
Surveillance usually involves a team of trained professionals who are organized and able to follow the target both on foot, and in a vehicle.
A surveillance team is will usually alternate during their observation and alternate so the target doesn’t see the same people everywhere they go.
The idea of surveillance is to remain clandestine (i.e. undetected) in the process so the target goes about their business unaware they’re being observed.
Surveillance teams can also employ the use of equipment to make their job easier and to gain greater information about their target. Listening devices, GPS trackers, microphones and hidden cameras are some of technology a surveillance teams often employ.
Lock-Picking & Covert Entry
Surveillance teams are usually trained and equipped with the skills to conduct covert method of entry. This involves gaining access to cars, buildings and locks in a way to remain undetected. These skills include lock picking, safe cracking and often include the ability to defeat alarm systems.
How Can You Tell If You’re Under Surveillance?
A key to identifying a surveillance team is to remember the mantra, ‘same face, different place’.
If you start to notice the same people around you, whilst changing your location or going about your business – it’s entirely possible you’re being followed.