Over the last ten years Central Investigations London has been extolling the virtues of GPS trackers to be used in conjunction with general investigations and surveillance. It is an invaluable investigatory tool that can be a much cheaper option than surveillance alone. In the majority of cases, we now advise all clients to consider the use of a GPS tracker before committing to the expenditure of a surveillance operation. The reason is quite simple, the use of a tracker reveals a lot of intelligence regarding the movements of a subject of enquiry. This intelligence can then be analysed to look at the best times and places of interest to decide when to put surveillance on the subject of enquiry. For example, in a recent matrimonial investigation we placed a tracker on the vehicle of an alleged errant husband for four weeks. The tracker revealed he was visiting a certain street every Wednesday night between 7pm and 10pm when he was supposedly working late. We were then able to set the surveillance up on the approximate location of the tracker and ascertain and collect evidence as to the address he was visiting and the occupier (“the other woman”) at this address. The total cost of this operation was just over £2,000 compared to just traditional surveillance which would have been much more expensive and would probably not have revealed the Wednesday night activity.
Of course, the use of a tracker on a vehicle does depend on the subject of enquiry driving a vehicle. As a detective agency we will always attempt to deploy a tracker in the use of an investigation where possible. In the event of the target of enquiry being lost (although infrequent, reality states that it does happen occasionally), recovery of the surveillance operation can be managed much more easily and swiftly. They can also be invaluable when the target of the operation is what we call “surveillance aware.” The GPS tracker enables us to hold off from the target and not have to be on their bumper for the duration of every journey. The most important part of any surveillance operation is not to be compromised. The tracker allows an extra layer of protection to prevent being seen, even with the most aware of subjects who might know anti-surveillance manoeuvres, especially those who might have worked in the military, police or other government departments. Other targets likely to be surveillance aware may include those who are, or, in the past, have been criminally active and perhaps under police surveillance, as well as the simply paranoid members of society! Whichever way we have to conduct the investigation, we continue to believe that the continued use of technology as it evolves is the way forward for completing investigations. It without doubt gives the best chance of reducing the cost to the client as we can target the surveillance element of the investigation where and when possible and reduce physical man hours (and cost) as a result.