The object of any surveillance exercise is to follow and report the facts. Our private detectives at Central Investigations London have all completed accredited training courses. These same courses are attended by members of high profile agencies including members of police forces including the Metropolitan Police, special branch, and overseas intelligence agencies. Many of our agents are former members of some of these agencies. The training for private detectives in London needs to be higher than many rural or town locations due to the sheer availability and volume of transport and people. Will a target hail a cab, jump on a bus or tube or just walk around in back streets where it is easy to be spotted and lose a tail? We couldn’t tell you so we have to cover all eventualities and train to the highest level to ensure the job is done professionally and the surveillance team is not compromised.

At Central Investigations London we will always attempt to offer you a fixed fee quote and we will always confirm your instructions in writing. All surveillance operations are pre-booked and pre-planned with 48 hours’ notice and planning.

All surveillance operations are followed up with a written report. The report will contain the factual information observed while the subject matter was under surveillance and will be supported with photographs and or video that we are able to obtain. Central Investigations London has experience in producing reports that will be used as evidence in court and that may be put under scrutiny by an opposition solicitor. We are well experienced in maintaining the integrity of the evidence chain so that it passes cross-examination or scrutiny if ever questioned in court.

We specialise in investigating matrimonial matters, fraud, employee relations and theft, including moonlighting, contract infringement and sick leave claims. False insurance claims such as injured at work, or benefit fraud on behalf of local authorities are just a few other examples.

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What does surveillance involve?

Surveillance can either be overt or covert. The majority of our London investigations involve private or corporate matters and the subject to be unaware they are being observed – these are covert operations. Examples of overt operations are visual security on doors at retail shops or licensed bars and clubs or CCTV cameras in shops or the high street. Everybody can see they are present and watching the activity of those they monitor.

A London covert surveillance operation will usually consist of a minimum of three private detectives. A surveillance vehicle will be manned by two investigators, one who will be prepared to get out on foot (the foot soldier) at a moment’s notice to follow the target of the operation, perhaps they will walk across a park, perhaps they will jump on a bus. The third will usually be a motorbike agent. Why do you need a motorbike agent? A number of reasons spring to mind, perhaps in case the subject of enquiry decides to suddenly hail a taxi or if the main surveillance vehicle is held up in traffic or at traffic lights. The biker will maintain visual surveillance of the target until the main team can re-join the surveillance operation.

In the eyes of the public, the surveillance operation is often seen as the most glamourous of tasks for a private investigator to undertake. The “stake out” in reality for a team of investigators is a lot of time sitting around waiting for the action. It is not all glamour, you may think you would be good at sitting in the same spot for over 12 hours at a time, but the reality is a lot harder. Remember, there are no tea breaks, time for a quick nap when you are tired or conventional toilet breaks…we will leave the rest to your imagination.

Can I do it myself?

We discourage any potential client from attempting surveillance prior to engaging our or any other detective agency. The reason is quite simple once surveillance is compromised the target of the surveillance becomes aware and the task not only becomes much harder but the target is also likely to change their pattern of behaviour.

The key to a professional surveillance operation is in the planning. It should not be rushed. In certain circumstances agents can be deployed at short notice but clients should not rely on our busy department being able to respond immediately.

What equipment do you use?

High quality state of the art cameras and videos with date and time stamp capability are vital, especially when the evidence will be used in court. A wide range of modern equipment is required depending on the task at hand, whether it be filming a couple having dinner at the table next to the agent or the activity on a rural farm over 600 yards away.

Our surveillance vehicles are specifically adapted to suit the task at hand, including enhanced vehicle performance and being fitted with surveillance and monitoring equipment to complete the objective of any enquiry.

The use of vehicle trackers and other sophisticated electronic equipment is always carried by our detectives during an operation so it can be deployed if the situation dictates and the opportunity arises.

Our agents always carry their passports and foreign currency in case the investigation should suddenly take an international angle.