The Surveillance Cheat Sheet

What is Surveillance?

Surveillance is the observation of an individual, event, organization, or physical location for intelligence collection. Surveillance can take many forms like static, electronic, mobile, and foot surveillance. Surveillance can involve a single private investigator or multiple teams of private investigators. Surveillance may be conducted to acquire patterns of life or to document a specific occurrence. 

When do PI’s use Surveillance?

Private investigators may conduct surveillance as a stand-alone service when conducting domestic or insurance fraud investigations. However, private investigators will often utilize surveillance as part of a larger investigation when conducting internal investigations, mergers and acquisitions due diligence, penetration testing, and various criminal investigations. Surveillance is excellent for providing a human intelligence element to an investigation by acquiring information that cannot be found in a database or through open-source methods. 

What does a Surveillance checklist look like?

A good private investigation team will conduct thorough due diligence of the subject to acquire Patter of Life (POL). They will also conduct a pre-surveillance, otherwise known as Intelligence Preparation of the Operational Environment (IPOE). Thorough POL and IPOE will give the surveillance team a good assessment of what equipment and how many PI’s will be required for the surveillance. However, certain items will almost be universal and will be utilized by almost all private investigators no matter what the scenario: 

  • Smart Phone
  • Apps
  • Camcorder
  • Tripod or Monopod
  • Clothing
  • Pretext Materials
  • Tinted Windows
  • Toll Device
  • Full Tank of Gas
  • Cash
  • Snacks
  • Sunshade
  • A Good Pee Bottle

How much does Surveillance cost? 

When it comes to any private investigation service, the cost varies based on a variety of factors. The more experienced firms are going to cost more than the amateur ones. Cities tend to cost more than rural areas. The complexity of the surveillance may require more than one investigator. The average rate for surveillance in the state of Florida is between $95 and $200 an hour. F3 Intelligence charges $150 an hour and uses at least two investigators on every surveillance. 

Why would someone hire F3 Intelligence to conduct Surveillance?

F3 has success rates much higher than the industry norm because of the following:

  • Experience: F3 private investigators are former U.S. Intelligence or Federal Law Enforcement.
  • Preparation: F3 private investigators always conduct due diligence, a pattern of life analysis, and intelligence preparation of the environment before conducting surveillance.
  • Methodology: F3 private investigators operate as a team rather than single agents in the field.


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