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Surveillance Expectations versus Reality

When it comes to surveillance expectations versus reality it is usually in the eye of the beholder as to the degree of success a private investigator will enjoy.

Surveillance is not a science it is an art. By and large, the success of a surveillance depends on the observer and perhaps even greater by the environment surrounding the surveillance. Many who call to have a surveillance conducted have never done so before.With that comes a variety of questions and assumptions about the surveillance process.

It has been my experience that the decision to watch someone comes quickly. Usually when something happens in a relationship that triggers a suspicion or furthers a previous suspicion. Professionals know that last minute surveillances are a challenge as there is little or no time to plan and prepare. The best surveillances are those that are planned well in advance and allow the investigator to take tactical advantage of the circumstances that the case presents. This is particularly true in Costa Rica as the distance the team must travel in order to arrive at the surveillance destination is sometimes between four to six hours.

For example, many of the resorts in Costa Rica, Colombia and Ecuador have a gated and guarded entrance. Accessing these as a non-guest is very difficult. If the target of a surveillance has given information about the location they will be staying sufficiently in advance of arrival, it allows the investigator and his team to make reservations at the same location and allows for surveillance that will be very successful. It also permits for the surveillance team to access the resort at will thus making the chances of success much greater.

A professional will have a team and it is necessary to get them organized and placed strategically to assist in the surveillance. So-called investigators that try and do this alone are doomed to failure. Today people are keenly aware of what is going on around them and if the see the same face too often they will be alerted to the possibility of them being watched.