Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Shameless Product Placement #1

"Surveillance Tradecraft: the Professional's Guide to Covert Surveillance Training" by Peter Jenkins.

Seriously good reference manual for beginner and veteran alike, updated material to that provided in "Advanced Surveillance". Check it out here.

Uncharacteristically, I even posted a review (to which the author was good enough to respond to my only gripe).

Last word: if you're a surveillance operator this is a 'must have' for your library.

Saturday, June 26, 2010


I have to admit this one caught me unawares, Dear Reader. Sometimes the Tinfoil Helmet Brigade appear, at first, as disarmingly rational as you or I.

Take Mrs Middleton, for example. She calls the office asking to make an appointment to discuss a missing persons enquiry. She lost contact with her daughter some 10 months prior and was running out of options.

"No problem", says the hapless hero. "My office door is open".

Little did I know that I too was merely a cog in a greater machine. A machine of conspiracy and intimidation.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Objects in mirror are closer than they appear

Sometimes, Dear Reader, things do not go according to plan. In fact, I believe it was Helmuth von Moltke the Elder who stated "no plan ever survives contact with the enemy."

Moltke should have been backing me up the other day.

It started out routinely enough: it was a basic mobile follow from the target's home address to see if he was going to where he told his wife he would be. (The precursor to this story can be found here.)

Nothing particularly complex about this. Or so I thought at the time.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010


Years ago, one of my first surveillance jobs was on an individual who was allegedly part of a burglary ring who were stealing laptops and the like to order. Supposedly he was also using the proceeds of his illicit activities to fuel his methamphetamine habit and we had been warned not to get caught as he is prone to violence. We're also told to expect that he is surveillance-aware.


We'd already spent a number of evenings staking out his house with nothing to report. Seriously nothing, no-one coming or going. For all we knew no-one was home at all but such is the nature of surveillance work: it's 99% boredom.

But then there's that other 1%...

Sunday, June 06, 2010

A Fool and Other People's Money

A recent case started out innocently, if not dully, enough: make a field call to an address to speak with the customer of a client who had not made a number of payments and had also not responded to attempts at communication.

Fairly routine so far. Except that I had a feeling that the name (let's call him Porter) and the address sounded familiar...

Well, once I arrived at the address I realised I had been here before on behalf of another client some months previously, and there was in fact no such person by the name Porter ever having lived there. Aha! False details given... now we're going somewhere more interesting.