Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Art of Going Grey - Part One

If you are involved in the business of conducting physical surveillance, the phrase going grey should already be in your lexicon.

So what does this mean and how does it apply?

More importantly, what happens when you don't go grey?

To put it simply, 'going grey' means the ability to blend in with your surrounds, to be able to move and operate without drawing attention to yourself, to be just another unremarkable face in the crowd. Forgettable. Beneath notice. 

A Grey Man.

Some of this is down to comportment, ie the way you conduct yourself, but a great deal is dependant on the way you dress and what you carry on you. 

Read this amusing account from Hal Humphries at Pursuit Magazine about the time he was surveilled by someone who failed, completely and repeatedly, to go grey.

In practical terms, have a good look at yourself. Do you look like you've just stepped out of a 5.11 catalogue? Not grey.

Not Grey

Not Grey

Not Grey

Not Grey
Not Grey. And nothing like my own watch, despite superficial similarities.

It's not just a matter of losing the 'Urban Operator' look and ditching your tactical pants. You need to remove anything that is likely to stand out and be noticed. Clothing with bright colours and/or designs. Designer brands. Anything flashy or ostentatious.

Anything that might catch someone's eye.

Take it for granted that you will be seen. That's fine and to be expected, however, you don't want to be remembered.
Once is chance, twice is coincidence, three times is a pattern.

Don't give them something to remember you by.

Next time we'll look at other aspects of going grey and ponder if it's possible to go too far.

1 comment: