Thursday, November 05, 2015

Quick Review: Surveillance Operator's Aide Memoire

Greetings Dear Reader. After a slight hiatus for personal reasons, I'm back with a review of the recent purchase (thanks to Pursuit Magazine for the heads-up) of the Surveillance Operator's Aide Memoire by Bill Spikes.

If you don't know what an aide memoire is, you can look it up.

Also, you can follow the author on Twitter.

So what did I think?

Basically, this is like the Cliff's Notes accompaniment to a surveillance operator's training course - and this is evidently one of the purposes for the book.

At 133 pages in a slightly odd-sized paperback format, there isn't a lot of room to waste and, to the author's credit, waste isn't apparently in his lexicon. Each chapter deals with a specific part of a surveillance operation and broken down into various elements, each with a number of concise points to remember.

That's pretty much it.

It doesn't sound like much, and doesn't look like much, but believe me there is a wealth of information there, just presented in very few words.

Chapters are:

  1. Memory Training
  2. The Surveillance Operator
  3. The Phases of a Surveillance Operation
  4. Map Coding
  5. Communications & the Control Desk
  6. Reporting & Recording
  7. Foot Surveillance
  8. Third Party Awareness
  9. The Cover Story
  10. Mobile Surveillance
  11. Vehicle Equipment & the Car Bag
  12. Anti & Counter-surveillance 
  13. Mobile to Foot
  14. Drive Past/Drop-off/Pick-up
  15. Cars & Vans Used as OPs
  16. Night Mobile Surveillance

This is not a 'how to' manual. And, as should be evident from the title, it is an accompaniment to a training regime, a guide for an instructor, or a reminder to experienced surveillance operators.

There is nothing negative I can say about this book. Personally, I would have preferred maybe a plain hard cover, but that's not really a criticism.

 Definitely an A+ as far as I'm concerned. Every surveillance operator should have a copy.      

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