Surveillance Investigators – Do You Need One?
Working closely with the police department or other investigative agencies, surveillance investigators function as the go-between for their employers and the people they are investigating. This position entails collecting information on individuals of interest, frequently traveling to their location to film and document their behavior, and adding all of their findings to the files of their employer. This position is often very demanding but also very rewarding, because the person will be able to use all of their information gathering skills in order to successfully prosecute cases.
Surveillance investigators have a number of different responsibilities that involve both conducting surveillance and gathering information and evidence to use as an angle to prosecution. Most investigators will work on federal and state investigations. Many federal investigators work on child pornography investigations, because child pornography is often distributed via the internet. Child pornography investigators commonly interview potential suspects, search records for email addresses, social security numbers, bank accounts, and other information that might prove connections to these suspects. Surveillance investigators can also search for missing persons, make connections to criminals through other means, and collect any other information that might lead to the resolve of a case.
Surveillance investigators may be employed by private investigators, corporate security professionals, or law enforcement agencies. If you choose to work for an investigator agency, you will need to complete training and obtain certification in the field of criminal justice. After completing the training and becoming certified, you will be able to begin working independently. As an independent surveillance investigator, you will be responsible for conducting surveillance, drawing conclusions based on the evidence gathered, interviewing witnesses, collecting documents and evidence, preparing reports and case examinations, and working in close coordination with the criminal justice professionals. It is important that you have an understanding of how digital forensics works, because it is one of the most important tools used in criminal justice investigations today.
Surveillance investigators are specially trained not only to obtain information from surveillance cameras and other means, but they are also trained in how to interview people. Unlike police detectives, surveillance investigators are permitted to use deception in order to gather information from a suspect. They are permitted to lie about their employer, obtain information that is not needed, make promises to people undercoversation and provide false statements. All of these actions are taken in order to protect the integrity of the investigation and prevent suspects from obstructing it or tampering with evidence. With the help of a lawyer, surveillance investigators are allowed to refute any claims of obstruction or dishonesty, making it easier for them to obtain information that is legally required.
Surveillance investigations are often conducted before criminal activity takes place. This is called pre-detective investigation. For example, if a business owner observes employees in the parking lot of their establishment having sex, they can video tape the activity and use it later as evidence against their employee. However, this type of surveillance investigations are typically not recommended unless there is specific reason to believe sex crimes may have occurred. In other words, it is not a good idea to conduct this investigation if you’re just catching one employee having an off work sexual affair.
Surveillance investigators may be employed by a private investigator agency or by a law enforcement agency. When using a private investigator agency, surveillance investigators use a network of contacts throughout the country, providing international surveillance. A surveillance private investigator may use video equipment and hidden video cameras to gather information from remote locations. The information that can be obtained using hidden video cameras includes footage taken from a vehicle and/or property. The surveillance private investigator may also use computer and cell phone recording equipment to observe a person’s activities.
Because investigations involve gathering evidence against another person and using deception, it is extremely important that surveillance investigators are ethical, honest and follow the law in regards to conducting investigations. Surveillance investigations can take months to conduct and cost thousands of dollars. Therefore, it is vitally important that a private investigator: is licensed; adheres to ethics; and follows all reporting and surveillance regulations. Reporting regulations vary from state to state and country to country. If you need further information regarding reporting requirements, you should contact the Attorney General’s Office in your state or contact a local surveillance investigators’ association for assistance.
Do not hesitate to ask questions and if you feel you are unsure of something, do not risk your liberty or your finances, contact a lawyer immediately. A reputable private investigative agency will provide a written affidavit stating their status and services as a surveillance investigators. You will also need to provide them with a list of the specific locations in which you want the investigative investigation to take place. If you do not feel comfortable with the surveillance agents, or you feel you are being pressured, you should consult with a New York criminal defense attorney who can help you determine what options are available to you.