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How Do Private Investigators Do Surveillance?

Meta: Learn some techniques to allow private investigators to do surveillance effectively and find useful evidence!

How Do Private Investigators Do Surveillance?

A private investigator specializes in independent investigation, monitoring, supervision, and verification, among which surveillance is the top skill.

So how can they implement surveillance, and what surveillance techniques could be applied during an investigation?

Read more to find out the answers in this article.

What methods do private investigators use to conduct surveillance?

Private investigators can use various surveillance techniques, depending on the type of investigation and specific cases, such as: seeking missing persons, insurance fraud, theft, and vandalism, determining the suitability of the parents to obtain custody/visitation, or proving marital infidelity.

One of the most vital aspects of such surveillance techniques is secrecy, which ensures the subject is unaware that they are being watched.

Physical surveillance

Private investigators often use this physical surveillance method to guarantee the effectiveness of the entire investigation process. Physical surveillance is applied to track a person or vehicle without being detected completely.

Typically, they will focus on the technique to find out the movement of the investigated subject and collect other diverse information about the person's activities.

Digital surveillance

Unlike physical surveillance, this digital surveillance uses multiple electronic devices to track an object's activity through phone calls, emails, and social media. The person who investigates the thing will apply this technique to collect evidence of human activities on many channels.

Interview Surveillance

This method allows detectives to interview people within the scope of supervision, such as interviewing suspects, company colleagues, witnesses in criminal cases, acquaintances, and friends, depending on the specific type of case.

Other surveillance technique

Sweeping: Private investigators would have to visit an area - but not against laws. Otherwise, those investigators can be charged with stalking!

How do private investigators conduct surveillance?

The client who wants to investigate an object is requested to provide relevant information about that person, such as residence place, company address, means of transport, appearance, daily habits, etc. Investigators must take responsibility for the confidentiality of this information.

Next, the investigators will create a detailed plan of monitoring schedules with the client's consent to conduct surveillance most effectively. This is extremely significant for investigators, helping them get evidence quickly and saving time and effort.

With an agreement about the most complete and optimal schedule, the private investigators conduct surveillance based on that schedule. They also regularly provide reports in various formats, such as text, images, or video.

Upon completion of the surveillance process, the investigator will submit a comprehensive report of all evidence gathered, which can be used in court.

Last but not least, it is necessary to hire private investigators with high qualifications and communicate with them clearly to get the best results. Try these tips to find the most appropriate investigators.


Private investigators need to be very flexible to adapt to any situation. With each monitoring situation, the requirements will be different and require specific and systematic strategies.

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