When potential clients approach us looking to hire a Private Investigation to conduct surveillance, they often have some questions.
To better explain our job and put our clients’ minds at ease, we try to answer all of their questions in a clear and concise manner. Here are some of the most common questions we receive:
Is surveillance legal?
Clients are often concerned that filming an individual without their knowledge or consent is illegal, or that the video may be inadmissible in court. People are entitled to a “reasonable expectation of privacy”. This means that individuals should not have to worry about being watched or recorded within their own home, or by someone whom they have a court order against. When an individual steps out into a public area, such as a street, a park, or a shop, they give up that entitlement. However, as Private Investigators, we do not conduct any audio recordings because it is illegal to do so without the consent of all parties involved.
What information do I need to provide the Investigator prior to surveillance?
As experienced Private Investigators, we have many resources and research tools to obtain information on the subject prior to commencing surveillance. Once a retainer agreement has been signed and the retainer fee paid, we are ready to start your investigation and surveillance. That being said – any information that you have that may be helpful in locating and/or identifying the subject is always helpful. Providing the Investigator with the subject’s name, a photo, address, vehicle information, or places that they frequent could save the investigator some time preparing, and in return reserve more of the budget for surveillance.
How long does surveillance take?
It is up to the client to set the hours of surveillance that they would like the Private Investigator to conduct. The number of hours is usually decided upon during the initial meeting so that the P.I. does not exceed the client’s budget. There is no guarantee that the P.I. will be able to complete the goal of the surveillance investigation in the set amount of time, for obvious reasons. When your business revolves around human behaviour there are never any guarantees. Each case/subject is different. However, Private Investigators are trained to use their discretion, and if there is no movement by the subject for any length of time, surveillance is usually suspended and resumed at another time to reserve the budget.
Why would I need more than one Investigator?
Our experienced Private Investigators can handle most surveillances on their own, but it is very important to listen to an Investigator when they suggest that more than one P.I. is needed to save budget in the long run. As stated earlier, each case is different. When surveillance is being conducted in an area where street parking is limited, there are several ways out of a neighbourhood, or the subject is likely to take public transportation, the success rate is drastically increased when there is more than one investigator on the case.
Can I partake in the investigation?
The answer is NO. The subject may be surveillance-conscious. It is very important not to interfere with the investigation. This includes driving past the area or performing checks of your own. As tempting as this may be, it can ruin a surveillance if your vehicle is noticed by the other party. Additionally, it can put your safety and the safety of the Investigators at risk.