The Art of Surveillance: Part III

Private Investigation Techniques III

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Stakeout Hell

Surveillance occupies a critical role of a typical investigator’s day, and it is among their most essential tasks. It is indeed one of the most critical components of any private investigation assignments.

There are of course different activities that a private investigator will undertake. For example record retrieval, interviews and serving court papers. At Indonesia Private Investigation Agency we have agents that specialise in surveillance. Surveillance does take special skills and a certain type of person.

Though surveillance may seem quite exciting at times, it also has certain challenges and disadvantages.

Challenges of Surveillance

  • It is not exactly thrilling to sit all night inside your car and check on someone. It is definitely tiring, both for your mental and physical state. Imagine sitting in your car for literally long hours and you will find that it is one of the most tiring and boring jobs.
  • A lot of people think that surveillance is very exciting. Yes, at some point it is, but there’s much time spent doing absolutely nothing;
  • Watching for a bedroom light to go on or off is fine once or twice. But try doing that over ten days or even longer;
  • Stationary surveillance – sometimes a private investigator needs continuous access to the subject, perhaps watching the person or even a building for several months. This can at times be depressing, consuming much time focusing on one subject or object alone for a very long time.

Problems During Surveillance

  • Extreme heat: Depending on the weather conditions, often in Indonesia Private Investigators can get extremely hot, spending long hours in the sun;
  • Very demanding work schedules: Hours of work can be demanding and varied. Private Investigators may work for long hours, and mostly at odd times, like late nights or early mornings for a very long period of time. Their clients, the requirements of the current investigation, and their subject’s schedule are what dictates their hours. All this switching can sometimes also impact on sleeping rhythms;
  • Dangerous situations: physical confrontation is not (at least through the experience of IPIA), the most worrying danger. The possibility of an accident on Indonesian roads with pot holes, drivers continually breaking the rules, bad lighting and speeding is an ever-present concern. Violence is a possibility, but the truth of the matter is to date none of IPIA’s agents have been victims of violence. IPIA keeps a good distance and one of the top priorities is complete discretion;
  • Unhealthy conditions: Private investigators actually face certain conditions and situations that are definitely detrimental to health. They lack exercises, breath in fumes, sit for hours, and suffer physically and emotionally from stressful situations and isolation. This can cause back pain, weight gain, anxiety, depression, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and asthma. Also private investigators on a stakeout have to control their bladder and bowel movements to an unhealthy degree.

There are actually lots of challenges of running a stakeout. Thus, being a private investigator is indeed one of the most mentally challenging jobs one can ever have. One must be equipped with the skills and qualifications in order to cope with the overwhelming challenges and obstacles associated with this field of work.

Indonesia Private Investigation Agency (IPIA) and our sister agency  Bali Eye Private Investigation Agency (BEPIA) are fully registered Private Investigation Agencies offering private detective and private investigator services to the Private and Business sectors throughout Indonesia and South East Asia.


About the Author

IPIA's Director of Investigations is an Indonesian national with a Diploma in PI work (with distinction) from the UK and an Australian Government accredited Certificate in Investigative Services. She has worked on over 400 cases for private and business clients.