How to avoid detection in undercover surveillance

Reading time: 3 minutes

It’s standard spy movie fare – the covert surveillance operative sitting down in the hotel lobby, reading a paper to avoid detection.

And there’s actually some truth to it.

If you need to hire a private investigator for undercover surveillance, here are some of the ways they might avoid detection.

Minimise movement to avoid detection

If you’re following someone, the simplest way to avoid detection is to stop moving. Movement attracts attention.

Imagine a crowd of people standing around. If there’s one person moving through the crowd, they are the one who’s going to get noticed. That goes double for someone walking with an air of vigilance about them.

Assuming the surveillance target isn’t moving, you will want to sit down somewhere with a reasonable vantage point. Settle in and get comfortable so you look relaxed and natural.

Resist the urge to get up and change position to get a better vantage point. That looks unnatural! Instead, try to pick a good spot right from the start, and then settle in for the long haul.

Look boring and unprofessional to prevent detection

Dress blandly to avoid being spotted. Don’t dress like you’re ready for action, with jeans, sunglasses and an untucked button up shirt. That might be a casual look, but it also has the feel of an off duty operative who is ready to move. It can look too professional and alert.

Dress blandly to avoid being detected

Instead, consider purposely dressing to avoid detection. Wear clothes that don’t match the “off duty security guard” stereotype – even if that means wearing clothes that don’t really suit your personality.

Another tool to prevent being spotted in undercover surveillance is your smart phone. There’s nothing less noticeable than someone sitting down, looking bored, staring at their phone.

Make sure you are actually using it or talking into it, not just faking. If you’re staring at a blank screen, or it starts to ring when you’re carrying on a fake conversation, the game’s up.

Blend in with other people to avoid detection

Being a lone male can attract suspicion. But being with someone else in a social setting is natural. Carrying out surveillance with a partner helps you blend into the background. It also gives you two sets of eyes on the job and lets you play tag team to avoid being noticed.

Try not to meet or split up in front of your target. It’s too noticeable. Instead, both private eyes should arrive together and leave together.

Coffee shops are ideal spots to sit in and watch from. People often stay in cafés for some time, slowly drinking coffee and working or reading, perhaps chatting with a companion.

Bus stops are tempting. They are a ready made group of people to blend into. But they can be risky. You will look out of place if you aren’t looking up the street for the bus, or don’t get on when the bus arrives.

Do you need to hire a surveillance private eye?

Avoiding detection while observing someone is quite a specialised skill. Melbourne Investigations are experts at going undetected while getting the evidence you need. If you need to find out where someone’s going, who they meet and what they do, call us. Our private investigation manager is ready for a confidential chat about your needs.

Hire a private investigator in Melbourne today

Or fill out this form for a quick response:

    Contact Melbourne Investigations