Covert video describes live action footage that is shot secretly as part of a surveillance operation. This type of video recording can be performed in person or remotely, using a hidden video camera or security system.
Covert surveillance is one of many tactics that are actively used by professional investigators, since it allows the observation and documentation of a subject’s movements, without the target knowing they are being recorded. The goals of covert recording are varied, but usually revolve around trying to catch the subject acting naturally and without suspicion that they are being observed.
This tutorial provides expert guidance on secretly recording video footage as part of a professional investigation assignment. We will also examine the uses of hidden video recordings in the detective sector.
Covert Video Applications
Here are some of the many possible uses for secret video footage of a subject during investigative assignments:
Basic applications of hidden video are useful for monitoring property, children and domestic workers.
Remote cameras are ideal for gauging a subject’s schedule, in order to set up manned surveillance during known times of movement or activity.
Documenting a cheating spouse will provide conclusive proof of infidelity during a marital investigation.
Workers compensation cases often utilize covert surveillance to document cases of fraudulent claim activity, such as claimants who are working, despite receiving disability benefits.
Trial preparation investigators typically surveil plaintiffs in personal injury cases to be sure that they are truly injured and not fabricating or exaggerating their cases.
Covert observation can also be used to protect a subject, such as during bodyguarding and private security applications.
Covert Video Tactics
It is extremely critical to be 100% knowledgeable of the laws governing all types of video surveillance, in a given area, prior to attempting to film any subject. Breaking the law while gathering evidence will void the work on the case, but may also land an investigator in jail, or even prison, for violating privacy laws. Always be careful in this regard.
However, when a detective knows that any covert documentation is allowable and justified; they should always make sure to invest in quality equipment, in order to make the most of the opportunities provided. A variety of cameras and lenses will help to capture vital evidence from any distance, in any environment and any time of day or night.
If the investigator is actually watching the subject in person, they must make sure to capture the footage from an angle which clearly and undeniably identifies them. Additionally, they should be sure to document all important features in the video, including vehicle license plates, property addresses and even the time of day or night when recording.
Covert Video Suggestions
Video evidence is almost as good as seeing whatever is being filmed in real life, provided that the images are clear and show the activities from a good perspective.
Remember that video and photographic surveillance are the very tools which define the investigative professions. If you are to work successfully in these vocations, you must be an expert at producing quality recordings for each and every case assignment. Personally, I always like to keep my set-up simple. I carry a multi-purpose high quality point and shoot camera, which takes hi-resolution still photos and HD video in one neat little package. Of course, for some assignments, specialty equipment is always useful, including night vision lenses and remote cameras.
For a backup, I also always make sure that my mobile phone is also fully capable of producing great pictures and high resolution video, in case all other options fail or became impossible to use discreetly. My Iphone has been terrific in this regard. Actually, I can not tell you how many great pieces of video I managed to acquire, simply by following someone in public, while pretending to be talking on the phone. They went about their business, completely oblivious to the fact that I was recording their every incriminating move.