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The Real Guide to Surveillance

I am currently in the process of writing the second edition of my first publication of The Real Guide to Surveillance. This is an announcement that I have made before but this time, I mean it. In an effort to prove my dedication to delivering on this promise, I have included the brand new cover and introduction.

The book will be released within the next 60 days and is available for pre-order via The Security Academy


This book was originally written from a two day basic surveillance training course that I wrote as a result of an apparent lack of properly trained surveillance operative in the private sector. The original (first edition) book was put together within a very short timeframe. I set a goal to have it completed before Christmas 2011 but due to numerous work related commitments, only managed to start in late November of the same year. As a result, the book was rushed and, in all honesty, not very well composed. This second edition is not only an updated version but also one that is inclusive of far more detail. It includes more content from the five day advance surveillance course which I finished writing in 2013. I have spent some time reconsidering the chronology of the content in an effort to make it more succinct with the overall topic. Another aspect in which I have attempted to improve is the timelessness of the publication. That is, I have endeavoured to resist the urge of referring to specific, current technology because it will affect how this book is perceived in the future. Writing about aspects of technology that are current at the time of writing a boom often proves worthless within a matter of years, sometimes even months at the rate in which technology is moving in this day and age. There are elements, as you will find throughout this book, that could simply not be avoided. I refer specifically to SLR cameras and how vehicle tracking devices currently function. The remainder relates to legislation (which will also change as time progresses) alongside covert foot surveillance techniques, mobile surveillance techniques, peripheral awareness, conscious and subconscious memory and many other aspects which, in theory, should remain the same.

If you are someone who has previously been involved with covert surveillance then you may discover that you have already taken on some of the methods discussed in this book but was not sure of their formal titles. Similarly, if you were to be deployed on a surveillance task for the first time, you may find yourself instinctively adopting them. This book will serve as a reminder as to the names, methods, benefits and when to utilise such drills. It will also be beneficial to anyone who is unsure of the relevant legislation in the UK and how it impacts us as private contractors in comparison with public bodies such as local authorities, the police and intelligence services. You will also consider the various types of covert equipment that is available to surveillance operatives, their functions, benefits and downsides. This will be inclusive of the various forms of communications including formal two way radio etiquette. Given that photography is a huge part of covert observations, this will also be discussed in quite some detail. More specifically, we will look into SLR cameras, different types of lenses and the various settings that are available to ensure that the imagery that the operative takes is of the highest standard and usable for evidential purposes. In relation to evidence, we will also consider the art of report writing highlighting common errors that others make in the arena and how to avoid them. I will draw from relevant material pertaining to how public services write their reports combined with my experience in the Royal Military Police (TA) and as ‘Head of International Surveillance Operations’ for a private organisation. It’s all here and if properly digested, you will be able to write a competent surveillance report that is able to withstand the robust cross examination of a defence barrister, should your evidence ever make it to crown court. In addition to all of the above, you will gain further insight as to how operational briefings are constructed in an effort to later enable you to plan, prepare, brief and execute your own surveillance ops.

This is a book in which I do not intend on making a third edition of and so hope to make this edition a more relevant, succinct, referable and finalised version.

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