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Category Archives: Investigation Services

April 3, 2020
April 3, 2020

Whenever a client come to us to hire our services for surveillance, we want our clients to know that hiring a private investigator is not like hiring a plumber or getting your car serviced by a mechanic. If you hire a plumber or a mechanic, you may already have an idea of what they are going to do. But with an investigator, there’s some level of uncertainty on the process.

Having worked with thousands of clients in the past, from law firms to insurers, government agencies, multinational corporations, and high-profile individuals, we at Investigators Australia are fully aware that planning for surveillance is essential in the overall success of an operation.

In every investigation, we are going to deal with the unknown so it’s important that we carefully plan our strategies. We need to understand what is suspected and what’s not known so we will know exactly what we’re trying to uncover. It is only by reference to what’s known that we can figure out the best course of action.

We have some clients that are not keen on providing confidential and personal details needed for our investigation. But we actually need to know the full details in order to be successful with our operation. Sometimes, the reason why our investigation may lead to failure is because of the client’s lack of communication and their unwillingness to give full disclosure.

We would suggest doing your research before you get in touch with a private investigator. That way, you will know what to expect and you’ll feel comfortable in providing us with the information that we need for our surveillance.

For instance, logistical considerations will have a huge impact on the way the investigation has to be managed. Just take for instance an apartment block. We’ve conducted monitoring at apartment blocks several times before. In one of our surveillance, the apartment block has more than 5 entry points and exit points. If there’s no line of sight in between the exit points, it may be necessary for us to use five surveillance operatives.

But this will not be the case if the subject we are monitoring is living in a suburban location and living in a detached house. In this case, 1 or 2 operatives should be enough to handle the operation. But sometimes, even when the location is in a suburban area, there are still logistical challenges that we have to take into consideration, such as the neighbours, unsuitable terrains, and more.

In addition, the ease in which we would be able to identify the subject person that will be investigated will surely have a big impact on our surveillance plan. If we only have limited information about the subject, then this will surely make the job even more difficult. Are you aware that people generally can’t identify faces of strangers?

In our many years of experience in the field of surveillance, we have built a reputation as the leader in the industry. Thus, we should protect this reputation by seeking enough details to successfully carry out our operation. Without the relevant details, we cannot come up with a plan and provide an appropriate quotation.

When it comes to the matters of confidentiality, we would highly recommend our clients to take time to scroll through our website. It has all the relevant information about us as well as our services. If you still want to know more just go to Google and search Investigators Australia.

We really do not require our clients to provide us with all the details involved in the case. Just provide us with whatever details you already have. The more info you can share, the higher the chances of getting a positive outcome in our investigation.

Types of Surveillance

We provide several different types of surveillance, from the use of surveillance tools and electronics, physical observation, and conducting interviews to the involved parties.

There are a variety of ways to carry out surveillance, including the use of electronics,

  • Electronic

Using electronics is important for our job. This is how we would document the pieces of evidence that we have gathered from our surveillance work.

During surveillance, we use electronic devices such as radios, television, video recorder, and if needed, we may need to wiretap phone conversations. Sometimes, we will have to intercept emails.

  • Physical Observation

Physical surveillance happens when we need to physically monitor and follow the subject. Sometimes, we will use several agents for the job and will involve stakeouts and disguises.

  • Technical

Technical surveillance would require the need to use digital photography and sometimes audio and video recordings. Examples are the CCTV used by businesses, as well as dash cameras on vehicles.

  • Interviews

In order to gather more relevant information that can help us with the case, our investigators will also need to conduct interviews. This involves interviewing neighbours, family members, colleagues, etc.

Surveillance Methods

Aside from offering different modes of surveillance, we will also utilise different tactics to gather relevant information about the subject.

  • Mobile vs. Stationary

Mobile investigation will require that investigators follow their subjects, either on foot or in a car. However, a stationary investigation is the type of surveillance that will require the agent to stay in one location.

  • Overt vs. Covert

Overt investigation requires the use of CCTV cameras that businesses install in order to deter employees and clients from stealing. On the other hand, a covert investigation remains undetected, which is just like an undercover agent that’s following the subject.

  • Mechanical vs. Human

A mechanical investigation uses video cameras for investigation. It will also utilise other devices, such as voice recorders and other related equipment.

How Surveillance Works

  1. First, an investigator will discuss with the client to get to know him or her before delving into the subject.
  2. After a thorough discussion with the client, the investigator will start doing extensive research on the subject. These include obtaining the phone number, complete address, work location, etc.
  3. Then the investigator will study the area where the surveillance takes place. He will normally use maps and photos for this.
  4. Next, the investigator will decide on the type of equipment to use for the surveillance, such as dash cameras, video recorder, etc. He will prepare all the equipment needed before starting with the operation.
  5. Then the investigator will start with his surveillance while making sure that the subject won’t recognise him. They will avoid making eye contact with the subject and will make sure not to walk by the subject’s house multiple times.

During the course of the investigation, the investigator will make sure to take notes, especially of the important details such as date and time. He will need to report this to the client at the end of the investigation.

March 31, 2020

Sometimes, it will be necessary to prove a persons whereabouts at a certain time. For instance, when investigating if a person was physically present at a crime scene in order to determine if they are responsible for the crime or any type of illegal acts.

During a dispute between domestic partners, providing the most credible alibi is the only way to absolve you from the eyes of your suspicious partner. In the case of criminal and civil matters, the evidence that will put a person at a certain place and time can certainly make a huge difference in the overall outcome.

An example of this is a recent case we handled that involved a washing machine repairman named Bill Spedding. His life was about to get overturned as a result of being wrongfully accused as a child abductor by the police in NSW.

It happened around September of 2014 when the entire country was shaken by the disappearance of a 3-year old boy named William Tyrrell. He was believed to be staying at the house of his grandmother in Kendall, NSW. The boy was playing with his sister while their mother supervised them.

After leaving them for a few minutes to get a drink, she began to worry when she couldn’t hear William’s voice anymore. At around 11 AM, the emergency services were alerted about the disappearance of the boy, and what began was a lengthy but futile search of the 3-year old boy.

During the investigation, it was established that Bill Spedding had visited their home on September 6 when he was hired to fix their damaged washing machine. This made him a person of interest. 5 years later, Spedding decided to sue the state of NSW due to malicious prosecution.

The police case that was filed against Spedding was merely based on the statement of the neighbour of the Tyrrells, who said that they found the van of Spedding travelling into a bush track during the time the kidnapping took place. The neighbour then recanted his statement in front of the court saying that he only saw a van that’s similar to what Spedding was driving.

Revealed in an inquest, Spedding’s wife claimed that they had actually gone out on that day to see their grandchild receive an award from school. She further revealed that they went to a café across the school at around 9:30 in the morning. Luckily, they were able to show a receipt during inquest revealing that coffee and food was purchased using their card, which was a joint account with his wife, at around 9:45 in the morning of that day.

In addition, their claims were confirmed by a parent from the school who revealed that she saw Spedding attend the assembly at that same time that the child was said to be abducted. Unfortunately, it took months for the police to conduct an investigation of such alibi. Aside from the shoddy evidence against the accused, there was a proof that he was not at the scene, which was in the form of a receipt from the café  and the testimony given by the one parent who saw them attending the ceremony.

The statement from the witness and the evidence in the form of receipts are some of the means that can prove that a person is actually at a different location at the time of the crime. Evidence like CCTV footage, parking tickets, metadata, timesheets, and even diary notes are all considered valid proof.

Time is essential when it comes to collecting location-based evidence, especially if you are trying to document digital evidence. Data from computers and mobile phones can also be used as proof of the person’s location at a particular time, by looking at the time of a call or text message. Applications that are capable of recording the location of a device may also be used as proof in cases like these.

Unfortunately, in the case of Tyrrell, the police seemed to have put more focus on accusing Spedding, which might have impeded on other important aspects of the investigation. According to Spedding’s lawyer, the police’s narrow focus affected the manner of how police would normally go about their process of investigation. It’s clear that Spedding was a false lead and could have ultimately affected other areas of opportunities which could have made a more fruitful and productive investigation.

This is usually the reason why several investigations end up unsuccessful. It’s extremely important that all possibilities are taken into consideration when investigating certain issues. Making premature judgment is a serious error that could jeopardise the entire process of an investigation. An important principle to abide by is to never discount any leads even if some pieces of evidence will point towards another direction.

This is why investigators often advise people to make it a habit to write their signature regularly so whenever it is forged, it will be easy to compare fake signatures to the real ones. It’s also a good idea to keep receipts, activate the location settings on your mobile phone, or keep a calendar or diary. Above all, you should always try to be mindful of where you went and whom you saw at those places.

That way, if you are accused of something, whether it is by the police, your employer, partner, ATO, or anyone, you will have these pieces of evidence to absolve yourself from these false accusations. If you don’t have any proof, then there will always be questions and you will most likely be considered as a key suspect in the case.

March 31, 2020

When it comes to civil or criminal disputes, it is sometimes essential to retrospectively prove the precise location of the person involved.

The purpose of this is to prove that the person was never responsible for committing the act, whether it’s sending an email, signing a contract, or engaging in the illegal activities that the person is being accused of.

There are many ways through which a person can prove that he or she was at a certain location at a particular date or time. When it comes to getting location-based evidence, it’s worth noting that time is essential, especially when documenting digital-based evidence.

These pieces of evidence can include the following:

  • Witness Statements

This is when the witness provides an affidavit of evidence that he or she saw the particular person at a specific place and time.

  • Data from a Mobile Device

If the mobile device has certain apps that are capable of recording the location, then the device can be used as evidence.

  • Tower Data of Mobile Phone

Towers could triangulate the location of the mobile device and telecom providers may be able to retain the data. However, a court order must first be secured before you can get access to this data.

  • Billing Statements of Mobile Phone

Billing statements of the mobile phone can reveal the location of the owner at a particular date and time through the calls made, which will show at the statement.

  • Computer Data

Data from laptop or desktop computers can also serve as evidence. The hardware of the computer could reveal if the person was working on the computer at a certain location and at a specific date and time.

  • Timesheets

It’s also possible to prove that a person was working at a certain date of time through the timesheets.

  • Diary Notes, Calendar, or Appointment Records

These pieces of evidence can come in physical or digital form.

  • Parking Tickets, Receipts, Toll Charges, and Transaction Records

These documents can also help to reveal a person’s location at a given time of the day.

  • Automotive Forensics

This can come in the form of a car’s GPS or even a standalone GPS that’s installed in the car, which is capable of keeping track of the vehicle’s whereabouts.

  • CCTV

Footage captured by the CCTV cameras installed on businesses, shops, houses, or any location can be used as proof that a person is in a certain place.

  • Visa or Entry Stamp to Australia, such as VEVO

These travel documents can also be used as evidence that a person was in the country or not.

  • Others

Depending on the circumstances or the nature of the case, other forms of evidence might also be used.

Why is an Alibi Important?

There are certain legal aspects that one could end up into, which is why it’s extremely important to be able to prove an alibi, such as where you or anyone else was at a certain place at a particular time of the day.

An example of this is in a divorce case, where one party is accusing the other of adultery. In this case, it’s necessary to prove that the cheating spouse was indeed at a certain place and time.

Another crucial scenario is that of a criminal case wherein a person is being accused of committing a crime because someone has spotted the person at the scene. When the accused is actually somewhere else.

The usual approach of most lawyers in cases like these is to ask the client if he or she knows anyone who can testify his or her whereabouts. However, if the client cannot find any witness who can testify, some lawyer will immediately end the enquiry.

But if you hire the services of a private investigator from Investigators Australia, we will do our best to gather as much evidence that can prove you are at a certain location. You can have the evidence preserved before you engage with a lawyer.

  1. People Who Are Regularly Present at that Location

You can try visiting the location of that place you’re trying to prove that you were there. Check if there is any person who would regularly visit the area and see if he or she can prove that you have been there.

Think real hard of anyone who seems like they are always going to that place at the same time every single day. This could be a cleaner, security guard, waiter, doorman, receptionist, and others who could be posted at that location when you were there.

  1. CCTV Footage

Request for a copy of the video footage gathered by the CCV cameras that are in the area. See if these cameras may have captured your presence while you were there. Ask the building security if he can provide you with video footage.

You should do this as early as you can because some of these tapes get overwritten regularly. They might ask you to pay a certain fee for asking for the video footage or getting a copy of the recording.

  1. Location History from Google Maps

If you were carrying your mobile phone on that particular day, you can refer to the location history of Google Maps, provided that it was enabled.

Google Maps may be able to provide a recording of your movement on that day with addresses of the places you have been to.

To check this, just log in to Google Maps, click on “your timeline.” You’ll find this on the menu that’s on the left side. Choose the relevant date. If you’ve enabled the location services at that time, then it will show you the places you’ve visited at a particular time of the day.

  1. Electronic Transactions History

Can you recall any transactions you made on that day? Perhaps, you withdrew money from an ATM and you have a receipt that can prove that. Or maybe you purchased something from the store and you have receipts that can back you up.

Think of anything that you have swiped, tapped, and signed on that day as they can serve as hard evidence.