Reliable surveillance services provided by experienced private investigators Observation & Surveillance

Professional Covert Surveillance Services

Since 1977, Research Associates has provided covert surveillance and observation services to the private sector. Whatever the presenting situation, we provide appropriate and unobtrusive surveillance professionals, equipped to fully document any task, often at very short notice. Our surveillance team manages each case with diligence and focus, listening and responding to the specific needs of the situation, enabling clients’ objectives to take precedence and be fully satisfied. Potential clients can expect a discreet and professional service at cost-effective rates. We promise to satisfy and manage expectations. With over four decades of experience, we offer well-rounded private investigation services, regardless of the situation.

Research Associates has decades of experience serving executives’, entrepreneurs’, businesses’, public sector organisations’ and private individuals’ observation requirements. We offer a wealth of industry knowledge and experience and provide an unrivalled level of customer service.

  • Dedicated observation/surveillance services using only highly experienced surveillance operatives
  • Static and mobile observation utilising both state-of-the-art and established techniques
  • Back-up intelligence specialising in legal ‘open-source intelligence’ research
  • Complete worldwide and local coverage
  • Exclusive 24-48 hour fast-response service
  • Excellent standards of practice
  • Structured evidence reports
  • A dedicated Project Manager throughout

Specialised Covert Surveillance Team

Research Associates observation team members are comprised of male and female operatives of different ages and varied cultural backgrounds to best blend in. However, they all share a simple distinction; they are all dedicated surveillance professionals, and observation/surveillance is their only professional focus.

Research Associates’ surveillance operatives have all been subject to our extensive screening process. Furthermore, we believe it is essential that only specifically trained personnel, rather than general investigators or other third parties, conduct professional surveillance and observation services. Teams are hand-picked to address specific tasks, whether for corporate surveillance or a private matter.

In addition, we have the policy to ensure that operatives are assigned to only one task on any given day; this ensures that observation tasks are manned only by fresh and fully alert operatives. All observation teams deploy an array of covert surveillance vehicles, including cars, observation vans, motorcycles and licensed taxis, depending on the specific requirements of the task.

Full Report: Detailed Irrefutable Evidence and Findings

Research Associates’ observation/surveillance reports (and logs) are very focused, detailed and professional. As well as reporting to you in person, initially by telephone, our formal report will document the presenting situation and demonstrate that we have undertaken an ‘impact assessment’, which shows consideration for the legality of the observation/surveillance task. Our report then documents the outlined results of the observation in the form of a summary. The report then has a separate Observation Log which objectively demonstrates the following: the date, time, place, and what has been observed. This section of the report is typically supported by date- and time-stamped media evidence, gathered covertly, where doing so does not compromise the observation.

Our full reports are designed to allow the reader to clearly understand both the presenting situation and the resulting evidence, whether the reader be a court in the UK or any other jurisdiction, a family member, or any other authorised third party.


Research Associates places great emphasis on preparation for an observation task, which best leads to obtaining the required result. We believe this is best accomplished through close client liaison. We work on the premise that a client typically has healthy insight into the subject of enquiry, often based on subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) changes in behaviour and more confidential intelligence. This information will unquestionably assist with establishing accurate briefing and instructions, which leads us to provide successful results.

Decades of Experience in Observation & Surveillance Services

Research Associates has a long history of fulfilling requests, demonstrating proven success in handling challenging situations such as observing and documenting cheating spouses or partners, as well as investigating insurance frauds, compensation claims, stolen property, personal injury, employee thefts, counterfeit goods, general frauds, and trade espionage. The best way to obtain and document facts is to use professional operatives to produce detailed, court-admissible reports based on contemporaneously written logs supported by irrefutable evidence (video and photographic).

Ensuring compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and other relevant data protection laws is a priority for us. Our surveillance operatives are trained to handle all information in accordance with these regulations, ensuring that the evidence gathered is both legal and ethical. We also emphasize the importance of human rights and conduct all investigations with the respect and discretion they deserve.

As well as having extensive professional experience, our surveillance teams constantly re-train in the use of the most up-to-date covert surveillance systems. Depending on the task, we employ a wide range of technologically advanced body-worn and vehicle-mounted surveillance equipment, including 35mm and digital surveillance cameras, miniature covert body-worn audio-visual and digital surveillance devices, audio transmitters, image-intensifier equipment and near undetectable high-definition digital and video cameras. This ensures that we can provide comprehensive video and audio evidence.

Private Observation & Surveillance Services

Research Associates defines ‘private surveillance’, whether for personal, private or corporate reasons, as the covert observation, monitoring and documenting of individuals’ behaviour and activities. Surveillance is undoubtedly the most focused and hands-on approach to investigation services. However, to ensure that your requirements are fully satisfied, it is imperative to discuss requirements with an experienced investigator before instruction, especially when instructing via solicitors/lawyers or other third parties. So call our office in confidence now.

Whether it’s a personal life matter like investigating suspected infidelity or tracking down hidden assets during a divorce, our highly experienced detectives provide the detailed insights and irrefutable evidence needed to make informed decisions. Whether operating in urban environments or rural areas, our private investigators are trained to adapt and provide accurate results.

Surveillance Services Categories

  • Dedicated rapid-response corporate surveillance teams.
  • Observation/Surveillance to determine whether a partner is being unfaithful or to confirm or disprove adultery or any other inappropriate behaviours.
  • Surveillance of individuals to establish insurance or disability frauds.
  • Observation of places of work, including offices, warehouses, construction sites, production locations and other accessible areas.
  • Surveillance of individuals for matrimonial or domestic litigation or investigations into residential cohabitation, asset investigations, or other domestic or marital matters.
  • Observation of residential premises, apartments, garages, boats or aircraft.
  • Rural covert observation.
  • Undercover/covert surveillance services.

People, Object and Vehicle Tracking Devices

Research Associates employ state-of-the-art miniature tracker devices that enable us to track vehicles, people and relatively small objects anywhere in the world. Our tracking devices are very discreet and, under most circumstances, undetectable. More importantly, Research Associates’ interactive viewing platforms are of the highest possible quality; the quality of our viewing platforms may be equalled but never bettered. Viewing platforms allow clients to receive live reports and view historical reports that are user-friendly and well thought through. Whether trackers are utilised for covert surveillance purposes, to monitor assets or provide security for family members, Research Associates offer a bespoke service guaranteed to satisfy the most demanding requirements.

Research Associates tracking devices give an exact location within a matter of metres without the user knowing and may be configured to automatically alert us via text or email when the tracked vehicle or object leaves a pre-designated area (using ‘geofencing’ technology). We both hire and sell tracking equipment used for security tracking, personal tracking, pet tracking, animal tracking, vehicle tracking and general monitoring services for increased asset visibility.

Custom Designed Tracking Devices

Research Associates also supplies the most sophisticated and latest technology bespoke tracking devices, including trackers built into handmade accessories and footwear. These sophisticated items are available with added features such as panic buttons. In addition, we supply easy-to-digest interactive reports which clearly show the tracker’s movements in real-time, including all relative data such as direction, speed and other relevant criteria. We also offer virtually ‘live’ internet tracking, allowing clients to see precisely where their tracker is on a ‘live’ map (updated regularly, up to every five seconds).

We are confident that our range of tracking devices cannot be bettered and will satisfy the most demanding of situations and strongly suggest you contact us directly to discuss your requirement:

Note: * Prior to instruction, Research Associates requests clients formally notify us if our report is likely to be reproduced in support of any current or future court case in any UK or overseas jurisdiction. This request is based on the need to fully appreciate and understand the legal requirements for admissible reports in any given jurisdiction, including the UK. If this is not formally communicated before instruction, the contents of our report are not for open reproduction and may not be exhibited in an affidavit. If in doubt, please ask our knowledgeable private investigators.

Schedule a Free Consultation

Since every investigation is unique and because of the delicate nature of all we do, we suggest you call and speak with one of our private investigators before the commencement of any assignment. By talking through the outline of your current circumstance in confidence and asking just a few non-intrusive questions, we become fully able to comprehend your specific requirement. This will also allow our highly experienced team to give a clear plan of action, costs, and turnaround time and enable you to get to know how we work and decide whether you wish to instruct us. Hire a private investigator by contacting us.

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How It Works

Our Investigation Process

We offer a confidential consultation, tailored investigation strategy, and rapid, detailed reporting.


Contact Us

Get in touch for a FREE, no-obligation, private consultation. Discuss your circumstances, the obstacles you encounter, and the objectives you aim to fulfill through your investigation.


Set the Plan

We will propose a tailor-made approach and specific tactics for your situation, utilising our extensive array of services. Transparent pricing will be provided, and your plan will be agreed upon before we proceed with the investigation.


Get the Information

Our expert private investigators will carry out a discreet, comprehensive, and professional investigation, providing a detailed report within 24 hours of completion, ensuring you have a clear understanding of the findings.


Frequently Asked Questions

Observation and surveillance services are ideal in situations where direct evidence or real-time information is needed. Common scenarios include investigating suspicions of infidelity, monitoring employee behaviour, gathering evidence for legal cases, or ensuring the safety of individuals.

We operate within the bounds of legal and ethical standards, ensuring that the privacy rights of individuals are respected. Our operations are designed to minimise any intrusion into personal privacy while achieving the objectives of the surveillance.

The duration of surveillance varies depending on the case requirements. Some operations may last a few hours, while others could extend over several days or weeks. We assess each situation to determine the optimal timeframe for effective surveillance.

Yes, we customise our surveillance strategies based on the unique requirements and objectives of each case. Our team works closely with clients to develop an approach that meets their specific needs and goals.

Since 1977, we’ve been known for our outstanding quality of service, which includes professional and experienced investigators, access to legal intelligence, state-of-the-art techniques, comprehensive coverage, fast response, and excellent standards of practice.

No, the initial consultation at Research Associates is offered at no cost to you. It’s an opportunity for us to understand your needs and for you to learn more about our services. There are no obligations or fees associated with this consultation.


Credible Legal Investigation

Research Associates is proud to be associated with prestigious organisations in the field of investigation and forensic sciences. As a distinguished member of the UK’s Association of British Investigators, we uphold the highest standards of professional conduct and ethical practices.

Furthermore, our affiliation with The Institute of Professional Investigators and the World Association of Detectives Inc. underscores our commitment to global excellence in the investigative industry.

We also take pride in our membership with the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences, which demonstrates our dedication to advancing forensic science and maintaining the highest level of expertise in our field.

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    Research Associates

    It is important to discuss the nature of your situation and agree, strategy, timeframe and cost before moving forward. If you are unable to call now on 020 7243 1000, use our contact form.

    Meet the Team

    Leadership Team

    Paul Hawkes

    Director (MD) / Principal Investigator

    Martin Tomlins-Young

    Director / Senior Investigator

    Harry Gottlieb

    Director / Senior Investigator