Observation & Surveillance

Reliable service provided by experienced international investigators

Specialists in Covert Observation

Since 1977, Research Associates has provided covert surveillance and observation 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. We manage 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. Four decades of experience allow us to offer a well-rounded service, whatever the presenting 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 expert 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 Operatives

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, and 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.

How We Report

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 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.


Research Associates has a long history of fulfilling requests to observe and document cheating spouses or partners, as well as looking at insurance frauds, compensation claims, stolen property, personal injury, employee thefts, counterfeit goods, general frauds, or 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 video and photographic evidence.

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 cameras, miniature covert body-worn audio-visual and digital devices, audio transmitters, image-intensifier equipment and near undetectable high-definition digital and video cameras.

Private Observation & Surveillance

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. 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.

Surveillance 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 surveillance.

People, Object and Vehicle Tracking

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 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 supply the most sophisticated 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 investigators.

What next?

Since every investigation is unique and because of the delicate nature of all we do, we suggest you call and speak with us 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 us 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.

Start Confidential Contact

Before instructing us, it is imperative that we get to talk through the nuances of your situation. Please use the form below to arrange a convenient time to communicate.

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