Presentation on theme: "SURVEILLANCE DETECTION FOR PERSONAL SECURITY Techniques and Overview."— Presentation transcript:
SURVEILLANCE DETECTION FOR PERSONAL SECURITY Techniques and Overview
HOSTILE SURVEILLANCE Virtually all violent crimes, from simple robberies through acts of terrorism, are preceded by a period of pre-operational surveillance. Attackers need to observe, assess and plan, in order to succeed. Even crimes that seem to be impulsive require target selection, and target selection is a stage of surveillance. Knowledgeable persons will make common-sense determinations about potential hostile surveillance, and tailor their activities to meet or exceed this threat.
Types of Hostile Surveillance Threats Fixed Surveillance Multiple Mobile Surveillance Solo Mobile Surveillance Mixed surveillance operations
Fixed Surveillance Surveillance is most vulnerable to detection when it is in motion. Therefore fixed surveillance against a mobile target (you) is the most difficult to detect. However, fixed surveillance has its weaknesses: If your schedule, route and destination are not known, fixed surveillance requires a great number of assets. Effective observation points for fixed surveillance are often difficult or expensive to secure.
Multiple Mobile Surveillance Against a mobile target (you), hostile surveillance using two or more followers on foot or in cars, offers the second greatest detection challenge (after fixed surveillance). This is because your detection efforts rely in part upon repeated sightings of the same person/vehicle. A skilled hostile surveillance team will never let you see the same person/vehicle twice. Its weakness is that it requires a great deal of planning and lots of assets, compared to solo mobile surveillance. This type of surveillance operation is most commonly used by government law enforcement and intelligence services, but is also used by the paparazzi.
Solo Mobile Surveillance This is the type you are most likely to encounter: A single person attempting to follow you or monitor your movements. Its weakness is your strength: In order to follow you without losing you, the follower must expose himself to your detection efforts.
Mixed Surveillance Operations Perhaps the most effective of all, a mixture of fixed and mobile operators is characteristic of only the most sophisticated and highly trained professional teams. Its weakness is, again, that it requires a large number of trained assets. Unless they are involved in law enforcement or intelligence operations, few people will ever have to contend with this type of hostile surveillance.
Defeating Hostile Surveillance Operations Your goal is threefold: Determine whether you are under surveillance, using specific, pre-planned detection techniques. Decide whether the surveillance is pre-operational, or whether an attack is imminent. Take action to defeat the intentions of the hostile surveillance operative(s).
Surveillance Detection Routes (SDRs) Intelligence professionals use surveillance detection routes every time they take a discreet meeting with a source or handler. In hostile environments, spies will spend literally hours before a scheduled clandestine meeting, traveling a route designed to force hostile surveillance to reveal itself. Spies, of course, have an additional problem that ordinary people protecting themselves don’t have: They have to detect hostile surveillance without revealing what they are doing to the hostiles. For ordinary personal protection, surveillance detection can be quick and simple, containing only a few elements:
Elements of Personal Surveillance Detection The Baseline Route Analysis Situational Awareness Detection Techniques Escape Techniques Safe Havens
The Baseline Your “baseline” is an intentioned conscious awareness of what is “normal” at and near your home, workplace and on the routes you travel on a regular, predictable basis. No outsider knows your baseline as well as you do. Your baseline should constantly update as the environment changes. Your baseline allows you to rapidly identify people, vehicles and other environmental factors that seem “out of place”.
Route Analysis For any route you regularly travel, you should conduct an analysis of its vulnerabilities (for you) and its opportunities (for hostiles). Choke Points are points through which you MUST travel. Sometimes choke points also force you to slow down (a sharp, blind curve; a one-lane bridge). A true choke point also gives hostiles an opportunity to safely wait for you, and from which they can possibly mount an attack. Observation Points are typically high points from which hostiles can get a good look at you. Often, hostiles are not observed at observation points because most people don’t LOOK UP. Typically, hostiles will try to use choke points near your home or your place of work.
Situational Awareness and Observation No one can stay on “yellow alert” all the time. However, if you make distinctions between areas and times that are safer than others (your home as opposed to “out and about”, for example), situational awareness can become an easy habit. In addition to recognizing things that seem “out of place” vis a vis your baseline, there are behaviors that should be alerting:
Furtiveness Furtiveness takes many forms, but it all falls under what we learned as children to call “sneaky”. Attempts to avoid being observed or identified…for example, a man sitting in a car as you pass raises a newspaper to cover his face. “Lurking” body language (Yes, even the pros do it!). Attempts to conceal communications – cell phone/radio use
Unexplained Behaviors Cars positioned to watch your route for no apparent reason Photography Following, pacing, tracking (while driving or walking)
Coordinated Behaviors Behaviors that seem coordinated to your movements. Examples: A person in a position to watch you chooses the moment when you pass, to make a cell phone call. A car that has been parked outside your building for some time, chooses the moment you leave to pull away.
No Coincidences Well, yes there are, but the safest response is that they don’t exist until proven otherwise. A key concept is time and distance: Ask yourself why you are seeing this person or car here, now, when you saw him three hours ago and forty miles away? If there is no obvious, innocuous answer, you have hostile surveillance until proven otherwise.
Detection Techniques It’s possible to determine, with a high degree of accuracy, whether someone is following you or whether you are under hostile surveillance. You should have a pre-planned repertoire of these techniques for your regular routes, together with the safe havens that go with them. Here are some techniques: Channeling: Traveling down a route, such as a stretch of highway with no alternative routes, forces surveillance to follow you. Long tunnels and bridges are also good channels. Stops: Stopping at a safe haven (see below) can force hostiles to reveal themselves, while keeping you safe. Reversals: Like stops, force surveillance to change their behavior and reveal themselves. Linked turns – the ultimate detection weapon: On a straightaway route, make a right, a left, and a left that takes you back to the original route. Any car you saw before doing this maneuver that you see again after, is absolutely, positively following you!
Attack Recognition Civilized people are often paralyzed by denial in an imminent attack situation. “This couldn’t be happening – there must be another explanation” is not a useful response. Trust your intuitions! Any unexplained attempt to pace or overtake you is a potential attack, and must be given your complete attention. Any unexplained attempt to stop you – especially at a choke point - is an attack. Once you have detected surveillance and are headed for a safe haven, any attempt to impede you is an attack.
Escape Techniques Motion, preferably at high speed, is your most effective tool. Stopping – except at a safe haven – is to be avoided. Even badly damaged cars are usually driveable, at least long enough to get you out of trouble. Being “run off the road” is less likely than most people think. There are techniques for this, but they take skill, training and practice. Keep going! If the way ahead is blocked or you are paced side-by- side by a hostile vehicle (see attack recognition), brake hard in a straight line, perform a J-turn, and escape at high speed in the opposite direction. Know the territory! Do not use unknown routes (which could be dead-ends) for escapes.
SAFE HAVENS Safe havens are places you can escape to after detecting hostile surveillance or an attack. They – and the fastest routes to them - should be linked to the places you have chosen as surveillance detection opportunities (channels, stops, linked turns). The best safe havens are places where there is a 24/7 security presence. Police stations are the obvious first choice, but hospitals, military bases, fire stations, and secure industrial sites are also good. In your normal area of operation, you should know all of the available safe havens and how to get to them quickly. Remember, in this situation you have the upper hand because you know what you are going to do – the hostiles don’t. On arriving at a safe haven, pull right to the door (forget the parking rules) and go inside.
Intuition: A Final Word “Surveillance Paranoia” is common, especially when you’re first starting out. HOWEVER: It is also true that the “feeling” we sometimes get of being followed is absolutely accurate; the information is still in our subconscious. You should not ignore these intuitions. Use your techniques to verify or negate them. Finally, try to see things through the eyes of potential hostile surveillance: In their shoes, what would I be doing?