- I am the webmaster of a site detailing who and how police use surveillance. My website address is http://www.geocities.com/zippy682/index.htmlMessage 1 of 1 , Apr 10, 2008View Source
I am the webmaster of a site detailing who and how police use surveillance. My website address is
My counter surveillance club is
All police officers, including all Probation staff are taught all the aspects of body language and how to control it. They then display certain aspects to you to make you think that they are not controlling they body language. A good example of this is bbcnewsarticle when an undercover officer meets with a paedophile in prison who is trying to arrange a contract killing of a child. This would have been a particularly disgusting case for the officer, however he controlled all of his body language and displayed the appropriate body language e.g. he would have smiled at the right things. Surveillance officers are police officers who have undergone surveillance training and are fully able to control all their body language. If they were not able to and they were covertly doing surveillance on someone who they didn't want to know they were following them they would quickly find out. There are always plenty of news stories of suspected criminals being under surveillance for months, even years and who didn't know. (One example bbcnewsarticle). One high profile example is the recent Al-Qaeda terrorist planning groups in England who were planning on carrying liquid bombs onto planes. They were under surveillance for about a year and never knew it. A suspected internet paedophile was put under surveillance and was unaware of it until he was arrested bbcnewsarticle.
By people involves typically 60 different officers per day. bbcnewsarticle (towards the bottom) However this can be increased if necessary. These highly trained people are in complete control of their body language, so anything that you see is deliberate. Surveillance creates a controlled environment around the subject and normally they will not allow the subject to do/get away with committing any crime. There is no way around surveillance as is detailed on this website.
(Based on an average county's police authority's council tax leaflet). In an average county of about 4,000 staff, about 2,000 are police officers and about 2,000 are civilian staff. 1,500 of these civilian staff are surveillance officers and about 500 are the officers in charge working shifts over a 24 hour period who watch whats happening and coordinate the surveillance. Having 1,500 surveillance officers equates to having 150 people under 24 hour surveillance per day. This is broken down into about 100 under 24 hour suveillance and about 50 equivalent to 24 hour surveillance but represents many people under periodic surveillance of about 200 people. The costs of this equibalent to 150 people being under 24 hour surveillance is about £8,000,000 per year. The cost to have one person under surveillance 24 hours per day is about £300,000 per year (based only on surveillance officers). The cost to have someone under surveillance 1 day per week is about £55,000 per year as there is always a standing charge of the two officers in charge working shifts over a 24 hour period of about £50,000 per year. Assuming 10 police stations are in the county, 10 people will be under 24 hour surveillance and 5 is for the periodic surveillance of many people. There will be about 30-50 police vechiles per police station which works out at about 300-350 police vechiles per county. With about 300 people under 24 hour and periodic surveillance that makes about 300 dedicated police cars.
The question that remains is why spend so much on surveillance officers when the job is nearly obsolete? The answer is that if they stopped using them people would realize about the technology being used and they don't want that to happen.
There are three main types of surveillance by people. Officers conducting surveillance semi covertly letting the subject know that they are under surveillance which can continue for years before it becomes periodic. Periodic surveillance starts with about a month of semi covert surveillance, making the subject think that that is how it is done and then they do it more covertly and periodically so that the subject is unaware of when he/she is under surveillance. The lowest level of surveillance is by bugs and tracer only and does not involve any periodic surveillance.
Surveillance officers are normally average and ordinary looking. If you are under surveillance covertly and they don't want you to know then you will not spot it. All you will see is some normal looking people within view of you some of, to most, to all of the time.
The way that surveillance works is that each surveillance officer has a covert in the ear earpiece
spyarticle (last sentence of first paragraph saying that these are used by surveillance).
article available to buy privately, in particular, note the expensive small black earpiece.
...which allows them to hear the bug on you and the officer in charge. They are all co-ordinated by the officer in charge and therefore achieve perfect timings. For example they might create an open road for 10 seconds to make you think you have temporarily lost them. Another example is if they think you want to rob elderly people then when you are walking about and coincidently come across an elderly man then they might back off their surveillance and just after you pass them put lots of surveillance officers and cars past you. The idea being to make you think that you're not under surveillance at that time so that you offend and then straight afterwards they catch you.
Surveillance by police officers can look as real as they want it to. They need to be able to have someone under surveillance without them knowing e.g. if they are following a suspect they think might be committing robberies. However if you think you are under surveillance then it is because they are deliberately doing it less covertly. This is done to convince that you are so good at counter surveillance that you can easily spot surveillance. The truth is that when they don't want you to know you are under surveillance in any given situation or at any given time they do it more covertly so you don't realise you're actually still under surveillance. The idea is basically to catch you out before they waste too much money putting you under surveillance.
When someone is under surveillance, it is made up of three parts. One part is a covert audio bug BBCnewspanorama (look under Peter Clarke), which is linked to a control centre and a dedicated police car. A recent tabloid newspaper headline stated that 38 out of 40 UK police officers are not available to respond to 999 calls. This will be becuase the rest are on dedicated surveillance.(Wikipediaarticle stating that some UK police cars are used as surveillance vehicles, point 8 towards top). I estimate that 1/2- 3/4 of a county's police cars are on dedicated surveillance duties. In addition covert tracers are used. (wikipediaarticle and BBCnewsarticle). One such tracer used is ultraviolet paint which shows up with a special camera. This takes about six months to wash off normally. To wash it off quicker one can use special paint wipes available from hardware stores. The other part is air surveillance including spy planes and even a helicopter which track the subject. The police can rent helicopters of any colour and typically favour the obvious black colour in daylight. Air surveillance includes the use of infrared cameras to see into the building that the subject is in. (Once in 2002 I was allowed to use one of the infared cameras that fire engines use to search for people in buildings in a demostration and I could see the other people standing on the other side of the fire engine). The third part is the more obvious use of surveillance officers.
LINKS UNDER CONSRUCTION FROM HERE
Armed surveillance can also be used. BBCnewsarticle (Look for Murder Suppression Team). They sometimes use normal vans but can look just like normal surveillance. You may have noticed too many vans going past you when walking about. This is to make you think that they only use obvious vans. They also use normal surveillance cars, normally evident by there being more then one person in the car. However the surveillance officer on their own on foot is indistinguishable to an armed surveillance officer. It may be interesting to you to note that the standard sidearm used by normal British armed police is the semi-automatic glock. This gun is lighter then a standard handgun, but the normal size. Glock also do a smaller version. In addition think about who could be looking down on you from the helicopter!
Police cars can also be used. If you have seen too many (and different) police cars going past you then they are doing this deliberately. They have to act proportionately so the more risky they view your behaviour the more police cars, sirens, etc you will experience. Obviously they have limited resources, the way it works is that your dedicated police car is wearing the earpiece linked to you, goes past you then becomes someone else's dedicated police car and someone else has the frequency changed to your frequency. In this way they have any number of police cars driving past you a day, by only tying up one car.
Audio bugs work by picking up the vibrations made when we talk. If you think something and breathe out at the same time there will be slight vibrations along your skull/jaw. This is picked up by current bugs. Bugs do not need contact with the outside world and are extremely small and can be hidden on or in anything. The only safe way to think things to yourself is to hear your voice in your head without letting it affect your breathing. The police will go to lengths to make you think that you're not bugged and then when you eventually find out that you are, they go to lengths to make you think that the bug is not that sensitive. (A recent terrorism police surveillance operation included bugging bbcnewsarticle). It has been admitted that surveillance uses bugging BBCnewspanorama (look under Peter Clarke). A BBC news article from 2004 admitting that surveillance includes "bugging" and "interference with property" and that the police are able to "enter property" BBCnewsarticle (middle of article). Covert cameras are also used to covertly video the subject. Telegrapharticle (Suspects of Stephen Lawrence's racist murder were covertly filmed holding knifes in an aggressive manner in their home. This clip was in fact shown on Five news with the mens' faces blurred out and from the position of the camera it was probably in the TV screen).