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August 26, 2020

The In’s and Out’s of Counter Surveillance

It is very important to make one essential point clear upfront. The operational habits that the majority of frequently exposes a person planning a criminal or terrorist act to scrutiny by the designated target are security. Other portions of the planning procedure can be conducted somewhere else, specifically in the age of the Internet, when so much info is offered online. 

In military terms, security is typically called reconnaissance, and in a criminal context it is typically referred to as casing or scoping out. Environmental activist and animal rights groups trained by the Commotion Society describe it as “scouting.” No matter what terms are being utilized for the activity, it is implied to achieve the same goal: examining a possible target for value, vulnerabilities, and prospective security steps. 

The quantity of time devoted to the criminal security process will differ, depending upon the kind of criminal offense and the type of criminal involvement. A crook who runs like an ambush predator, such as a purse-snatcher, may lie in wait for an appropriate target to come within striking range. This is similar to a crocodile lying in a watering hole waiting on an animal to come and get a beverage. 

On the other extreme are the crooks who behave more like stalking predators. Such a criminal is like a lion on the savannah that thoroughly examines the herd and picks a susceptible animal believed to be the most convenient to remove. A lawbreaker who operates like a stalking predator, such as an abductor or terrorist, might choose a suitable target and after that take a day or even weeks to follow the target, assess its vulnerabilities and determine if the possible take is worth the danger. 

Naturally, there are lots of other bad guys who fall someplace in the middle, and they might take anywhere from a few minutes to numerous hours enjoying a prospective target. Despite the time spent observing the target, all crooks will perform this monitoring and they are vulnerable to detection throughout this time. 

The simple reality is that these individuals are able to manage with such a bad level of surveillance tradecraft since most victims merely are not trying to find them. And this is where we connect the discussion back into recently’s Security Weekly. Many people do not practice situational awareness. 

It offers them time to prevent an immediate risk and get in touch with the authorities. The behavior an individual requires to outwardly show in order to master the art of security tradecraft is called an excellent demeanor. Great behavior is not intuitive. In fact, the things one has to do to maintain great behavior often run counter to human nature. 

Monitoring is an abnormal activity, and an individual doing it needs to deal with strong sensations of self-consciousness and of running out place. Feeling “burned” will cause surveillants to do abnormal things, such as suddenly ducking back into a doorway or reversing abruptly when they all of a sudden come face to face with the target. People unskilled in the art of surveillance discover it challenging to manage this natural response. Even knowledgeable security operatives sometimes have the feeling of being burned; the distinction is they have actually gotten a great deal of training and they are better able to manage their response and resolve it. 

In addition to doing something unnatural or foolish when feeling burned, another very typical error made by beginners when performing surveillance is the failure to enter proper “character” for the task or, when in character, appearing in places or bring out activities that are incongruent with the character’s “costume.” The terms used to describe these role-playing aspects of surveillance are “cover for status” and “cover for action.” Cover for status is a person’s purported identity in his outfit. 

Cover for action discusses why the individual is doing what she or he is doing why that person has actually been standing on that street corner for half an hour. The function of utilizing great cover for action and cover for status is to make the existence of the individual carrying out the security look regular and normal.