Private Investigator Kit List
As with any trade, you must have the right tools for the right job. It’s no different for private investigators. You may think private investigators are equipped with all sorts of gadgets and gizmos, well we are! Depending on what field the private investigator works in, will determine what kit he or she stores in the armoury.
We have put together a list of equipment private investigators must have, and would like to have…
Handheld Video Camera
Although DSLR stills cameras are still widely used across the industry, video in our opinion is better and can be done more discreetly. The video camera must be a minimum of HD quality. There is no excuse for poor quality video these days with so many options available on the market. For newcomers, a good HD video camera can be picked up 2nd hand (nothing wrong with 2nd hand, as long as it works) for just a few hundred pounds. For the more invested operatives, we recommend the Panasonic HC-VXF1.
Covert Video Camera
There is an abundance of covert video cameras on the market available to private investigators (and anyone else), but again, the video must be a minimum of HD quality. Anything less than HD just look poor and unprofessional. Covert cameras come disguised in all manner of everyday items, and are highly effective when deployed correctly. Some of these items include.
Mobile phones (current models)
The list goes on and on. Be aware, there are lots of cheap Chinese manufacturers out there that flog this type of kit, and it’s not worth the box it is packaged in. We would always recommend purchasing Lawmate surveillance products. They are the most reliable bits of kit and produce the best quality video (that we know of).
Every private investigator needs some form of computer. With the level of video editing we do, the better the spec the better. We have our eyes on the new MacBook Pro with the M1 Pro chip, lovely! It’s not just for video editing though. We use computers for Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) gathering, reports, GDPR records, communications etc. Without a laptop or desktop, investigative work would be very difficult.
TSCM Bug Sweeping Device
Bug sweeping is a highly specialised area of investigative work in its own right. An investigator who specialise in the field is likely to spend thousands upon thousands of pounds of state of the art equipment designed for certain scenarios. That being said, there are far cheaper bug sweeping devices on the market that are still very effective at finding hidden devices that emit a signal. A cheaper device like this may be all an investigator needs to do the job, which is why it is always handy to have one in the tool kit. We recommend as a basic bug sweeping device, the Bug Detector - Profinder 1216i.
There is a boom in the industry with static (or drop and go) cameras. Technology with these cameras has come a long way recently and they are proving to be very effective on operations. We can conceal one of the small cameras pretty much anywhere with a cellular data signal and simply observe on our phones from the other side of the planet. There are lots of different options on the market, but we highly recommend the Reolink Go.
There is a world of spy kit out there which we could literally write a very thick book about. These are just a few items we feel most private investigators should have or should be planning to have.
For more information about the kit we use, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on 01933778426, we love talking kit! If you need to hire a private investigator Birmingham, get in touch with Sentry Investigations Ltd. We offer professional investigative services at affordable rates.