You must always be on the lookout for surveillance and here are a few simple drills which are used by government agencies that will help you identify anyone who is watching you. Adapt them to your situation and think of other ways you could identify anyone who may be watching you.
When on the street, turn around and walk back the way you have come; remember the people you walk past or anyone that stops. Do this several times and if you see the same person more than once they may be following you.
Walk around a corner, stop, and remember the first few people that come after you. Again, do this several times and, if you see the same person more than once, they may be following you.
Escalators are a good aid to counter-surveillance because whilst ascending, you can have a good look around at who is behind you and when descending, you can see if anyone is following you.
Take special note of people waiting in parked cars, especially near your residence or office. Be especially suspicious of any unattended vans with blacked out windows parked close to your residence or office. Vans are the most common surveillance vehicles.
Jump on a bus, tram or metro and jump off one stop later and see if anyone else does the same. People usually don’t bother getting on a bus to go only 200 yards.
When you enter a residence or an office, covertly watch what goes on in the street you have just left. Look out for people waiting around to follow you when leave.
Walk across open spaces such as parks and squares and see if anyone is running around the outside of the park or square to keep up with you- they will have to do this because there is no cover for them in the open space.
Use reflections from windows and other surfaces to see who is behind you.
Look for people who look out of place or who are waiting in the same place for a long time, such as waiting at a bus stop without getting on any buses or someone in a suit in a casual bar.
Be aware of people waiting in a location by themselves, especially fit, young men with short hair. Chances are they are criminals or cops! Also be aware that professional surveillance teams usually consist of mixed couples in their 30’s to 50’s.
If you think someone is following you, do not acknowledge them, just slow down and stop to look in shop windows, or go into a café and have a coffee. If you still see the person, you are most probably under surveillance.
If you do not want to look directly at someone who could be following you, look at their feet and remember their shoes. Very few people wear the same shoes, check this out the next time you are out. If you keep seeing the same pair of shoes at various location, this person could be following you. Criminals following you may change their hair, jackets and pants etc. to try and disguise themselves but they rarely change their shoes.
If you think someone is following you check their dress to see if they could be concealing cameras or weapons. Are they always on their cell / mobile phone possibly describing your actions or taking photos. What does their body language say, do they look nervous or as if they a concentrating to much etc.
Be suspicious of unknown people who start conversations with you- they could be testing your reactions and personal security
Do not board trains or buses until the last minute; anyone boarding after you should be treated as suspect.
You need to be extra vigilant when attending any meetings. These could have been set up by the opposition to photograph you set you up or even kidnap you.
If you think the opposition is trying to get photos or video of you, meet in places where there is low light, like dark restaurants and stay in the shadows.
If you believe someone is trying to get audio recording of you, meet in a crowded bar and talk in whispers. The nose from the other people in the bar will cover your conversation.
To check whether the person whom you are meeting is under surveillance or not, turn up 5 minutes late and sweep the area for anyone suspicious.
Stop regularly to make telephone calls, or look shop windows as this will allow you to observe your surroundings and identify anyone who may be following you.
Use underground trains whenever available- radio and mobile phones don’t work underground.
Consider getting your client to walk / drive a route which is manned at regular intervals by PS team members. As the client passes the PS positions they would video all cars, people following or close to the client. If the same people, vehicles or people are spotted at various locations along the route, they could possibly have the client under surveillance.
You must make plans on what procedures you will carry out if you are under surveillance. These will depend on where you are and the threat that you are under.