The Art of Discretion.

Our client hired us because she was convinced her husband of many, many years was cheating on her with one of his customers.

This client was an exception to many of our usual clients in this particular area.

She’d done most of the heavy-lifting in getting “reasonable grounds” to suspect all secured on her own before ever picking the phone up to us:

She’d been online and bought a ‘bug’ and recorded him making illicit arrangements with someone.

She’d snuck onto his business and personal bank accounts and logged all the suspicious purchases he’d made for romantic gifts.

She’d even hacked into his Facebook account and screenshot all the incriminating messages of him and his ‘lady friend’ along with which hotel in Northumberland they would be going to, when and for how long.

All she wanted from us was the so-called “money shot” – that photograph or video footage of the two of them together in a romantic embrace or acting as a couple.

For us, this was pretty ‘open and shut’. An ‘easy job’. A ‘midnight run’, if you will. We would put a very small team together, head up to the hotel ahead of their respective arrivals, clock them meeting, secure some footage and head off before anyone was any the wiser.

And so we’re up there, one working the exterior ready to ‘trigger’ arrivals and one in reception ready to log the meet-ups as the Facebook messages indicated… waiting and waiting. And waiting some more.

The target does not arrive. The mistress does not arrive.

We update the client of ‘no action to report’. The client immediately calls us up.

“Yeah, I didn’t think he’d show up after all.” she says.

“Why’s that?” we ask.

“We had a barnstormer of an argument last night,” she replies. “And I told him I was onto him. I told him I knew the name of his mistress. That I knew where he was going to meet her that weekend and how I had PIs ready to catch him at it too! He’d have been mad to show up knowing I had people waiting!”

We were incredulous. The client said she couldn’t help blurting everything out in anger and she regretted it. We asked her why she didn’t cancel us and her stance was simply she was going to end up invoiced for the operation at such short notice anyway so she thought she may as well get 100% proof after all if he was so brazen as to show up anyway.

What she ultimately missed out on though was the definitive photographic proof of adultery that could have made all the difference to her subsequent divorce. So our advice is this:

You don’t play your best round of ‘Hide & Seek’ by going up to the ‘Seeker’ before you get underway and tell them where you’re going to be hiding. With the same rationale, if you’re going to have someone placed under surveillance for a lawfully justifiable reason don’t TELL THEM you’ve placed them under surveillance for a lawfully justifiable reason… until you’ve, you know, actually done the surveillance first?