Here is a fascinating Facebook post by one of Australia’s great rural surveillance investigators based in Victoria. It gives some excellent insight into the challenges of working rural. This lady is a real character and we love reading her posts. We obtained her permission to share this post with you all. We’re sure city slickers will be enthralled.
FB Post – June 26, 2015
What are the chances? I arrive at my very rural location and there’s a suspiciously looking parked car parked up the road. So I wait a few hours and drive up to it and knock on the window. “working are we?” “Just waiting on the local”…. they reply. “Me too”….after we do the dance and feel each other out, turns out we are on the same job. Same job…..different clients ……hmmmmmm so I say “this could get interesting” lol.
Question from a fellow investigator: “So what is your trade secret for setting up a good surveillance spot on a rural road, flat land, no trees???”
Investigator’s response: There’s so many aspects and tools needed when working rural Debbie. The first thing to have; a convincing story to be in the area. Bird watching is lame. Don’t ever use it. We country folk are smarter than that. I have car magnets adverting land studies. Anything agriculture-related will pass the test of an interrogating farmer. 2) Know what you’re talking about when you have to talk. I grew up on farms, and worked Agriculture until 7 years ago, so I know about pesticides and red legged earth mites. When all else fails, and I’m out of my element, I use the student study pretext. And I ask all the questions. Farmers love to talk about their crops. Or I’ll say I’m looking for field mice or doing a mouse/spider study. Again, know what you’re talking about with spiders. People are so fascinated by a chick who’s hunting deadly spiders for research. Car magnets just back up your story. Number 3. LUCK and timing. You really only get one shot if you’re going in close to a farm address. You can park 5 kms away and they see you. That’s when I use my ‘Go hard and then go home, because you cant go back tactic’ LOL. And finally, there’s the ‘obtain the rego (if you’re lucky) and study the claimant. Then wait at the closest town tactic.
This is how my day starts.
1) Make up a reason to be there. Make it good because all farmers talk on walkie talkies. If one knows you’re there, they all know you’re there. Make gossip your friend.
2) Get the reg. If there’s action, Oops! my car breaks down there and then. Gives me an hour at least. If not, move away to a main road.
3) Wait in the most obvious town destination and cross your fingers.
Of course, none of this works if you don’t get a fix on the claimant’s personality. So I have to break it down again. Farmers are early birds. They only go to town once, maybe twice, a week. Maybe women might go 3 times if I’m lucky. So shopping days are always good. County shops don’t open until 9am, so hope that number 2 works for you between 7am and 9am. If there’s kids, get a fix on what school they might go to. Are there buses or does mum have to drop them off? Then one can simply wait at the school instead of risking a high exposure follow straight off the bat. Country kids actually drive on the dirt roads unaccompanied by adults at 12 years old to the bus stops here. Dad gives them an old bomb to drive, so don’t park near those spots.