For the business, this trip to Amsterdam has been an unprecedented success. The target we followed here was intercepted and as per his wife's suspicions, we were able to document the affair he was having with a colleague, providing her with the information she needs to make an educated decision about where to take her life now. 

But as I stand here on the fifth floor of my hotel watching a line of aeroplanes bring tourists in, I can't help but feel sad for the people that live here, and more importantly, the people responsible forgiving Amsterdam the deserved reputation it has. 

Maybe I'm just getting old, or maybe I have watched the movie Taken too many times but as I walked through the red light district last night watching the thousands of people enjoying the spectacle of the working girls plying their trade behind their red lit windows, I couldn't help but wonder how many of those girls truly chose to be there. Of course, there will be some who enjoy the money they make doing what they do but I am quite sure that these few will make up the very small minority as I am also quite sure that they don't get to keep all of the money they make. 

I come to this conclusion not by looking at the girls, nor by looking at the tourists they attract but by looking at the groups of men standing on the corners watching how the girls work, how many men they talk to and how many men they go on to entertain. After each visit, One of these corner dWelling men will call on the girls, stay for just a few moments and leave returning to the corner from whence they came. As they are not punters and nor do they seem to be security or police, one can only assume that they are pimps, and thus I wonder how much control these girls actually have over their own destinies. Are they there through choice or are they paying off the debt to finance the dream they had when they left their home cities? 

Of course, this is all conjecture but still, as I stand watching the planes coming in I can't wait to head to the airport and get on one to get out. 

Happy Valentines Day?

As January gently fades away taking the memories of Christmas with it, we move ever closer to the next most anticipated date in the cheaters calendar - Valentines day. Here, the skills of juggling the balls of deceit are truly tested as cheaters around the world desperately try and formulate a plan that will allow them to spend time with their spouses AND their lovers.

Cash flow needs to be managed to allow the secret withdrawal of funds from the joint bank account and for the truly daring, nights away holed up in a travel lodge somewhere supposedly working on phantom corporate projects need to be arranged. And lets remember that one can't simply announce that they will be away around the 14th if the hammer of suspicion is to be kept away; No, our cheater has to start laying the groundwork for VDAY: Part II months in advance. And even then its not over: Bank statements have to be intercepted as the postman delivers, receipts have to be disposed of, alibis have to be reinforced and god forbid you have to try and remove makeup stains from fresh white shirt collars.

All in all, the whole Valentines day period can be a very stressful one for our cheater so if you see two people with mismatched wedding rings sitting together somewhere romantic on the 14th, remember to congratulate them on their planning prowess....

The problem with affordable surveillance equipment

A top doctor's perverse campaign of voyeurism unravelled when he accidentally filmed himself on one of the James Bond-style hidden cameras he rigged to watch his victims on the toilet. Depraved NHS consultant Dr Lam Hoe Yeoh, 62, spent three years filming more than 1,000 patients, colleagues, friends and even children as young as three in intimate moments with tiny recording devices concealed in watches, pens and hearing aid boxes.

The world-renowned hearing specialist fed his obsession by using cameras hidden in lavatories at NHS and private hospitals across Britain, his offices, the bathrooms at his £750,000 detached home in Banstead, Surrey, and even trains as he travelled to appointments. But Yeoh was caught red-handed when one of the devices fell off a toilet at a Surrey hospital and a colleague found it. Police later seized tape which accidentally recorded him peering into a spycam as he tried to attach it in footage that would eventually seal his conviction.

Today Judge Warwick McKinnon at Croydon Crown Court condemned Yeoh's 'nefarious and despicable actions' as pictures of the high-tech devices he used in his perverted spying were released by police.

Sentencing him to the 'substantial' jail term of eight years in prison, of which he will serve five years before being released on licence, he said:  'The sheer scale, the gravity, the ingrained and compulsive behaviour demonstrated by the offences is significantly important. 'You are considered a high risk to the public.
'(Had you not been caught), I have no doubt that this prolific offending on a hitherto unprecedented scale would have continued.' One of Yeoh 's victims waved sarcastically as the shamed doctor was led from the court to begin the sentence. 

Speaking outside court, police said Yeoh was 'one of the most prolific non-contact offenders ever investigated'.
Victims as young as three were discovered on a secret stash of 1,100 images and video files hidden in Yeoh's home in Garratts Lane, Banstead, following his arrest on April 14. The disgraced physician was bent double in the dock as he heard his fate, and there were gasps from the public gallery, which was packed with victims, including nurses and doctors, as the sentence was read out. Police discovered Yeoh had inadvertently filmed himself installing it and searches of his offices and home revealed he had amassed a collection of footage.
Investigators said it would take at least two years to examine the huge hoard of digital material on 17 computers, laptops, external hard-drives and memory sticks.

In a sinister twist, the doctor created compilations of his colleagues using the toilets and carefully labelled them with their names, actions and the date. He also edited together footage of him interviewing patients with intimate shots from the toilet, including in some cases images shot from multiple cameras. One of his closest colleagues was unwittingly filmed more than 300 times. Prosecutor Peter Clement said: 'This was a sophisticated, organised, planned and long-running campaign of voyeurism, the scale of which was vast.

'It was beyond anything previously encountered by the Metropolitan Police. His voyeurism targeted colleagues, friends, patients and patients' children, male and female. His intention was sinister, indecent and criminal.
'He grossly abused the very high degree of trust placed in him as a consultant physician as well as a friend and colleague.'
Yeoh worked as a consultant vestibular physician, specialising in hearing complaints such as tinnitus, vertigo and dizziness, after coming to Britain from Malaysia aged 25. He rose through the ranks to become an honorary senior lecturer, expert High Court witness and director of two companies. His two daughters attend Cambridge University and the family were known to neighbours as respected professionals and devout Christians.
But his career came crashing down when a camera was found in a communal toilet at the privately run St Anthony's Hospital, in Cheam, Surrey, on April 14. When police confronted Yeoh, he said: 'Will I go to jail? I was so stupid, don't tell my family. It's not serious – I can't go to jail.'They found 23 covert cameras, which were disguised as computer memory sticks, pens and watches, including three hidden in hearing aid boxes in his car. 
A memory stick he was carrying on a lanyard around his neck when he was arrested carried a short film entitled: 'Cardiff train teenager.'

Computer experts found that Yeoh had used the cameras to film at medical facilities including the private Portland Hospital, in central London, St Helier Hospital and clinics in Exeter, Nottingham, Sutton, and Thames Ditton, Surrey.

Hours of footage was also captured on trains, including a girl, believed to be just three years old. Other victims included friends and colleagues who were invited to his home for social events. Police were able to identify only 32 victims, many of them staff at St Anthony's Hospital. There are at least a further 1,084 unknown victims. Yeoh gave detailed labels to the recordings, which included phrases such as 'sweet young teen' and 'thin young blonde, Exeter'. In mitigation, Yeoh's barrister said he was an obsessive 'collector' who recorded so much material he was unable to view it all.Yeoh admitted seven counts of voyeurism, six charges of making an indecent image of a child and one of possessing extreme pornography. 

Yeoh, who spent much of the hearing weeping with his head bowed and his left hand splayed firmly across his face, showed no emotion as he was led into custody. Speaking outside court, Detective Constable Aaron Moon praised the victims for coming forward. He said: 'I would like to thank all the victims for their fortitude, I would also like to thank the many other hard-working and dedicated health professionals across the south east and around the country that have been affected by this case.
Yeoh admitted seven counts of voyeurism, six charges of making an indecent image of a child and one of possessing extreme pornography

'With images of people filmed in consultations and lavatories, his footage is truly appalling and abhorrent.
'It has had an enormous detrimental impact on everyone we have spoken to who has come into contact with him.
'It seems he has had no regard or respect for anyone he has come into contact with for many years.'
Mr Moon added: 'We believe he (Yeoh) is one of the most prolific non-contact offenders ever investigated by the Metropolitan Police or any other police force in the country.

'But now the lie he has led for many years has been exposed and he has been forced to answer for his actions.' The judge gave Yeoh limited credit for his guilty plea, but said he considered him a danger to the public.

Yeoh was given an eight-year term for six counts of making an indecent image of a child, of which five years would be served before being released on licence.
He was given 17-month jail sentences for five counts of voyeurism, nine-month terms for two further counts of a similar nature, and a nine-month sentence for possessing extreme pornography.

All sentences will be served concurrently, meaning he will spend five years in prison.

He must also sign the Sex Offenders' Register upon release. Yesterday the court heard Yeoh had applied to be struck from the medical register. Outside court, victims said they were 'relieved' the ordeal was over.

In carrying out his well-organised campaign of making opportunistic images of both adults and children, Dr Yeoh abused his position of trust for his own sexual gratification.

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Are we born to cheat?

While cheating spouses who get caught are never short of excuses, scientists may have just given them another one after research showed infidelity could be inherited.

Researchers from the University of Queensland found that 63 per cent of unfaithful behaviour in men and 40 per cent in women could be put down to genetic interference.

The team even identified a single gene in women, variations of which could make them more likely to cheat on a partner.
Scientists examined data from 7,300 twins aged 18 to 49, all of whom were in long-term relationships at the time.
Of that sample, 9.8 per cent of men and 6.4 per cent of women had been with two or more sexual partners in the 12 months before the survey.

The team compared data between identical twins, who share all their genetic material, and non-identical twins, whose genetic material differs, it was reported by the Sunday Telegraph.

Genetic modelling was then used to determine how much of the difference was down to genes. Dr Brendan Zietsch, from the university's school of psychology and leader of the study, said: 'Our research clearly shows that people's genetic make-up influences how likely they are to have sex with someone outside their main partnership.

'Isolating specific genes is more difficult because thousands of genes influence any behaviour and the effect of any individual gene is tiny. 'But we did find tentative evidence for a specific gene influencing infidelity in women.' 

Read more:

Finding out too late....

We found this story on the web this morning and wanted to share it with you. It's a pretty graphic account by a lady detailing the day she found her husband in bed with another women...


Okay, this is very long, but I need to tell someone About this because I have no one to talk to, it could be pretty graphic too (sorry) I just made this account to talk to people, I made other accounts on other websites too 

My husband and I have been married for 2 years now, he is 22 and I am 23, we have a 10 month old son

I was at work and he was home with the baby, I came home a little early from work and there as a car sitting outside the house, I thought nothing of it, just that it was a friend. Came inside, heard noises, I went upstairs quietly and just remember thinking "no way. This is not happening. I'm dreaming. This is a sick dream" I pushed the bedroom door open and he was in bed with some woman, she was holding onto his arms, and they were red and sweaty, it was really passionate sex (the kind he never has with me.) and I was standing in complete shock

It was unprotected too and he just looked at me and kept going and said "um hi." Then I ran downstairs and I heard him swear and come after, I was down in the kitchen crying and he came in naked, still aroused, I shouted "how did you do this to me?" And he grabbed me and just held me while I cried. Then SHE came down naked too and looked at me and said 

"Your are SUCH a baby!" and I shouted "who are you??" She ignored me and said "he finds you boring in bed." Then she walked out, gets her clothes and gets in the car, I go after and shout "how could you sleep with my husband, she ignored me and drove off. 

He told me she was 44 and a divorcee and that she had a son. I can't look at him all I see is her holding onto his arms and I almost vomit my guts up, it's like a gag reflex kicks in. 

It's not the first time, he has now told me he slept with her twice at her house while they locked her 6 year old son in the living room so he wouldn't walk in on them!!!

My mother in law asked me if me and him had had sex one morning a few weeks ago I said no and she had a funny look on her face, now I know because she has now said she came over and he was upstairs smelling of sex and the bed was messy, he told her it was me and him, so it was obviously a LIE and she was in OUR marriage bed again. 

It breaks me heart even more because he did it all while our son was next door in his cot. And now his friend JUST revealed that when he was away on a business trip, they went out to a club and some model tried to seduce him but he refused, she told him her hotel room incase he wanted to sleep with her. So basically, he WALKED to her hotel room, knocked on her door and slept with her. Then came home and acted lovey dovey to me. 

Also, we were playing monopoly with his nephew and I said to him "you're such a cheat." And he looked at me and said "what do you mean" really fast. I just said that he was cheating on the game, then he laughed really hard and said "I am a dirty little cheat aren't I?" A voice inside me head went "hmmmmm" but I just thought "no my husband would never cheat on me ever!"

We have not talked about what has happened in ages, we just go about our life, sometime I cry and he just ignores me one, one night he asked if I wanted "to make love" I said ok, but the moment we started, SHE flashed in my mind and I saw her holding onto his arms while they had really passionate sex, he NEVER has that kind of sex with me, I started crying and he ignored me and just finished off. 

Sorry for the long description! Had to let it out, I told my mum what he did, and she and dad is coming over to have a chat with him, I told him this and he looked like he had **** his pants. I know he is scared of my dad, VERY scared of him. He's been acting weird today and hardly talking because he knows he will get it from my dad tonight. Sorry I had to let this out, I have no one to talk to, only him but ever time I look at him I see them I'm bed together, on my side of the bed too!!! 

Taken from

Buying GPS Equipment? Beware...!

We see a lot of technology in our industry - GPS trackers, room bugs, counter surveillance equipment etc. A lot of it is very good and does exactly what it is supposed to do but unfortunately as the world becomes an ever increasing free (and small) market place, we also see a lot of rubbish.

Typing 'GPS vehicle tracker' into Google brings up a myriad of results. Thousands of companies around the world tout their wares and it truly seems like there are options for every pocket to be had by shopping around. But GPS trackers (like most spy equipment) shouldn't be cheap. There is a reason for the massive price gap between products and all too often, we have seen operations go catastrophically wrong when people buy cheap.

There is a lot of technology that goes into those little black boxes. They have to be rugged enough to survive under a car in the harshest environments yet small enough to be covert. They have to have a big enough battery to last the duration and be able to get a clear signal without having a line of sight to the sky.

Over the years, we have seen trackers that:

1) Need to be stuck to the roof of a car to work - not very covert!
2) Have batteries that last for just a couple of days before dying in the field
3) Send text messages back with longitude and latitude co-ordinates that you then have to translate
4) Beep or ring every time you request a location (seriously!)
5) Fall off if the target goes over a bump
6) Have only been accurate to around 500 feet
7) Come with no tracking console so you have no way to know where the device is!

In short, we have seen every type of tracker failure imaginable and if you buy cheap, the list above is what you are going to get. So what sets our trackers apart?

1) Our trackers can survive for up to a year on a single battery charge
2) You can track our devices in live time, seeing a moving map on your phone or PC
3) Our devices are small enough to be covert, yet powerful enough to be buried deep under a car and still send back clear signals
4) Our trackers are accurate to within about 6 feet anywhere on the planet

So, if you are thinking about using or buying a GPS tracker, contact us first!

As frightening as it gets...

We very rarely have reason to be scared doing the job we do, after all, we are covert and not many people actually see us doing it. That said, there are times when we go into a situation not knowing quite how we are going to come out of it. Last night saw us in one of those times...

It was to be a very simple tracker collection. The client, now finished with the device, had removed it from her car and left it for us attached to her friends car just a few miles away in the Abbey Wood area of London. The theory behind doing this was that we could collect the tracker in the early evening with no fear of being spotted by the target.

If you know London, you may know that Abbey Wood is one of the more densely populated areas south of the river and is made up of many apartment buildings and high rise flats. Very close to Thamesmead, it is considered one of the more dangerous pockets of the city. Just last week, Police were called to a Stabbing on Wolvercote Road in the area. What we didn't know as we set out last night was that Wolvercote Road is in the very estate we were heading to (next to our collection address in fact) and tensions were still very high.

Pulling into our destination street, we scanned the area for the small parking lot connected to the flats we were heading for. We saw a group of people before we saw the car park. Spread across the road in front of us were around 10 or 15 of them, gathered around cars, listening to blaring music and drinking. They spread into small an area behind some flats where the main group (about 40 men and women) were hanging out. In the middle of the group was the car we were supposed to be taking the tracker off. Handy.

We accessed our options. Do we turn away and head back to MK empty handed with nothing to show for our 3 hour round trip, or do we just get on with it and dump our stereotypical fear that we were just about to be stabbed? As it transpired, the decision was made for us as before long we were noticed as the only white faces and the group began moving around the car, blocking our route out.

Swallowing hard, we got out of the car and walked towards our target vehicle. Whispers and nudges narrated our short journey through the throng of people. Still, we kept our heads held high and walked with confidence towards our prize, Pausing only briefly to detach our tracker from the car, we turned and walked back towards our vehicle. The silence at this point was deafening as around 40 sets of eyes burned into our backs. Trying to use my peripheral vision to identify threats without turning around, I stayed tense ready for the attack the Daily Mail had told me would come but in just a few seconds, we were free of the main crowd and just a few steps from our car. Unlocking it remotely, i heard the shout i was dreading. 'Oi, Stay there'

I turned to see a young black guy breaking free from the crowd and striding towards us. Anyone who hadn't spotted by then had by now, and the tension descended down like a fog.

'What the f*ck are you doing with the car?' He demanded

This is the point where pre-planning is everything. I had asked the client what her friends name was and this seemed to be my get out jail free card.

'Just picking up something that ******** had left for us, she's in flat 3'

The guys aggression faded almost instantly and his hands relaxed by his side

'Oh ok mate, no problem, sorry' He said as he made his way back the group. And that was it. No stabbing and no public execution, but still, the single scariest GPS collection to date.

How does a GPS tracker work?

By far the most effective tactical equipment we use (that is to say a machine rather than a man!) are GPS tracking devices. These clever little black boxes allow our Agents to take a step back during surveillance while still knowing exactly where a target is.

In terms of working an operation, this obviously makes the whole thing safer (as the team don't need to be right on the tail of a target) but also makes things considerably cheaper. Whereas historically a team would have to observe a client 24/7 to get a detailed picture of his or her movements, they can now work 'reactively' using the intelligence supplied by the tracker to decide what is and isn't worth looking at.

So how do these devices work?

Basically put, they use a SIM card (as found in mobile phones) to send GPS data over the phone networks to a central server. We (and our clients) can then access this server via a webpage to see exactly where the device is using a password unique to that target and their case. They are accurate to around 10 feet anywhere on the planet and never sleep, thus never missing a potential lead!

The devices themselves are about the size of your palm and are attached to the target vehicle using two very strong magnets (and no, we haven't ever had one fall off!) They are completely self contained with a battery that can offer up to six months of tracking from a single charge. Attaching them to the car takes just a few seconds and tracking commences immediately.

Logging onto the tracking console (shown below) our clients can sit back and watch the vehicle move around in live time and get an updated location at intervals from 5 seconds to 6 hours. We can highlight potential danger areas (mistresses house?) and the tracker will text us automatically to tell us when the target goes there. We can also put the tracker to sleep or change the settings remotely to make sure that the tracking data we get is as accurate and relevant as is possible.

Basically put, if you are cheating on your partner, these devices are your worst nightmare but if you are one of our clients, they might just give you the answers that have eluded you for so long. Priced from just £250 per week for the 1st week and £125 for each subsequent week after that, finding out the truth was never so easy!

When did this become acceptable?

When did having an affair become a socially acceptable, even promoted activity in our society? Recently, through an operation, we had the misfortune of having to subscribe to a website that gave married people an environment in which to meet others for infidelity. There was no glossing over what people were there for - in fact their website tagline is 'Life is short. Have an affair' and if their figures are to be believed, there are just shy of 30,000,000 people in the world that agree with them.

Looking through the profiles (who are mainly desperate looking men trying to regain some of their lost youth while fighting a receeding hairline and ever increasing waistline, or 40 something pouting women chasing their secondary school skin glow in vain) it is sad to see how many people value their marriages so little. No one attempts to hide the fact that they are married (there is a category on the site for singles to meet singles) and in fact, many refer to their marriages in their profile bio's. They say they still love their partners but the flame has gone.

So what happened to the days when affairs 'just happened', the result of drunken office parties or a chance meeting with an old flame? When did our society decide that it was OK to just wake up one morning, get the kids ready for school, kiss your wife goodbye and then log on to meet some random desperado for a quick tryst in a Tesco's car park?

Surely, none of us are stupid enough to believe that marriages are all sunshine and fireworks, but when did it become OK to just stop trying to regain the love you once had for your partner and instead immediately start looking elsewhere for fun?

If i could, i would tell the members of these websites to grow-up. Once you get married and have children, its not all about you any more (see this post) and there is more at stake than a quick pump to your under inflated ego.

You took a vowel when you said 'I do'.

Either have the guts to leave your family and go it alone (if that's what you really want to do) or toughen up, go home, delete your online cheating profile and focus on making it better with your partner. The other option is that your partner gets suspicious, calls us, we monitor EVERYTHING you do on your PC, phone and tablet and you get busted.

How to pick the right Private Investigator

We have been in this business for many years, and during that time we have seen companies come and companies go. Some leave little or no trace, others make a small impact and then just vanish into the ether when their owners find the work a little too taxing.

During our day to day operations, we come across these companies regularly. They mystery shop us almost weekly to find what we are offering that they aren't (its amazing how many follow our consultation procedures almost word for word!) how much we charge and what we're doing right that they aren't.

Surfing the web, its almost impossible to decide who to avoid and who to talk to based on websites alone (even the most shambolic company can have an impressive web presence) and it also now seems to be the norm for 'middle men' to promote themselves as your local PI, even when they are based hundreds of miles away and simply farm your job out to whoever is available.

One example of this can be seen by doing a simple search for our area. The words Private Investigator Milton Keynes when typed into Google should give you results for, well, private investigators in Milton Keynes right?! Wrong! The first two companies to appear in the list are these dreaded middle men, farming out your jobs to local agencies you haven't heard of and charging you twice as much for the privilege. Try it, click here and have a look 

So, how do you know who to call and who to choose? Here's a quick checklist to help:

Does their web address contain which ever city you happen to type in? i.e http://p************ Chances are this is a middle man registering domain names country wide to try and corner the market. You will pay well over the odds and wont actually know who is running your operation

Do they answer the phone with their company name? 
No? That's because they are answering calls from all over the country from many different websites and cant risk letting you find out. Try asking them who they are when they answer - they wont tell you!

Do they answer the phone at all? 
Are they there when they say they are or are they simply running a part time business and working full time during the day

Are they considerably more expensive or cheaper than other companies you have phoned? It is generally accepted that surveillance costs around £45 to £55 per hour, give or take a little either way. If a company are charging something hugely different to this - why?

Do they bad mouth other companies you say you have spoken to?
This is unprofessional in any industry and should give you a good idea of the sort of people you are speaking to

Are they a cash only (or bank transfer) Agency?
A modern professional company should have the facility to accept your payment by debit or credit card, and that payment should go into a corporate bank account. If someone insists you pay by cash or bank transfer, move on.
Do they take time to find out what your problem is?
If you phone up a PI Agency and ask how much and investigation will cost, a good agency wont be able to tell you. That is because a good agency will take time to find out what you need and tailor a solution to you. If they don't take the time to get to know your situation, how can they possibly expect to be able to help you?
    Are they friendly, courteous and professional on the phone?
    This is really a bit of a no brainer - in which ever industry you are spending money, you should be treated with respect and courtesy. If the call starts out badly and the Agent is rude or short with you on the phone, would you really trust them to look after you? (You might think this is a bit of a given, but we recently spoke to a competitor who almost shouted at one of our clients on the phone when he asked for a quote...Test them out: you can find them on Google in the first 5 companies to appear here!)

    How long have they been in business?
    This can be a tricky area as all companies were new once. That said, do you really want to be their test case or would you rather work with a company that have already proved themselves?

    Are they happy to come and see you?
    No? Hmmmmm......

    Are you given the name and direct dial number of the lead Agent looking after your case?
    How will you know who to contact with vital information while your case is running? If you cant even get a name of someone to speak to, how can they look after you?

    Can you find details of their company on the web, other than their website?
    A good Private Investigator will have strong links to the community and will have had their work featured in the press over the years. Take a look at Black Cat in the news here and see how many people we have helped!

    Of course, the most powerful tool in your box is your instinct. If something seems wrong with an Agency - move on. If you feel you are being sold to or that the person simply sees you as a number - move on.

    Or, simply call any of the team at Black Cat Investigations and we can show you how its done!

    It's not just you anymore...

    Among the hours of dross piped through the TV into our homes each night, every now and then we see something that makes us think. Last night was one of those occasions.

    Flicking through the channels, I came across a documentary following the lives of children going through the education system in East London. Much of the show was focused around the inane banter, successes and failures of our next generation, but one child stood out. Struggling in mainstream classes, the child had already been excluded from one school for bad behaviour before arriving at our shows destination.

    The crew followed him over the weeks as he swore at and fought with teachers, disrupted lessons and the work of those around him and went from stand-off to stand-off as the school days went on. For long periods, he was absent from school altogether with his mother unable to get him to attend. The head teacher worked tirelessly with the boy himself and his parents to get him back on track - but it was all in vain. Following a week of absence and then a refusal to leave a class when asked by a teacher after yet another incident of bad behaviour, the decision was made to remove him from the school and try and get him enrolled in a local college that specialised in helping children with special needs.

    I am pretty sure you have a mental image by now of what this child looked, spoke and acted like. But you would be wrong. This child was well presented, well spoken and generally well liked by his peers and in fact the teachers (when he behaved!). He was passionate about poetry and showed real flair when presenting Shakespeare to his classmates. He was intelligent and able to apply himself yet, frequently, he flew off the handle and completely broke down.

    Take a moment to think about what affliction would cause his behaviour. ADHD, Asperger's, depression, bullying....What's your diagnosis?

    This child was suffering from Divorce. He talked opening about the separation of his parents on Christmas day and about how his father leaving had affected him. He talked about how his mother cries and sometimes struggles to cope. His older and younger sisters also attended the school and the program showed them comforting each other during breaks. He talked about how angry he gets when he thought about how his parents have ruined their lives after 20 years of marriage. He told the camera crew that sometimes its all he could think about...

    Before their breakup, this child was just another normal student.

    When you have a family, you make a commitment to them that you will provide them with a stable home-life. That you will show them what a loving relationship is and that you will help them day to day to be the best people they can be. A divorce destroys that.

    Of course, there are cases where parents separate and the children sail through the breakup with few problems. Then there are the cases, like this one, where a separation has such a massive effect on a child that they self destruct, get thrown out of their school and end up in a special needs college. That special needs college may not offer the same opportunities that a mainstream school does and a child's very attendance there will taint their future. Employers may see the education history on a CV years later a decline jobs based on it. Universities may (and many do) exclude children who come from special needs schools.

    The child who's parent split up when he was just 12, may just feel the ripples of that every day of their lives.

    Think about it.

    Not without risks!

    Whilst we take every care not to get caught doing what we do, sometimes your fate seems to rest in the lap of the gods. Yes, we have a procedure for every type of job, a mental check list if you will, that we use in the field, but every now and then you are dealt a curve ball that leaves you a little breathless to say the least...

    The road was busy. This is a major UK city after all and thus nothing ever truly stops. Cars were parked on either side but all seemed locked down for the night, ready to serve their owners a few hours from now during the morning commute to offices, factories and shop across the city. Pedestrian traffic was zero save for a few late night stragglers waiting for buses some 50 yards from me. Darkness would serve as a good cloak from their eyes and thus with a last scan across the residential windows around me, I made my way towards my target vehicle, GPS tracker and mini torch in hand.

    Approaching the vehicle, I checked over my shoulder once more and, coast clear, hit the ground and rolled under the rear bumper. Just 2 or 3 seconds passed before the device was attached and 2 or 3 seconds after that, I was back on my feet walking back towards my vehicle.

    Job done. About 30 feet from the target vehicle I turned back (old habits - I like to make sure that no-one is running over to the vehicle having seen me do my plant) and I see the indicators blink, the locks activated by a remote keyfob. I step back from the road to take cover of nearby bushes and hold my breath while I watch the target approach his vehicle, convinced he has seen me make the drop and come out to investigate. Instead, he simply walks to the drivers door, climbs in and drives off.

    I breathe a sigh of relief and thank my lucky stars that I wasn't held up 20 seconds by traffic lights on my way there, as I am not sure what excuse I would use for a target tripping over my legs while I was under his car....

    (Incidentally, you might wonder where the target was going at such a late hour. Lets just say that just taking into account just our part in this operation - which not including travelling time was about 7 seconds - this has now become our shortest case ever...)

    Have you got what it takes?

    As I'm sure you can imagine, we are frequently approached by people looking to start a career as a private investigator and thus thought I would take a moment to detail what qualities I think the role demands.

    By far the most common aspect of our job is watching people. Many people think that surveillance is something that anyone can do, but this couldn't be further from the truth. Leave behind your perception of the traditional private investigator, standing in the shadows with his hat pulled down over his eyes hiding behind a newspaper and instead replace that with a perfectly normal looking person sitting in a car on the side of the road for hours and hours on end.

    Surveillance is all about patience - watching the same spot hour after hour for the 20 seconds of action that you need to gather your intel. You can't abandon your position through fear of losing this intel which means the only refreshments you have are those that you bought with you and toilet breaks are non-existent.

    Imagine sitting in that same spot for hour after hour only to walk away with nothing (your target often won't perform as you would wish) Only to come back the following day and repeat the same exercise all over again - at what point would you lose your patience?

    Most people that contact us don't get interviewed as we can see from their CV for the job just isn't for them, but for those that do, a practical interview awaits them. They will receive a briefing document via email with a fictitious case for them to work. The target will be one of our existing agents and the brief will be simple - follow the agent from point A to point B and record their movements.

    Around one in 10 people that attempt this fail for the simple reason that they don't have the patience to do the job. They fail by blowing their cover by getting too close, by losing the target altogether or even in one case following entirely the wrong target for a whole day before contacting us to see if he got the job! (This chap, by the way, wholeheartedly argued that he was in fact brilliant at surveillance. When we bought up the small point that he had actually followed the wrong person for the day, he insisted that this was just a minor detail and argued that the surveillance that he had done had been spot on, wrong person or not!)

    Contrary to popular belief, being a good Private investigator isn't all about incredible gadgets, high-speed pursuits through the streets or clandestine meetings at abandoned train stations. It is about being able to remain in the same place for a long period of time yet remaining invisible. It is about blending in to your surroundings and making yourself just another passer-by and it is about being able to pre-empt what a target might do to ensure you don't miss that vital bit of Intel.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to put you off coming into the field but before you do, why not test yourself... Go and park in your nearest Sainsburys car park and covertly note every fourth person to leave the store. Do this for five hours and let us know how you got on.

    You never know, if you have a good list you might just end up working with us...

    The great moral question...

    In all the years that I have been doing what i do, there have been very few occasions when i have questioned the morality of my role. I believe that i provide a service that helps people to open up to their partners and discuss their relationships free of the lies that affairs create. Most people, after the initial shock of discovery, relish the chance to rid themselves of the guilt that has burdened them and seize the opportunity to make right the things they perceived were wrong in their relationships.
    However, there is one case (also famous for being the shortest case in our history at just 24 minutes start to finish!) that stands out in my mind as being the closest i have come to questioning whether what i do is right.

    The client call came through at around 1130hrs. The job was a simple one; follow his wife during her lunch break to ease his suspicions about her relationship with her boss. He was insistent that his suspicions would be unfounded and laughed at the idea of even proceeding, but still, he had a nagging doubt that he couldn't put aside and thus we took the details and agreed to feedback following the operation.

    Leaving the office, we all believed that this would simply be another hour or two of fruitless surveillance whereupon we could put the clients fears to rest, but this wasn't to be the case. Shortly after arriving at the targets workplace, she appeared alone and was observed walking across the car park. She paused by a 4x4 vehicle and was soon joined by a man who had left the office a minute or two after her. They both climbed into the vehicle, her in the passenger seat and set off, soon blending into the lunchtime traffic. After a few minutes of mobile surveillance, the targets pulled into an area of woodland and shut off the engine. We parked 100 yards or so further down the road and doubled back to scope out an observation point from which we could gather photos.

    From our position, we could clearly see and document that target and her associate (who was later confirmed to be her boss) had climbed into the rear of the vehicle and were engaged in sexual activity. At this point, we contacted the client to confirm whether or not he wanted us to break cover to get more a detailed image from inside the car - the target and her associate had dropped down below the window line and thus more detailed pictures would mean standing immediately next to the car shooting in and down. He confirmed that yes, he wanted close up faces and actions documented and thus the order was given to break cover.

    We moved quickly back to our vehicle and repositioned it immediately adjacent to the target car. The target and her associate obviously spotted us jumping out but were unable to respond fast enough to our cameras at the windows and thus, our job was done. We got into our car and sped off back to the office leaving them in little doubt that they had just been caught red handed.

    The preparation of the report and the download of the images took around 30 minutes and after a quick lunch, we were on our way to the client house to present our findings. He was devastated and told us that he would confront and then leave his wife upon her return. As we left, we met a lady coming in with two happy children in tow. As i passed them on the drive, i thought back to the report i had just handed their father, the report that presented their mothers betrayal, the report that heralded the breakdown of their family unit.

    At that point, i wondered whether or not we had done the right thing. Would the affair have just fizzled out in time with no harm done, would it have just been a passing phase that left no-one any the wiser?

    On the way back to the office, i called the client and told him that he should give himself time to digest the information before confronting his wife. We talked for around 20 minutes and concluded with him agreeing to stay with his father for a day or two to think things through.

    As it transpired, after this period of reflection the client agreed to attend counselling sessions with his wife. As a result, they stayed together, worked through their problems and i am told that they are now as strong as ever. The family stayed together.

    Most couples dont separate on the mere suspicion of an affair, most need irrefutable proof and irrefutable proof is what we provided during that day in the woods. So the question that i find myself asking is this: Had the couple of split up based on our evidence for an affair that, like most, may have died out in time without anyone ever knowing about it, would we have been partly to blame for the breakdown of that family...?

    Your marriage is a masterpiece

    It's a lot easier to create a picture from a blank canvas than to restore an existing piece of art. All pictures will, in time, need restoration to bring them back to their former glory but the restoration process is both expensive and time consuming and thus one could ask 'What's the point in restoring it, why not just paint a new one?' The answer of course, in this context, is obvious - nothing beats an original, and the same philosophy can be applied to marriage.

    Your marriage, in the beginning, was a masterpiece created by you and your partner. It painted a picture of your hopes and dreams, your ambitions and goals. It created a path for you to travel together as the years ticked by. In time as with all masterpieces, the colours will fade, the edges will lose definition and the finer details will become harder to see. The canvas might be scarred and your path may be hard to see under the damage. But does that mean the path is no longer there?

    As the years go by and we face the trials and tribulations life throws at us, it is easy to lose sight of why you got married in the first place, to lose the feelings that you once had for the person you started your path with. But often, these feelings aren't gone - they are simply faded by time or lost under damage. With careful restoration, time and commitment, your original masterpiece can shine through again.

    Marriages are originals. They cant be replaced when they perish. They needs to be cared for, protected and occasionally restored. People will come into your life and offer replacements - reproductions - but they will never be as valuable as your original or fill the void in your life if you choose to trade your original in.

    Remember why you painted your masterpiece in the first place and who you painted it with. Keep a brush in your back pocket and touch up the faded areas from time to time. As life evens out and the troubles you face now are long gone, you'll be glad you did...

    Time to put away the swimsuits

    So, it looks like the summer may be finally over - The kids are back at school, margaritas sipped over ice on white sandy beaches are but a distant memory and the dark seems to fall ever sooner as we prepare for Autumn. Family life across the country is finally back to normal. 

    But normal is a subjective term. For some, normal means back the daily grind of a work/life balance. But for others, normal means that family time is over and the delicate balance between maintaining their homelife and their mistress  can be resumed once again. Cynical? possibly, but nearly all of our clients tell us that the signs of a cheating partner become even more pronounced during the holidays when families spend so much more time together and if you think about it, it makes a lot of sense.

    Take yourself back to the early days of a relationship. It is something we have all experienced: The excitement of being with your new beau and the longing you feel when you are not with them, the all important contact you share when you can't be together like texts, emails and letters and the happiness that comes from planning new adventures together. 

    Now imagine what it would be like if something stood in your way of that planning, something that dictated that you couldn't live your life the way you wanted to. In this case, that something is a partner and family.

    Day to day you can make excuses for your absence like meetings, trips to the Gym, being stuck in traffic, meeting your friends after work. During the holidays, those excuses aren't available to you and your frustration bubbles under the surface until it can no longer be contained. It manifests itself as the arguments that our clients tell us come out of the blue. The storming out of the house or more passively, a general reluctance to get involved in anything orientated towards the family.

    And then, the holidays end and everything returns to a twisted version of normality. So, cynical? possibly. But this cynicism is only based on the lives that our clients lead.

    If this sounds like you, maybe we should talk.

    The Hunter becomes the Hunted

    Some time ago, a client contacted us with reservations about her husband’s recently increased activity on their home computer. This, twinned with the fact that his patterns seemed to have changed and he seemed to be ticking all of the boxes on the ‘I am cheating’ checklist, prompted her to purchase some of our award winning IT Forensic Software. In basic terms, the software would offer a detailed report on everything he did whilst using the computer albeit completely covertly and without his knowledge.

    Software installed, she settled back with the intention of monitoring him over the next few weeks and confronting him should she discover anything untoward. At this point, it is worth mentioning that SHE also uses the home computer and not distinguishing between users, the software was also logging all of her activity (can you see where we are going with this yet?)

    So, some weeks pass and returning the computer she prints off the report of her husband’s activity and to her delight (and notable disappointment) he did nothing more than purchase a couple of items on eBay, write a few documents, send a couple of innocent emails and some other equally innocent tasks. Satisfied that her mission was complete, she put the document on their desk and went about filling the rest of her day.

    Later that evening, the husband returned from work and entering the office, saw the document on the desk. Angered by her lack of trust, he confronted her and demanded that she remove the software from the computer. She apologised and sat at the PC before loading the covert software onto the screen. At this stage, the husbands curiosity got the better of him and he asked that she show him how it works and what had been logged which she duly did.

    The log appeared on the screen and the husband gasped at the level of detail captured as the log prompted him to remember all the actions the log said he had made. Reading further he saw his emails recreated, the documents he had typed and the pages he had viewed on eBay. Then something else caught his eye. Instant Messenger conversations between his wife and one of their friends, detailing the most intimate aspects of the affair she had been having with him for the last two years or so...

    Needless to say, the husband packed his bags and left her, but not before getting our name from her so that he could phone us and thank us for the intelligence we had enabled him to get on her.

    GPS plant turns Hammer house of horror

    For the most part, planting GPS tracking devices on vehicle is a reasonably trouble free pastime. One simply picks his time carefully and when circumstances (darkness, no traffic, no dog walkers!) allow, deploys the device to the target vehicle and returns home, normally to sleep as while the early hours of the morning lend themselves well to covert Ops, they are not so forgiving if one has to work again the following day.

    Occasionally though, these bug plants hold a host of surprises that one doesn’t discover until he stands facing the target vehicle. It is just one such occasion that I would like to share with you today...

    Let me paint a picture for you: It is 0230hrs on a cold Wednesday morning and I find myself in the most rural the UK’s country sides, tracker in hand, with what can only be described as a rundown Georgian mansion looming out of the darkness in front of me. Having already negotiated the 500 yard gravel driveway in pitch darkness without being seen, I am now lying on the lawn opposite the property on my front, surveying the area and trying to spot the target vehicle in through the gloom. Suddenly, I am jolted by the an unfamiliar ‘thud, thud, thudding’ sound. I lie in silence for a good 20 seconds until I work out that the sound is not coming from around me, but is in fact my heartbeat, which in the perfect silence, beats like a drum inside my ears. It was true here that the silence truly was deafening and without the advantage of clear sight, all of my remaining senses were peaked and it has to be said, that each one was screaming at me to turn around and head back to the car!

    Having seen one too many Horrors films in my time, my imagination was filling my head with scenes of savage dogs bounding through the darkness from the house towards me, or of half man half beast creatures lying in wait to grab my foot as I ran past!

    Composing myself and shaking out the images I take a breath, climb to my feet and hunched over, run for some trees immediately next to the property in order to get a better look at my target car. Running past a large oak, I jump as a flock of birds are woken by my footsteps in the trees around me and frantically rush from the canopy into the night sky. Stopping and again dropping to my stomach, I spot the car ahead and make final preparations to the bug before silently creeping across the parking area. The thought enters my head that unlike a city deployment where you have a maze of streets to run down should anything go wrong, I couldn’t shake off the thought that should the halogen security lights of that property suddenly go on, I would be lit up like a Christmas tree and my only escape would be down the driveway from which I had come, giving the occupiers way too long to take action. All that aside, within seconds the bug is deployed and I follow my footsteps back to my car, which is parked some mile and a half or so away in one of the adjoining country lanes.

    Driving back to my home town, I was smiling as I pulled into a Petrol Station for a celebratory Mars Bar. The police, as usual, were using the same facilities to stock up before starting their night shifts. I nodded to a couple of them (as I always do) and walked through the store. I noticed that they all seemed to be staring and were gathered in the corner of the store, watching my every move. Thinking nothing off it (I was after all, out at what was now 4am dressed in blacks wearing 8 inch combat boots) I made my purchases and left.

    Unwrapping the chocolate on the forecourt, I sat back in my chair and glanced at myself in the rear view mirror. Then I remembered: Before I had left the office earlier that night, I had taken the precaution of covering my face and neck in black camouflage paint to aid my mission...




    Running your own Investigation?!

    An interesting email landed in our Inbox recently asking if we would like to place a link from through to a website offering people all of the information they needed to run their own Private Investigations. Apart from the obvious response “Why we would possibly give you our clients?!” it raised another important question – What happens when you run your own investigation and, as it surely will, it all goes wrong?

    To fully prepare for undertaking your own 'DIY' investigations, you have to be prepared for when you get caught as this is not merely a possibility but all too often, the inevitable outcome of trying to do something you are not trained to do. Explaining then, to a partner who is in fact not cheating on you, why you felt it necessary to invade their privacy in this way will not be an easy task. You have blown away any trust in your relationship and you will never be forgiven for assuming the worst of them. There is a reason that people employ Private Detective Agencies for this kind of work and that is quite simply that they can perform the tasks in hand without risk of detection.

    For all surveillance operations we run we employ a team of no less than three Agents. These Agents are all equipped with covert audio and visual recording devices. They have the tools with them to bug cars, houses, restaurants and more and most importantly, there is ZERO chance of them being caught doing it. It is not that we are super special, it is just that we have been doing this for longer than we care to remember and have the experience required to do it properly.

    This in mind, is it really worth saying (though not literally) to your partner ‘I don’t trust you as far as I can throw you’ and dealing with the fallout of that, all to save the few pounds you would have spent with us?

    We didn’t think so.

    'Amazing' Phone Tracking Software

    Everyday, we receive phone calls from people enquiring about our range of mobile phone forensic services. This is prompted by an advert they have seen on a TV channel or website which promises to track your partner via their mobile phone for as little as £3.50. This in mind, i would like to take this opportunity to sum up these products in a few words:

    Pointless, worthless, ironic (see below) and just plain rubbish.

    Allow me to explain: There is no legal way that you can get access to your partners mobile phone information. Whether you want copies of texts, transcripts of calls or their current location, this sort of information obtained in anyway other than with the mobile phone holders permission, is a massive breach of both privacy and data protection laws. That is not to say it cant be done, simply that there is no legal way to do it. So how, i hear you ask, can the company who have such prestigious products under their belt as the Crazy Frog ringtone, make this monumentos leap into state of the art mobile forensics? Quite simple really....

    This is how it works: In between adverts for ridiculous ringtones costing just £3.50 (then £5 per week thereafter until you decifer the cancellation terms) you see a claim for an amazing mobile phone app that allows you to track your partner (same payment terms as above) via their mobile phone signals alone.

    You text them the code from the TV, they text you back asking for the number you want to track (this is the simplified version) you text it to them and hey presto! You start receiving details about the targets location.

    Great hey? Only there is a flaw. Remember that none of this is legal from earlier? Unless of course they tell the target that they are doing it....Thats right - At the same time that you receive tracking data, so does the target in the form of a text message telling them that 'telephone number 0785816**** is tracking their phone. Cheating partner catcher PRO - bought to you by Jam****'.

    So in short, this software is about as covert as sending your partner a card accusing them of sleeping with your boss. If you want to go down the forensic route, please dont choose a supplier that can also offer you The World Series Pool Championships as a phone game at the same time.....

    The Credit Crunch

    Call us negative, but this apparent Credit Crunch seems to be affecting couples in more ways than simply financial. Whether our marketing has worked or people are simply cheating more as a symptom of a semi dysfunctional society, we have noticed that our enquiry rate seems to be going up, as the Country's economy goes down. Could there be a link between the two? Maybe.

    Let me explain...

    It is Monday morning and the winter rain is falling once again. As you turn up your Thermostat another few degrees, your partner passes you tutting at your frivolous energy wastage. The post arrives and you see another bill sitting on your doormat, soon to be placed carefully with the others from Saturday you both agreed not to look at until now through fear of spoiling your weekend.

    The pressure mounts as you open the envelopes and see yet more numbers that seem to have more zeros than your monthly salary. A petty argument ensues, and your partner leaves the house for the day, with the slamming of the door being his final word on your financial mess.

    Driving to work, he remembers his carefree younger days where money was no big issue and he certainly didnt have to go without just to make ends meet. He begins to see you as the route of all evil, associating his financial issues with his marriage to you. By the time he gets to work, he is glad that he is out of the house and somewhere where he is appreciated.

    You forgot to mention how nice he looked in his suit this morning. You didnt have the time nor the energy to make or share breakfast with him, and neither of you were in the mood for a fond farewell. Across the office, a women he shares space with is walking towards him with some coffee and a croissant from the staff restaurant. They talk. Not about money or bills or depts or the ever increasing cost of childcare, but about meaningless, carefree things. They laugh, something he hasnt done with his wife since they missed a mortgage payment.

    The women walks away, leaving him with a smile and his breakfast and a thought crosses his mind. He thinks: Why cant my wife just enjoy life like her? Why does she always have to put a dampener on things? Why cant she say i look nice and bring me breakfast?

    Of course, in any relationship, things grow stale after a while and no doubt the women with whom he shares breakfast every morning in the office would act the same as his wife if she were under the same pressures, but she isnt. And he doesnt see that, and thus, the seed of infidelity is sown again.

    Dramatic? Maybe. True? Absolutely. This story was told to us by the wife of a target we recently caught cheating and offered to her by her husband by way of explanation for his actions.

    It is easy to think that the grass is greener and look at others and assume life would be better with them. Just for a second though, tie a £200,000 mortgage to that women in the office who brings you croissants and see if they still taste so good.

    They say money is the route of all evil, and certainly, it is a powerful marriage breaker. But there is always a way through and who better to guide you when times get tough than the person you once swore to love, honour and protect through better or worse. Find that spark that brought you together in the first place and the bills will become what they are. Just bits of paper, not wedges between you.

    Money Cant Buy You Love

    Its been a long time since we last updated this, so apologies to those who were following our exploits eagerly awaiting the instalments that never came!

    In fact, almost a year has past since we last updated these pages and thus it is with our tail between our legs that we return with promises to be more vigilant in our updates going forward...

    This year has seen some interesting cases for us, and in our search for explanations as to why people choose infidelity over marital bliss one case in particular comes to mind.

    Money, they say, is the root of all evil. Many a time have financial difficulties been blamed for a marriage breakdown. Couples argue of finances, these arguments create rifts that over time widen to what seems like a cavernous void and sooner or later, one party will find peace and tranquility with someone who doesnt moan about the £15 you spent on a Chinese takeaway when the kids needed new shoes for Gym.

    Last summer, a new client approached us to uncover the reason behind his wifes sudden departure from the matrimonial home, or rather, one of the matrimonial homes. You see, this particular client had many properties around the UK and the world. He truly epitomised the saying that money was no object.

    After many weeks of surveillance, employing GPS tracking devices, audio bugging equipment and all manner of other techniques, we established that the subject of the investigation was in fact involved with another man. Looking into his background, we then established that the man was none other than her first ever boyfriend. Now, in relevative terms, the chap earnt a decent enough living, but was certainly not one who could be classed as rich.

    Presenting this evidence to the client who then presented it to his wife, all parties assumed that she would return to her husband and the incredible lifestyle he provided. But no, she chose to leave the marriage and return to her first boyfriend. This, i suppose proves that old addage that Money cant buy you love...But still...they had a POOL....One wonders if, as the credit crunch continues to bite, she wont want to dust off her swim suit and return home?

    Irrefutable proof

    People come to us from all walks of life - Rich, poor, young and old, from every corner of the country and they all seek the same the thing: Truth. Black Cat Investigations prides itself on having the skills and the technology to be able to offer our clients irrefutable proof of wrong doing in every form.

    Occasionally though, even we have to bow our heads in admiration and acknowledge the power of Karma to deliver the goods on someone that epitomises the word ‘cheater’ on every possible level.

    With your permission I will save your blushes and offer only an overview of something that happened recently that offers a lesson to everyone tempted to cheat on their partner...

    The rush and the thrill of a ‘liaison’ in a public place has the power to stoke the flames of even the weakest fire. A sun dappled park, the enveloping shadows of a nightclub corner, even the alley of an urban residential estate illuminated by the moon. Or, in this case, the toilet of a major London Railway Station.

    Risky? Of course. Romantic? not really. Safe? in a cubicle, to an extent...unless of course, midway during the act you happen to hit the redial button on the cellphone in your back pocket and proceed to broadcast the whole event to your wife.

    Like i say, sometimes Karma delivers before we even have a chance to leave the office...

    I know I shouldnt say this, but.....

    The more I see the Private Investigation industry being dissected on television, the more I despair of the way so called industry professionals portray the business. Demonstrating eqiupment that in 1983 would have been outdated, airing viewpoints and industry tips from people who are generally accepted within the circles of professional PI’s to be just about the worst example of our business and tales of women who, once cheated on, decide to set up their own Agency all add to the argument that our industry needs to be regulated, and quickly.

    Black Cat Investigations pride ourselves on offering a service that is second to none and make endless investments in both the training of our field staff and the equipment they use. This in mind, to see someone touting what is arguably the worst GPS tracking device on the market (£150 from eBay) as the lastest in investigative technology and broadcasting to the nation that by simply tying her hair in a ponytail she is able to become a different person (?!) infuriates us beyond all belief.

    In reality, you can have an office full of cheap tat - glasses with hidden cameras in them, GPS tracking devices that only last three days at the most, watches that record sound (albeit only about an hour of sound) and clocks that monitor rooms - but none of this equates to what we believe to be the foundation of a good Private Investigation Agency: The Team.

    (And for the record, our GPS Tracking devices cost us around £2500 and will track a vehicle for about 6 weeks!)

    How will I know?

    Unless you are extremely fortunate, most people in one relationship or another has had the thought 'How can I tell if my partner is cheating on me'.

    You intuition is one of the most powerful tools in our arsenal and chances are that if you sense that something is wrong, it normally is. But as you will know, there is a big difference in that 'sense of wrong' between a bad day at the office and an illicit affair.

    This in mind, what can you look for that might indicate that it is something more than a stolen stapler or paper clip incident at work that may be playing on your partners mind? The following is a list of the most common 'tells' that one displays when doing something that their partner may deem inappropriate:
    1. Your partner may display a sudden change in their behavoiur, going from a happy outgoing person to one that is introvert and depressed. This however can also work in the reverse meaning someone can become more outgoing than ever before as they strive to put across that everything at home is fine
    2. They may start talking about someone they have never mentioned before. Believe or not, when someone has an affair or does something that they feel guilty about, their subconcious wants to tell you about it. Thus, they may start moaning about someone at the office or bringing them up constantly in conversation.
    3. The may become secretive with their phone or computer, adding passwords and pin codes thus 'locking you out' of this part of their lives
    4. They may start taking more of an interest in how they look, spending money of new clothes and changing their image dramatically
    5. Work may suddenly seem to be all emcompassing meaning that they need to spend more time at the office than ever before
    6. They may start socialising with 'old school friends' and going out to moreand more events that you are not invited to as you are not part of the 'old crowd'
    7. They may start wearing an aftershave or perfume that they have never worn before and take more of a interest in personal grooming
    8. They may suddenly adopt a new hobby or interest that has never been mentioned before

    Of course, this list could go on and on and in truth, you will know the signs when you start to see them. The only question will be: how will you react?

    Merry Christmas Mr Jones

    One cannot walk the streets of any urban neighbourhood at this time of year without sunglasses to block out the glare emanating from houses wishing to shout their approval of the festive period.

    Multitudes of blue, red, green and white lights seem to adorn every house, and the Jones'* tree is so big this year that the fairy adored by all (but yet strangely thrown into a box at the back of the loft for the other 11 months) is now horizontal as the top branch bends at a 90 degree angle to accommodate the stippled artexing of the lounge ceiling.

    Through a window a father sits with his sons to watch the latest instalment of James Bond, while mothers and daughters curse that fact that their turkey this year is 26.3% bigger than their Aga. (Worked out on Fathers new calculator)

    Suddenly, father jumps up from his chair as his mobile vibrates on the table among the discarded wrapping paper still creating a fire hazard from that morning. Grabbing the device, he moves with practised silence into the downstairs loo, phone in hand to wish his other family a merry Christmas.

    You see, this festive picture has two very distinct layers - Layer one is what we have just shared, but layer two is situated 45 miles away in another town. Not dissimilar in make-up, layer two contains a tree, a turkey, a son and a mother and all the festivity one could hope for. The only difference? When layer one contains a father, layer two doesn't, and vice versa.

    One man living two lives, and, as they say, never the twain shall meet. Unless of course, the wife from layer one phones us the week previous to this to find out why her husband is away six months of the year and can only share every other Christmas with her and their family.

    This case was closed almost a year ago, but as i walk the streets again and see the same familiar lights super-glued to houses i do wonder where Mr Jones* is spending Christmas this year and cant help but ask myself "Will that 8 foot tree fit in a bedsit?"

    The Black Cat Investigations Team would like to wish all of our clients, past, present and future, a merry and peaceful Christmas...

    *As usual, this is as assumed name!

    RIP Claudia

    A strong member of a team can be defined by the way they work with others, the way they go beyond the call of duty for a client and the way they push the bounderies to see through a smokescreen to the actual flames shrouded beneath.

    Not always the most outspoken, the most noticed nor the most involved, they are never the less a vital link in the chain without whom the entire machine would eventually seize and grind to a halt.

    Thus, to lose a member of the team, one who has been with us from the start and one who has immortalised our philosophy of Honesty, Integrity and Quality is a blow that leaves one questioning the higher powers as to why she should be taken from us during the prime of her life.

    I speak of Claudia, who at just a few years old was recently lost, falling foul of the heat given by the exhaust of a Jaguar XJ6. A finer GPS tracking device we couldnt have asked for and thus this blog entry is dedicated to her and the bush she now lies in, somewhere off the A1 in London.

    (And Sophie, Beryl and Crystal - The other bugs we have lost to battery failure, mechanical faults and speed humps respectively!)