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Birthday Gift Guide for Private Investigators

Having recently celebrated or lamented (still deciding) my 48th birthday, I was prodded by the family for gift ideas. Sure, I knew the thoughtful but regular traditional socks, wine and gift vouchers would make their appearance, but the constant pestering actually got me thinking and I found myself looking into what would make the perfect gift for a private investigator.

Spybook


So after considering the infinite tools and books I have decided to make every private investigators life much easier when it comes to Christmas and birthday gift lists. here are my top five private investigator gift ideas...

1. Introduction to Private Investigations (Book), author Joshua M Travers C.P.I

Although many experienced private investigators and investigative journalists will be familiar with many of the author’s techniques and methods, the 3rd edition does have many excellent chapters on the fine art of investigations. I found that even after 27 years as a licensed forensic private investigator, there was still plenty the book had to offer. Worth mentioning is the dedicated chapter to conducting investigations in the business sector. Many books talk about the techniques such as surveillance, undercover investigation techniques, report writing, etc. - but Mr Travers goes into great and insightful detail on the different style and laws governing business investigations.

Spybook


2. Binoculars

There is no doubt whatsoever that every private investigator, surveillance specialist or reconnaissance team member requires a decent pair of binoculars. Now if you’re anything like me, your current pair will probably resemble something out of the WW2 field marshal’s toolkit… but after reviewing the products on the market today, I’m definitely up for a serious upgrade. A word of advice - binoculars don’t come cheap so make sure you’re getting exactly what you pay for.

My personal favourite (if you can stomach the price)… is the Eoncore 2 LCD Display Digital Camera Binoculars (includes video capabilities):

Binoculars


3. This is Marketing (Book), author Seth Godin

No, I haven’t completely lost the plot and, no, this book suggestion is not a mistake. Quite the opposite actually. I have always been an out-of-the-box type of thinker, and although I own a private investigation company, I’ve always got one eye on the business side. Seth Godin is to marketing what James Bond is to us investigators. No matter how experienced an investigator you are, or how great your resume may be, without clients you are just another person waiting in hope for the phone to ring.

Marketing Book

Essentially, being a private investigator (no matter your area of skill) is about making money. Making money out of a profession you love (I hope). Which means unless you are going to hire a marketing specialist or content manager for your website, you had better have some ideas on how to get yourself known. Seth Godin has written numerous books, and is an accomplished TED Talks presenter… in short, this man knows his shit. If you buy one book on marketing for the next five years then I would recommend this one.



4. CrimePad App

Even dinosaurs need a modern tech friend, and believe me when I say that my team consider me the dinosaur of private investigators. So… I decided to get with the times and took the recommendation of two younger forensic investigators on my team, and downloaded an app called CrimePad.

CrimePad

CrimePad is essentially an electronic case management tool, with an array of capabilities to suit every level of investigator. In fact, all my own field and OSINT investigators are now using this app. Sure, there are many different apps and investigation case file management tools available on the market but for me this one does exactly what I need it to do. My Due Diligence Investigators have now all movedonto this app and I’ve only had positive feedback from both them and my clients.

The web address for this app is: www.visionations.com.



5. Finally, a James Bond Gadget... Spy Audio Pen

What would any private investigator’s gift list (or that of any type of investigator) be without a gadget thrown in. After all, who doesn’t love a secret agent tool, especially one that has real functional applications for real world criminal, civil and private investigations? I will say that covert video and audio recording surveillance has been part of my investigation arsenal for years, and with tremendous success. My current undercover voice recording tool is a well disguised and fully functional pen and flash drive. There are many, many secret recording devices on sale and it really is just a matter of self choice as to what suits you.

It goes without saying that laws and privacy aspects always come into play, so how you or your investigation officers use these types of recorders is a matter of doing your legal homework first.

Spy Audio Pen



Well, there you have it… my top five private investigation tools to add to your next gift list.

Sometimes, we just need to think differently and apply our mind to things in a lateral manner. I hope I’ve given you some insight into useful investigation tools that certainly make my life easier.

In closing I must place on record this is NOT a promotion of any of the books, apps or items I have spoken of in this blog entry. These are merely my own opinions and views on each.

D&K Management Consultants, and Kyle Condon are not in any way endorsed by any sponsors or individuals associated with the above post.

Keep safe, keep calm and hug an investigator today!

Kyle Condon

082 820 5363

 

For more information, contact Kyle Condon on saint@intrigue.co.za, follow him on Twitter @investigatorsZA or visit www.investigators.co.za.

About D & K Management Consultants CC

Established in 1993 by Declan and Kyle Condon – the legacy of the Condon family with their many years of investigative expertise still strongly governs the running of the company today.

Phone: 082 820 5363

Email: saint@intrigue.co.za