Yesterday started like most days with the alarm going off at 0430hrs and me springing out of bed to get ready for the hour or so journey ahead.
Coffee flask filled up, kit is at the bottom of the stairs from where I dropped it last night, keys (check) wallet (check), phone (check) and I’m out the door... Back in the door, face mask (check).
I get to the car and position my kit inside where it serves it’s purpose best. Reset mileage on the trip meter and off we go.
The journey takes me up the M6 (which is my second home) towards Birmingham. On route I am thinking about the info sheet I read last night and hoping the OP (observation post) looks as simple to site as it did on google street view. I paint a picture of today’s subject in my head and add 7 years because the ID photo provided is that old.
Today’s subject is claiming for what is likely to be a substantial amount of money for a right shoulder injury he sustained from a vehicle collision 2 years ago. Supposedly he is unable to raise his right arm above shoulder height or lift any heavy items. We will see about that...
Nature then calls as it does EVERY morning and I am forced to pull over at the services and sort things out...
Back on the road again and I soon arrive at the plot just before 0600hrs. I carry out a recce of the property to find X2 vehicles on the driveway (not possible to deploy trackers) one looks like his, and one looks like hers. X3 1st floor windows open which makes sense because it was bloody hot last night!
It turns out the OP is as easy to site as I thought, meaning I shouldn’t have any problems with nosey neighbours today (jackpot!).
I start observing whilst hidden away in my vehicle with windows up, curtains closed, the fan running because it’s already getting warm and cameras at the ready. No one will know I’m here. 1 hour passes, no change. 2 hours pass, no change. I need my coffee, carry on observing. At just before 0900 the subjects wife walks out the front door who appears to be leaving for work for the day. As suspected she departs in “her” car.
Carry on observing. 3 hours pass no change. The coffee has almost completed its journey so I am now forced to make best use of the fabric softener bottle I have tucked away in the back (which I forgot to empty last night!!!).
Carry on observing. 4 hours pass, no change. 5 hours pass, no change. At the 6th hour our subject walks out the front door. Start filming. He’s grown a beard and is now bald since the provided ID photos were taken (took me by surprise a little bit).
The subject walks to the boot of “his” car and opens it with his right hand raising above his head (on film). He throws some empty shopping bags in the boot and sets off.
I follow him to Tesco a few miles down the road and watch him getting out of the car and open the boot again with his right hand (on film). He then gets himself a trolley and goes inside. I follow him in.
The subject is watched, followed and filmed covertly all the way around the store whilst paying particular attention to his right shoulder. I blend in by just doing my own food shop. Those baked beans look nice, I think I’ll get some! He is seen reaching for light, medium and heavy weighted items from low medium and high shelves as he completes his weekly shop. He then proceeds to the checkout and unloads his shopping onto the conveyor belt to be scanned before bagging it all up. I’m no doctor, but there doesn’t appear to be anything wrong with his right shoulder. (I’m sure the medical professionals will have some raised eyebrows when watching this footage). Once he’s done, he takes the shopping back to the car and opens the boot again with his right hand (on film) and lifts the shopping bags out of the trolley with both hands and into the boot. He then takes the trolley back whilst I get my self ready for a vehicle follow, and before you know it, we are on the move.
The subject is then followed at pace away from Tesco where I lose contact with him after he shot through the amber light causing me to hit the red ($*?<<€€$^?!). He is obviously in a rush because he doesn’t want the fish fingers to defrost, and as such I suspect he is just heading home. When I arrive back at his house, I catch him just in time opening the boot with his right hand (on film) to take the shopping inside with X1 bag in his left hand, and X2 heavier looking bags in his right hand.
The last hour or so is spent keeping a loose eye on the property in the unlikely event he ventures out again.
Just before I close up shop for the day the subjects partner arrives home for her fish finger dinner. I made a note of it but there was no need to film her as she’s not really relevant. I then make my back home. Once I arrive home I make triple sure the fabric softener bottle is emptied down the drain!
Batteries go on charge ready for tomorrow, reports get written up, recommendations are made and I’ve got fish fingers for dinner as well!
Job done, mission success, happy operative, happy client, unhappy dodgy claimant.