One Thursday afternoon an employer became aware, one of their former employees was working in breach of contract and it appeared he may have copied various databases prior to leaving the organisation.
If the allegations were true, the situation could potentially have had serious financial and operational implications for the organisation. The employer needed evidence urgently and at 6 PM, we had telephone consultation with them and their solicitor.
It was quickly decided a surveillance operation was required in the south of England. The purpose of the surveillance was to confirm the daily routine of the former employee, to identify if he had set up his own business, and was he associating with the employees, customers and suppliers of his previous employer. The surveillance was to begin the following day: Friday morning 6AM.
The surveillance identified a small industrial unit occupied and used by the former employee. It was clear he was in the process of adapting the internal aspect of the building. The next few days of surveillance showed the individual associating with subcontractors, employees and even clients of his ex-employer. Covert video evidence gathered all of the meetings which were starting to form a substantial case against the former employee. These meetings took place in hotel receptions, coffee shops, customers premises and at his own new business premises.
During the operation, surveillance officers entered the business unit, under a pretext and covertly recorded the former employee sat at a computer with an iPad and mobile phone. This evidence was passed immediately to the instructing solicitor who went to the court and obtained a search and seizure order for the devices.
Expert Investigations along with the supervising and instructing solicitors affected the order and seized the computer, iPad and mobile phone, and immediately commenced an investigation of the devices.
Within three days of the seizure a full surveillance report and computer forensic report was handed to the solicitor for discussion with their clients. This showed evidence beyond reasonable doubt that the former employee had stolen the databases, was using the databases and was running a business operation in breach of his post termination contract.
The benefit in the capability to react immediately, to lawfully gather proactive evidence in both the forms of conventional surveillance and computer forensics allowed the employer to be in the strongest position to protect their business, implement the business continuity and take lawful due process against the former employee.