These days if you travel internationally or work in emerging markets, you are running the risk of being arrested for some reason. Criminals are not the only ones who can end up in handcuffs! It may come as a shock to some people, but many police forces are corrupt. And this is not just in the emerging markets.
What were some takeaways you obtained from your past line of work? And how have they helped you in the private sector realm?
When I look at the totality of what we do in this industry there are quite a few takeaways. From having dealt with the irate couples during a domestic dispute to negotiating a business deal the importance of not only verbal judo but communicative and interpersonal skills tops the list, followed by the skills I learned from collecting evidence at a crime scene where attention to detail was key.
The realities of working as a bodyguard in Mexico are quite different, it’s definitely a lot more dangerous and a lot less glamorous than Hollywood would have you believe.
Mexico is a very high-risk environment that most people know very little about other than what they see in the movies or what is scantily reported in the media. There is very little factual media coverage of what’s going on in Mexico as journalists that report unfavorably about the Narcos, and others tend not to live very long.
There are many misconceptions about close protection and private security operations in Mexico. As usual, most of the myths originate from Hollywood movies and fictional T.V. dramas. The realities of working as a bodyguard in Mexico are quite different, it’s definitely a lot more dangerous and a lot less glamorous than Hollywood would have you believe.
For the purpose of this article, we are not interested in conventional SWAT tactics as it is not our job to apprehend, or even nullify, the threat; your job is to look after yourself, your family, or your client. It’s a fact that law enforcement SWAT tactics don’t work against criminals and terrorists who know how to defend buildings, so conventional law enforcement SWAT training is something you can forget in this scenario.
If you have to evacuate your home, office, hotel, or shopping mall, for whatever reason, it needs to be done quickly, quietly and with the minimum of fuss. You should always know where your escape routes and exits are but never use obvious ones as the criminals or terrorists will have thought of these and may have blocked, booby-trapped, or prepared ambushes on them. If there is an incident going on get as much information as possible as to where the threat is, and what is happening, and then start moving away from it using cover.
Did you know: Historically, street crime increases, proportionately, with population growth? Crime in England is accelerating, and according to police figures, the London murder rate has now surpassed that of New York for the first time in modern history. Not only does this place the general public at risk but arguably, it exposes the front-line security operator to even greater danger.
Due Diligence and Why It Is Required. The biggest blocks that prevent people from carrying due-diligence is their egos as they feel they are wise enough to spot a scammer, also they don’t want to offend those they are dealing with by seeming not to trust them. These are things that scammers and manipulators exploit to the maximum. I forget how many times I have heard people who have been scammed or victimized say they thought the perpetrator was a decent person because they were introduced to them by a friend, my reply to this usually is “define a friend”.
From an operational perspective, CPs need to go back to fundamentals and apply the golden rules of protection planning and risk assessments to medical scenarios. For instance, from a strategy perspective, many HNW bought ventilators only to later discover that they would never be delivered due to shortage. So, it’s important to think how do we improve our planning and strategy from the outset to account for the unexpected? Scenarios and risks should be assessed as always in a well thought out threat matrix.
An estimated 5.9 million CCTV cameras were in operation throughout the UK in 2016, making the British public one of the most surveilled in the world. Only Beijing has more CCTV cameras than London, where the average person will be recorded on camera 300 times in one day.
The insider threat of crime to organisations is always present and can manifest itself in many ways. This has become more apparent because of the recent social-economic climate change within the UK.
The recent surge in acid attacks in London and surrounding areas has filled the headlines in recent weeks and months, understandably causing a great deal of concern for the general public and those responsible for their safety.
To me tactical shooting is not a sport. It’s about staying alive and killing your opponent as quickly as possible. If you are in a situation where someone is trying to kill you, your family or your team members you must kill them first. Unfortunately, its as simple as that sometimes. Political correctness does not enter into it. We are talking about your life and death not banning super size sodas or gay marriage. For most people the thought of killing someone and the legal ramifications are a nightmare, but you’re better off dealing with the aftermath than being dead.
You need to be aware of how criminals and terrorists operate and what they look for in their victims; if you know this, you can hopefully avoid becoming a victim yourself.
Why is personal security in hotels important? Over the years I have stayed and worked in a wide variety of hotels from five-star to minus-star and boutique to roach houses. The standard of security in most hotels is very low and it is not hard for non-hotel residents to go up to the hotel floors. It’s concerning that most travelers expect and believe the hotels they are staying in to be secure. I tell my clients they should take the same precautions inside hotels as they would on the street.
Over a 24-year career, I have seen little need for evasive driver training, however, I have seen a great need for people to learn how to handle vehicles at high speed and in hazardous weather conditions. The main thing you need to practice is how to drive safely, identify any possible threats and avoid them.
What was I doing hanging outside a Mexican prison riot waiting for it to kick-off in the blaring sun surrounded by heavily armed, ill-tempered Policeman and armed only with some sunscreen and a smile?