In the past, I viewed Executive Protection (EP) as persons who provided corporate level protection. This was the guy who only walked with the CEO, politician, or other important corporate executives and dignitaries. With my limited understanding, I didn’t think of those who drive these same individuals as being considered Executive Protection agents as well. As an EP specialist, I now understand and have experienced some of the vast role’s EP work will encompass.
According to Paine, if twenty persons, all strangers to each other, found themselves in a previously uninhabited country, each individual’s will was his natural right. He had the freedom and liberty to do as he pleased, even invading the sovereignty of his neighbors. It would then occur to each sovereign individual that if he united with his neighbor for mutual protection he would increase his personal security. But to do that he would have to sacrifice certain degrees of his natural rights. The compromising of individual rights resulted in rights of “compact” or as our legislative laws were defined as “civil rights”.
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”.
Having dug around in the last year to see what’s going on with security training courses at home and overseas, it would appear that there is a gap between what’s acceptable, to what’s a complete rip off, and that gap is as wide as the Grand Canyon.
There is an age-old adage, which states that in this world ‘you get what you pay for’ and nowhere is this truer than in the Protection Industry.
As someone who runs their own security company, I know this only too well. However, this lesson was firmly reinforced after I rashly agreed to take on a job that my gut had warned me to avoid.
It was the height of British military and government involvement in the ill-fated NATO-led effort to crush the Taliban, and Kabul was inundated with people needing close protection services. From diplomats attempting to build infrastructure and civil institutions to corporate honchos sniffing out potential business opportunities, there was no shortage of clients for security firms to pitch. As my conversation with the in-country manager progressed, I broached the subject of IBGs – individual bodyguards. I told him in no uncertain terms that the idea of having an individual effectively carry out the functions of a close protection team was utter and absolute flannel. His response: “Maybe, Bob. But it brings in the dollars!”
Not because there is less work out there, in fact, the opposite is probably true. With global threat levels at an all-time high, there is more work in the security industry now than there ever has been and the security industry is booming, but it’s harder to find work because there are now thousands more so-called ‘qualified’ CPOs chasing after every position. It is a fact that most licensed operators have never actually done a day’s close protection work in their lives. At the time of writing this article, there are over 14,000 valid, UK, CP licences. Yes, over fourteen thousand people in the UK currently have a license to operate as a Close Protection Officer.
We now see companies capitalizing on this idea, by making different lines of equipment and bags that tout themselves as being “covert” or “discrete”. I am of the belief that if you are wearing clothing that advertises itself as either of these things, it’s anything but.
Truly experienced law enforcement, military and security professionals can spot each other a mile away. Often the giveaways are in the clothing and personal accessories that we choose. Watches, shoes and belts are accessories that are often over looked by those attempting to be “Gray”. Wearing Soloman’s or Merrel’s, a Suunto/Garmin/Pathfinder watch and an Ares Gear/511, or another tactical belt is not being gray. Each of those accessories, gives up information about you, that you say you are trying to conceal.