There’s no denying that security and close protection work is mentally and emotionally demanding. Life-threatening situations, exposure to graphic scenes, distressed individuals, and violent perpetrators as well as the occupational stressors such as unsocial working hours and being away from home mean you need to be operating at peak levels of resilience.
Situational Awareness is “the perception of the elements in the environment within a volume of time and space, the comprehension of their meaning and the projection of their status in the near future”.
It irks me when I hear security specialists giving overly simplistic advice like ‘be more aware of your surroundings,’ when it comes to guarding against vehicle attacks on pedestrians. In this article, I share 12 practical methods for mitigating this increasing terrorist threat.
On the front line, installers hold the keys to the nation’s safety. Responsible for the fitting of alarm and alarm signalling solutions, end-users deal with them throughout procurement and installation. As such, they are often the ‘face’ of security.
My principals’ ages have also ranged from 4 to 65 years old. Amongst them all, I personally believe the most challenging principals are children. For me, the role of a bodyguard caring for a minor is all about balance, judgment, adaptation and a crystal-clear understanding of the parents’ wishes.
Since I did not open the doors as requested, the sound of the window bursting came crashing into my ear. The kidnappers used a large sledgehammer to smash the driver’s side window. Two blows were all it took!
As Executive Protection professionals we are constantly caught between a rock and a hard place. We do our best to provide our clients with the best possible protection while dealing with resistance and objections from the boardroom, PAs or the client themselves. Now if there was an international guideline for a travel risk management standard that addressed everything from hotels to air travel and ground transportation, it would require compliance from organizations and simplify our task significantly. The good news is, there now is and it is planned for launch in the summer of 2021.
As security professionals you may be an attack vector to your client if you do not maintain basic online security controls. At the very least you should be in a position to provide basic advice to your clients in order to help them stay secure.
As the battle for control of Afghanistan unfolds following the withdrawal of foreign troops, Pakistan will aim to consolidate its influence in the country.
Pakistan has historically relied on its good relationship with the Afghan Taliban to keep TTP fighters in check. As it awaits the rise of the ultimate power bearer amid the turmoil in Afghanistan, Islamabad will focus on preventing violence in its western provinces that poses a serious threat to CPEC-related Chinese investments.
In the context of close protection work, the use of firearms is often an all or nothing proposition. In most cases, you are either armed, or you’re not! There is a whole host of things that play into that, be it where you are, your level of certification, or the demands the client puts on you. All of that aside, I wanted to take some time and dig into the finer things, often overlooked when we talk about “strapping up.” Ammunition!
If you are a security professional with significant high-threat worldwide protective services experience, you know that depending on the client, it may not be a matter of if your client or a family member is kidnapped, but when. You also understand that it is likely that you may not even be directly providing protection for the client at the time it happens and unable to prevent it, especially when they are alone and most vulnerable.
Surprisingly, many people who took part in the thread commented, saying that they don’t find anything wrong with it. Some of them even named their own old clients. Others tried to justify the practice of name-dropping by saying it was a former client, or that they didn’t reveal anything personal about the client, or that they had the client’s approval to post that picture or to name the client. And finally, some said their client is already pretty well-known and paparazzi are always getting pictures of them together so why hide it? Essentially, they are good guys, and how dare we criticize people we don’t know. These were a number of the comments from individuals who either work in the security industry as operatives or own companies and hire agents to represent them.
What happens when there is more than one primary client? What happens when the “primary” becomes two, three, four, or more? What happens when your client instructs you that their two-year-old, is the primary “client” on a particular day or outing?
Well, there really isn’t anything fundamentally wrong with this approach, after all, as the saying goes, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” The trouble is if we continue to do the same thing in the same way we’re in danger of missing opportunities to improve, and surely that’s what we all want to do, become better, more efficient and smarter at what we do.
That’s undoubtedly the maxim I’ve always tried to apply to communications. We embraced digital radio enthusiastically when it first came on the scene 15+ years ago, even though doing so was detrimental to us in the short term, it paid off in the long-run. Many saw it as ‘revolution’ rather than ‘evolution,’ but eventually, it eclipsed its analogue forbear, and those naysayers had no choice but to evolve.
What are some traits and soft skills that you have acquired from working in inner city Philadelphia that has helped you In your line of work today?
I think the number one skill I’ve learned was the ability to talk to people to get the desired outcome. In the streets, you have to have the skillset to deescalate a deadly confrontation or you have to be able to get information from an individual who never intends to speak to you. That skill does not come overnight, and there’s a lot of trial and error, but the truth of the matter is, it’s all predicated on respect for the other individual. Also, being intentional and understanding what’s at stake are major factors for success.
Recently, I was having a conversation with a fellow member of the clergy about his goal of becoming a Navy chaplain. To my shock and amazement, he told me that the Navy turned him down. When I asked ‘why,’ my friend admitted that it was because he had failed to meet the Navy’s physical fitness […]
One memorable occasion was the visit by President George W. Bush to Manila, the Philippines, in October 2003, when he on his way to Thailand, where he was to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. This visit served as a great example of how much of an asset you can be for the protective elements if you know and apply protective operations principles.
Consider this, when broken down to its most basic components, the vast majority of traditional self-defence courses only teach defensive responses to an attack once it has begun.
I am of the opinion that’s not only a bit late, it’s also certainly not enough to survive a Mass Casualty Event in these days and times. In light of that, I have found that Reality-Based Self Defence (RBSD) systems take things a bit further by teaching pre-fight tactics such as: creating safe distance; using non-aggressive body language; reading pre-fight indicators; and applying verbal de-escalation techniques. Yet all of that is still not enough to effectively survive a terrorist attack in a public space, especially if you’re with family or friends.
We cast our eye over the main stories impacting the security industry, including, Kanye West’s former bodyguard is calling the rapper a “bully” and is threatening to sue for damages after West accused him of breaking a confidentiality agreement.
It often comes as a surprise just how much is available, and the nefarious uses it can be put to. OSINT can be applied towards defensive purposes, but we will be looking only at malicious purposes. One of the biggest challenges of OSINT is not merely recognising it as a threat, but encouraging the behavioural change needed to protect against it widely enough. It is not enough simply for a principal to stop posting Instagram pictures of their travels in order to hide them – their colleagues, friends, family, and employees also need to be aware of the need to take care with information which could be misused.