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.
By far the best method to accomplish this goal is to adopt a predictive, preventative strategy for protecting clients based on the tenets of Detect, Deter, and Defend. To effectively employ these tenets, we need some very specific soft and hard skills. In the protective operations world, the “soft” skills are sometimes referred to as Protective Intelligence (PI) while in other security disciplines they are referred to as situational and tactical awareness skills. If we are unable to prevent or avoid an attack, we need to have some expertise in specific “hard” skills such as use of firearms and security driving so that we can survive an ambush.
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.
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.
In part two of this article on anti-surveillance we shall look at anti-surveillance measures carried out when mobile in a vehicle or on public transport. We shall also look at the various times that a target or person will conduct anti-surveillance measures or drills in order to detect surveillance
Remember that anti-surveillance is defined as the actions that a person would take or do, in order to detect if surveillance is present. The person is aiming to draw the surveillance in by generating two things; multiple sightings and unnatural behaviour. As with our foot anti surveillance drills, when mobile in a vehicle, these drills can also be covert and subtle or overt where it obvious to the followers what you are doing. Again, a number of drills have to be carried out in order to identify surveillance. Just looking behind you does not identify surveillance – it identifies those who are behind you.
Over the course of my career (17+ years), I have heard my fair share of complaints from potential clients indicating that their current surveillance/investigative partner was not achieving the desired results with the budgets provided. The activities and behaviors of people are constantly changing and that forces us as investigators to change our approach and evaluate our practices in order to achieve optimal results.
With each client, the situation and threat level will vary, as will their requirements and appetite. When it comes to security there are a myriad of options available, often (and hopefully) with multiple, complementary components working together in harmony. One weapon in the personal protection armory is Protective Surveillance. This article attempts to provide a comprehensive overview of a service that has multiple benefits, quite a few limitations and several misrepresentations.
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.
Whatever the size of the business, whether it is small or large, retail or commercial, it is guaranteed to have a range of valuable assets like computer systems, data and other expensive items that are at risk of theft.
For those of us who use cameras in our professional work, particularly when conducting surveillance tasks you’re going to need something a bit more powerful than a compact. Choosing the best camera for surveillance can be mind-boggling.