Posted by Darren Miles on Sunday, December 13, 2020 Under: Close Protection
With the rise in criminal activity, terrorism and specific threats, Close Protection officers provide a high level of security to individuals and organisations. Close Protection officers, or bodyguards can have a high-profile role, even outside of the security industry, as they’re widely depicted in film and television for protecting VIPs, celebrities, and other important clients.
But what exactly is Close Protection? And more importantly, how does it benefit you and your business? This article will explain all you need to know about Close Protection and the role it plays in your overall security arrangements.
At Spartan 24 Hour Security, we have provided specialist Close Protection services for over 24 years. We are confident in protecting our clients in any role, any industry, and in any country. Our licensed close protection officers can have Commercial, Government and Military backgrounds, as well as receiving additional specialist training to provide the highest level of security to those who need it.
What is Close Protection?
Close Protection officers are also known as bodyguards. They are a highly trained, specialist security officer who keep people safe from physical harm, unwanted attention and other threats to their safety or privacy.
Close Protection officers provide physical security, risk assessments, pre-emptive care and even discreet surveillance.
With the rise in criminal activity, terrorism and specific threats, Close Protection offers a superior level of security to individuals, their families, and their business, political or financial interests.
Yet, the concept of Close Protection is not a modern one. In fact, many historical figures employed bodyguards, even going back thousands of years before civilisation as we know it. Roman Emperors employed the Praetorian Guard to serve as personal bodyguards, and Alexander the Great appointed ‘Somatophylakes’, which, when translated into English literally means bodyguards.
The nature of threats may have changed over the centuries, but the concept of protecting individuals remains the same.
Who needs Close Protection?
Historical figures aside, many notable and important individuals may require Close Protection. Also, any individual who is at risk of harm may need a Close Protection officer to assist them short or long-term.
Here are some examples of those who require support from Close Protection officers:
- Royal families
- Politicians, dignitaries and diplomats
- Music, film, TV or sports celebrities and their families
- High profile individuals attending potentially dangerous or hostile places
- Journalists covering controversial stories
- Barristers, Judges and sometimes members of a Jury
- Other high-profile media personalities
What threats do bodyguards protect you from?
Sadly, criminal activity takes place in all communities and some individuals are more vulnerable to becoming victims of crime. Those who are in a position of influence, for example, celebrities with a lot of followers or international policymakers are likely to need close protection in their day-to-day lives.
This may be due to previous incidents, having received direct threats, or simply being in a high position of influence that naturally attracts attention.
Close Protection can protect you from threats such as:
- Over-enthusiastic fans
- Potential stalkers
- Direct or indirect threats
- Convert surveillance/invasion of privacy
- Terrorist organisations
- Organised crime
- Political rivals or opponents
What do Close Protection officers do?
Close Protection officers are responsible for keeping their client safe from harm.
In the UK, all officers must have a valid SIA License, have passed a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check and have a minimum Level 3 vocational Security Qualification.
Close Protection officers have a wide range of tasks and daily duties that range from project management, strategic planning, tactical driving, conflict management and even providing emergency first aid treatment. Planning is essential as it is challenging to protect against the unknown.
However, thanks to the way bodyguards and portrayed in film and television, there’s a common misconception that they’re frequently engaged in gun fights and nail-biting moments of tension. You have to allow the film industry some creative license with this, as most Close Protection work involves strategically planning, researching, pre-emptive checks, travelling and escorting duties.
Despite this, a Close Protection officer’s job is an extremely complex role that requires officers to be highly alert and ready to jump into action at any time.
Here is an overview of the role of a Close Protection officer, and the level of protection you can expect when in the care of a bodyguard:
Physical security and protection from harm
Close Protection officers provide physical, front-line protection from threats such as violent assault, harassment, physical aggression, kidnapping or even assassination attempts.
They are highly trained to respond and react quickly in potentially dangerous situations. Depending on the laws and regulations, which vary widely across the world, bodyguards may be unarmed or armed with a lethal or non-lethal weapon.
This includes pre-emptively checking venues, such as restaurants, theatres, hotels and other venues for potential threats. Pre-emptive work is an extremely important part of close protection security, as it can diffuse dangerous threats before they come to fruition.
When examining a venue or premises, bodyguards will look for potential weak spots in security, as well as entrances and exits, and members of staff who may come into contact with the protected individual.
Pre-emptive security also includes checking for threats to privacy, as well as physical safety. This shows that a bodyguard’s job goes much further than physical security alone, as their goal is to diffuse a threatening situation before it becomes a dangerous one.
Driving and travel security
Close Protection officers play an important role in assisting their clients to travel safely.
Whether it’s checking vehicles before a journey or escorting an individual to/from the car, their role is vital, as 60% of attempted attacks take place when the protected person is near the vehicle. There are other vulnerable parts of a journey whereby a Close Protection officer must be alert at all times.
They will also assist with planning and checking routes or transport before trips and travel alongside their client to ensure a safe and hassle-free journey.
Highly trained chauffeurs and security drivers also work as, or alongside Close Protection officers. They are experienced with tactical driving and able to use their skills to escape from threatening situations.
Deterring opportunistic attacks
Sadly, there are many opportunistic criminals who will act on impulse. For these situations, having a bodyguard present will often be enough to deter such attacks.
An opportunistic attacker is far less likely to behave in a threatening manner in there are security professionals present, as this in itself is an effective deterrent.
How to find Close Protection to suit your needs
Contact us today for an informal discussion about your Close Protection and private security needs, our highly trained team will be happy to help.
With our extensive knowledge of various cities and countries we are able to deliver the highest level of Close Protection services across the globe and have delivered services throughout the UK, Europe, the Middle East, South America and Africa on a continual basis.
Our Close Protection officers integrate their protective duties into your daily pattern. We provide a completely bespoke service to give you superior levels of security, allowing you to continue with your business and personal life with less worry.
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