Bodyguard Hire in the UK – what you need to know
If you have concerns for your personal safety or for the safety of your family, or just want an extra measure of protection and reassurance, you may be considering hiring the services of a bodyguard (also known as a close protection officer).
Typically associated with celebrities or the rich and famous, bodyguard hire in the UK is becoming more commonplace with individuals outside of the gaze of the public eye.
For those who have never hired bodyguard services before, the process may seem like a complex minefield. An internet trawl will reveal an abundance of private security companies offering close protection services. These bodyguard providers come in various forms and come with varying standards of professionalism. The challenge is finding the right provider for you.
You may be seeking a bodyguard with an overt physical presence, someone who ‘looks the part’. Conversely, you may prefer an operative with a more discreet and covert presence, someone who blends in unnoticed.
Many bodyguards are also proficient in a range of other skills. For example, they may be fluent in another language, or they may hold advanced medical qualifications, the real question is how do you hire a bodyguard that is right for you?
Firstly, it should be highlighted that the security industry in the UK is regulated by the Security Industry Authority (SIA). This means that upon meeting their set criteria, all individual security operatives (including bodyguards) must be issued with the relevant license. Performing security duties in the UK without a valid SIA license is prohibited by law.
As already stated, there are a plethora of private security companies offering bodyguard services in the UK. An obvious starting point is finding a provider that is based in the same town or city where you’ll be requiring their services, keeping in mind that most bodyguard providers are headquartered in London.
Conducting your due diligence on the private security company is a must. Your personal safety or the personal safety of your loved ones is at stake, so you need to be assured that this company is reputable. Ask yourself how long have they been in business, are there any outstanding irregularities, are they customer focused, what accreditations do they have?
Next, research the company owners & directors. What is their background and experience? Are they suitably qualified?
Check how the company recruits its bodyguard personnel. Do the bodyguards have a background in law enforcement or the military? If so, what military? More importantly, are the bodyguards in possession of a valid SIA license for close protection?
One final note is the question of armed bodyguards. The United Kingdom has very strict laws on firearms. Consequently, under UK law it is illegal for bodyguards to carry guns or any other prohibited form of weaponry.
Hiring a bodyguard in the UK may seem challenging. However, taking the time to conduct proper due diligence will be beneficial. There are an abundance of private security companies offering bodyguard services in the UK. Following the guidelines highlighted in this article should alleviate some of those concerns.
Good luck and more importantly, stay safe!
If you are considering hiring a bodyguard or wish to hire a bodyguard team whether in the UK or abroad, please feel free to get in touch via our Contact Us page to receive some free, no obligation advice.