What is Close Protection?
What is Close Protection?
Close protection is the provision of physical security services to an individual or a group of individuals against an actual or a perceived threat against them. More commonly referred to as a bodyguard, the close protection officer is typically hired as an individual or as part of team to provide personal protection services to safeguard a client from physical assault, harassment or any other form of unwelcome attention.
Mostly associated with celebrities or people in the public eye, close protection or bodyguard services are provided to royalty, politicians, high net worth individuals, business executives and anyone else who needs a bodyguard. In most cases, close protection operatives are astute and highly trained individuals with a plausible background in law enforcement or the military.
Close protection is by no means a modern phenomenon, research into the history of bodyguards reveals that both the Romans and the Ancient Greeks formed elite military units to provide protection to their senior military commanders. Although the threat dynamics may have changed with time, the concept of close protection remains the same.
Often romanticised in Hollywood movies, the duties and responsibilities of the Close Protection Officer tend to be falsely portrayed which has led to many misconceptions of the industry. Depending on the client, close protection can sometimes involve fraternising with fast cars, private jets and superyachts but the brutal reality is that most close protection services are far less glamorous and mostly involves working anti-social hours and spending long periods of time away from home.
Contrary to popular belief, close protection should be preventative rather than reactive, avoiding any form of confrontation where possible. This requires more brain than brawn and high levels of engaged concentration can be mentally demanding. In addition, considerable amounts of time are spent planning tasks in advance to minimise the chance of any potential incidents as opposed to responding after an incident has occurred.Prevention is always better than cure and the importance of situational awareness should be understood and be continually executed.
Most clients that seek to hire bodyguard services express a preference to conduct their business discreetly and would rather opt for a style that is more inconspicuous and under the radar. Protection personnel that are unassuming, polite and calm under pressure are usually preferred to an operative with an intimidating disposition. Subsequently, some clients have realised the many advantages of a female bodyguard and are selecting the option of female bodyguards ahead of their male colleagues particularly when protection is required for their children.
The diverse nature of the role means that close protection officers must possess flexibility and maintain an array of specialist skills. These can include but are not limited to trauma management, tactical driving and linguist skills. Some tasks are multi-rolled which means performing other additional tasks such as chauffeuring or being part of a ResidentialSecurity Team.
Moreover, a close protection officer is expected to consistently embrace a proactive approach, retain a high level of physical fitness and be an effective communicator whilst always being appreciative of the importance of etiquette when dealing with clients.
In the UK close protection has become a legitimate and respectable element to the wider security industry where an operative is legally required to be licensed by the Security Industry Authority. Close protection tasks are both physically and mentally demanding which requires efficient and highly trained operatives who possess an array of specialist skills.
Are you considering hiring close protection services? Why not contact our team for some free, no obligation advice.