close protection

Wealthier people are spending more money on privacy and security than ever before

High and ultra high net worth individuals are finding it increasingly necessary to invest more in their personal protection and are finding there is a pressing need to ensure their privacy is kept, especially in a technological age. This means they’re finding it more necessary to invest in close protection.

What is Close Protection?

Close protection officers (often referred to as bodyguards) are responsible for the personal protection of their clients. This usually entails personally monitoring their clients’ daily whereabouts. A Personal protection officer (PPO) refers to a protection officer that is assigned to “shadow” the client. This distinction is necessary when the client is protected by more than one CPO.  

Professional CPOs are required to go through close protection training courses. Among other things, they will be required to register with the appropriate regulatory authority, which in South Africa is the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSIRA). They are required to have extensive weapons and driving training as well as emergency medical training. CPOs offer the following services;

  • Risk, threat and vulnerability assessments
  • Armed personal protection
  • Advanced /defensive driving  
  • Emergency Medical Assistance
  • Threat Detection
  • Intervention in Dangerous Situations

Our blog on the Differences between Executive Protection and a Bodyguard can offer more information on this.

Why has the need for CP increased for HNWI?

HNWI might find they need extra protection because they have;

  • been targeted by criminals due to perceived wealth
  • an increased public profile
  • received unwanted attention (such as stalkers)

…to mention just a few.

In an ever-growing technological age, wealthier individuals are having to constantly ensure they are private about their activities or the possessions they own. Experts in high-end security say wealthy individuals are finding it increasingly necessary to stay under the radar at home and while travelling. Privacy and security are linked in today’s society as our lives are so easily tracked online. It is vital to keep a lid on your private life to ensure you are kept safe and out of reach of those that intend to do you harm. People are now using – what was once considered private information, to learn about people they otherwise would not have had access to. This includes where clients live or information about their activities in order to seek personal encounters with them. These may be harmless admirers but could also be part of a planned attack such as kidnapping, assault, etc.

How are HNWI ensuring they’re protected?

There are many ways HNWI can invest in their protection – both at home and while travelling. Some of these include;

  • Using VPNs for home internet networks.
  • Creating multiple entry and exit gates where possible to break routine
  • Hiring architects to conceal buildings — by either designing an underground home or by using a “stealth concealment design” for above ground properties (panic rooms)
  • Hiring Executive Protection and residential security teams to offer 24-hour assistance and protection
  • Home security systems that are maintained by reputable companies that support their products

These advances in privacy and security don’t come cheap but are worth the investment.  It is only natural for anyone to go to any length in ensuring their families safety. HNWIs however, are fortunate to not be limited to off the shelf solutions which aren’t always effective and are able to afford the custom solutions which are tailored to their specific requirements.   In residential estates, there is often a dedicated security office, elaborate technological early-warning systems, and strict access control to keep people out.

In a society where crime continues to escalate and grow – it is completely necessary for high net worth individuals to invest not only their safety but their privacy as well.