Making your safety and security a priority doesn’t need to be a great effort or expense. There are small changes you can make that will make a big difference to your safety and security. This article outlines some tips and tricks that will keep you safe at all times. 

By being conscious of your surroundings and ensuring you are as careful as you can be, you can avoid multiple unnecessarily dangerous situations. 

Tiny Safety tips that will make a big difference

These tips may seem obvious or even a little redundant but they can really help you get out of or avoid some sticky situations. 

Remote jamming

Car remote jamming is a big trend in South Africa. This is when thieves use a remote device to block or jam the locking mechanism in vehicles. It’s so popular because it is a simple and uncomplicated crime to commit. It is difficult to detect with perpetrators leaving quickly before they can be apprehended. 

This means it’s very important to check that your doors are locked before leaving your vehicle. 

Check your doors

 Before you leave your house, you should always ensure all doors and windows are locked. This may sound obvious but it’s very easy for anyone to forget, especially if you’re in a hurry. Next time you leave the house, make a conscious effort to ensure everything is locked to avoid easy access for potential criminals.  

Taxi Services

Using online apps like Uber or Taxify is a convenient way to get from A to B. This is a safer alternative to you driving if you plan on drinking alcohol. 

Be more observant

When you’re stopped at a traffic light, walking in the mall or even out for a run, it is vital to always make sure you are aware of your surroundings. 

When you’re out and about, you can easily fall victim to pickpockets, smash and grabs or something far more dangerous. 

Valuables 

safety

Keep your valuables out of sight and out of reach at all times.

When you’re in the car, don’t keep your handbag or laptop on the seat next to you. Rather keep them in the boot of your car. Don’t leave your cellphone in plain sight either. It’s very easy for criminals to smash your window or reach in and grab your phone. 

When you’re running errands, don’t keep your phone in your back pocket and make sure your valuables are kept close to you. 

Stay in contact 

If you’re planning on going anywhere, even if it’s just to the store, it is wise to let someone know where you’re going.  

If anything happens to you, it would be easier for someone close to you to know something may be wrong if they were aware of where you’re supposed to be. This sounds incredibly tedious but it can truly benefit you in a crisis. 

Why is this important for your safety 

safety

It may sound overly cautious to constantly check that your doors are locked and that your valuables are out of sight or even just to let a loved one know where you are most of the day but these small changes can have a huge impact. 

In today’s society, you can never be too cautious or too safe, it’s a necessity to overthink your safety. This may seem like obvious advice but you’d be surprised and what can happen when something so trivial is overlooked.    

Safety and security isn’t something we’re guaranteed which makes a safety cheat sheet necessary. We need to work to make sure that we’re safe and secure at all times. This doesn’t only refer to protection officers who are in the business of ensuring their clients are kept safe at all times. This refers to the average individual going about their day, trying to make sure their loved ones are safe too. This is why we’re taking the time to discuss the ultimate safety cheat sheet that you can use every day.

Being safe is a constant concern in various aspects of your life. Thus we’ve outlined our best tips for when you’re at home, while you’re at work and for when you’re travelling. 

At home

Whether you live alone or with your family, there are various measures you can take to ensure that everyone in your home is as safe as possible. 

  • Make your home look occupied at all times. Leave lights and the TV on when you go out. Don’t park your car where it is visible from the street.  
  • Keep trees and bushes around your home trimmed so that they do not provide hiding spaces for intruders.
  • Get to know your neighbours. Good neighbours will be on the lookout for unusual activity and will have a way of contacting you if anything seems suspicious. 
  • Check that all doors and windows are locked before you leave the house or go to bed.
  • Even when you are at home, keep external doors locked.
  • Avoid keeping spare keys in obvious hiding places outside your home. Leave them with a trusted friend or family if possible.
  • Ensure that driveways, pathways, and entry points to you home have adequate lighting.
  • Install motion sensor lights on the exterior of your home.
  • Ensure your doors and windows are secure, reinforced and have security bars where necessary.
  • Install an alarm system.
    Install a motion-sensor video camera security system that sends emails or messages with footage to you rather than just recording onto a hard drive.

At the office 

There are some safety precautions that are out of your control at your place of work. However, there are measures you can take to ensure you keep yourself as safe as possible. 

safety cheat sheet
  • Avoid working too late, leaving work very late in the evening puts you at risk not only in the parking garage but you’re more at risk of getting hijacked or of getting robbed when criminals aren’t as visible. 
  • Remember criminals don’t only operate at night so use the same precautions at all times of the day. 
  • Don’t walk to your car alone at night, try to find a co-worker or a member of the security team to walk with you.  
  • Avoid booking meetings in the evening.
  • If you’re attending meetings in an unfamiliar area, vet the area beforehand. This way you are aware of safe or unsafe areas and so that you’re more comfortable with the area.

On the go

safety cheat sheet

Travelling is an exciting opportunity whether for business or pleasure. However, there is more risk involved when travelling – especially when travelling abroad.

  • Be informed about your destination. Take the time to learn as much as you possibly can about where you’re headed to, and how you’re going to get there. 
  • Invest in travel insurance because it is intended to cover medical expenses, trip cancellation, lost luggage, flight accident and other losses incurred while travelling, either internationally or domestically. Whether you’re going on holiday or travelling for work – travel insurance can help you in various ways.
  • Keep an eye on your belongings, so you can protect your valuables at all times. 
  • Keep your documents and passport close. These are vital and can get you into a lot of trouble if they go missing.  
  • Invest in secure travel management

This is a mini-guide and safety cheat sheet to make sure you and your loved ones are safe at all times. But there is always more you can do to escalate your safety and security measures, feel free to contact us if you have any concerns about your current security.  

Executive Protection is an integrated system and deployment of physical and technical security measures and countermeasures. This system is designed to protect the life of principles (clients). Executive protection often features multiple tactics to keep individuals safe. We’ve decided to take a look at the Ideal Executive Protection Package.

Executive protection is a holistic approach to ensuring principles are kept safe no matter the circumstance. Many security companies put various measures in place to ensure their principles are safe but often they don’t offer more than close protection packages or secure travel but there is much more to it than just that. 

You put your entire trust into someone so they need to be able to cater for and be ready for any situation that may arise so how do you know if the company you’re trusting is the correct one?

Deciding on what you need

This is where it’s necessary to pinpoint exactly what you need from a protection company. There are companies that specialise in bodyguards specifically or secure travel specifically so in order for you to ensure that your needs are being met without exceeding your budget. 

Various companies arm themselves with different arsenal, this can include:

  • Staying ahead of industry trends and know-how
  • Keeping up to date with global news and remaining “in the know”
  • Incorporating technology 
  • Professionally trained in protection
  • Soft skills 
  • Travel safety 
  • Medical solutions 
  • And so forth. 

There is a wide range of skills that a protection company needs to be trained in but the knowledge and experience they have goes a much longer way. This is why you should decide on exactly what you need and find a multi-faceted company that can handle these requirements professionally and  efficiently. Ideally, your protection package should include;

The Ideal EXECUTIVE Protection Package

This is based on the specific needs of the client at that time and in the specific location the client finds themselves in.  Due to this, it is important to build the solution around the clients needs and not sell an “off the shelf” service. In close protection there is no one size fits all service.  It’s always better to be over-prepared than under-prepared and potentially at unnecessary risk.  

Our holistic and bespoke services:

Close Protection and VIP Bodyguard services 

Our executive protection professionals, who are experienced in the field of covert and overt security, ensure that you are protected. This should be tailored to each client based on the analysis of their risk profile. All aspects of what the client requires should be covered both internationally and locally. 

Protective surveillance

This allows the client to go about their daily routine without obtrusive protection. However, they will still have peace of mind knowing that they are surrounded and protected by a highly trained team. 

Security drivers and Travel security 

This includes:

  • Daily routine travel
  • Secure transport at short notice
  • Special planned secure transport 

A range of discrete vehicles for various tastes and application can be offered, such as:

  • Armoured Sedans and SUVs
  • Soft-skin Luxury sedan, SUVs and passenger vans 
  • Secure airport transport and Airport VIP services

Airport transfers can become one of the most challenging elements in a planned trip. This can be due to increased criminal activity, political unrest or logistical requirements. We, therefore, provide Secure airport transfers as well as permanent security drivers. This will give you peace of mind while you travel in either high-risk areas or unfamiliar routes. Our highly trained drivers will ensure you arrive at your destination.

Security consulting 

We offer consulting services that include risk and vulnerability assessments, physical security assessments, self-defence and security awareness courses, travel security briefings, firearm training and K&R prevention. 

Advanced medical solutions

This is the merging of executive protection services with medical assistance. The protection company will then be on standby 24/7 to cater to sudden injuries or illnesses. 

  • Aeromedical Service
  • Concierge Doctor
  • On-site Medical Support
  • Operations Command Centre
  • Off-road Medical Capabilities
  • VIP Medical Solutions

These are but a few of the areas that we cover to provide the most comprehensive executive protection package. There are, however, various services that you may not require at first. But it is always refreshing to know that you are covered in all cases of an emergency. There are so many unforeseen circumstances and dangers that you may think will never happen but you never know. To understand more about the ideal protection package, please contact us

Our priority is ensuring our clients are safe and protected at all times regardless of how inaccessible they may be. This is often when medical assistance and security operations combine. These two concepts are married in many circumstances to help bring the best solution to an unforeseen problem.

We’re taking a look at how these separate entities come together in precarious situations. 

What is VIP Medical Assistance and security?

It is the merging of executive protection services with medical assistance where the protection company would be on standby 24/7 to cater to sudden injuries or illnesses by:

  • Servicing the necessary equipment 
  • Administering trained personnel 
  • Using medically approved treatments 

The protection company would ensure that they have the capability, skill and equipment to get to any emergency in a timely response using rapid deployment of advanced medical resources. In our case, we ensure the safety, security and general wellbeing of our clients by maintaining a holistic approach and a complete understanding of the risks within the environment. 

If you or your clients find that you have a considered risk such as high profile visitors, adventure sports or simply need a medic on-site, a protection company should provide fully equipped teams that provide both the required protection services as well as onsite 24/7 emergency medical services and primary health care under a medical practitioner’s guidance. 

The team should be able to provide:

  • Equip and man a simple medical station or onsite medical centres
  • Dedicated all-terrain and 4×4 ambulance services for:
    • Lodges or game lodges
    • Hunting safaris 
    • Eco-centres
    • Eco-adventure tourism 

Our VIP Emergency Medical Solutions:

Specific to Arcangel Protection Services, we provide an array of emergency medical solutions to our clients, these include:  

Aeromedical Service 

Emergency medical situations can be difficult to manage. It is especially difficult when the affected individuals are in remote, difficult to reach locations (private safari lodges). This is something we are uniquely capable of resolving with our experienced and highly trained medical and aviation team.

We can evacuate our clients from remote locations and transfer patients or injured people to the right facility in critical times using an aeroplane or helicopter to ensure there is no time-delay.

Due to the fact that we have these services available, we can also perform:

  • Remote Location Medical Rescue 
  • Patient Transfers
  • Concierge Doctor

This service provides a discreet medical option for those who wish to keep their medical needs out of the public eye. As well as those in remote locations requiring the services of a medical doctor. 

On-site Medical Support

Illnesses or injuries don’t discriminate and they can occur at any time without warning. Every individual is at risk, meaning that no matter where you are, your clients can easily come down with a cold, catch the flu, fall victim to some infection or injure themselves in some manner.

Operations Command Centre 

Our operations command centre ensures our team is fully capable and ready to go at any given time. From managing emergency calls as they come in and assigning the adequate medical professionals from our team based on what’s required to ordering supplies and conducting risk assessments, this solution is the backbone of our service.

Off-road Medical Capabilities 

In most cases, our clients are in remote, difficult to reach locations which is why we have the capabilities to reach them by using all-terrain, 4×4 ambulances and rescue units. We can reach our clients quickly in any off-road incidents.  

VIP Medical Solutions

More often than not, our clients are either high-risk clients or have their own high-risk clients who require discreet and unique solutions and services. We offer tailor-made solutions based on the client, the location and their unique needs.  

Often Executive Protection is thought of primarily but medical needs are only thought of as and when an emergency situation occurs which is why it is ideal to have both needs met by one unique and professional company. If this is something you may need or need more information on, don’t hesitate to contact us

Duty of Care has various meanings and principles in different countries. It is gaining traction as a guiding principle among senior executives and as a legal obligation for which organisations must prepare and comply with. You may have heard of this term before but what exactly does it mean?

What is Duty of Care?

According to the International SOS Foundation, Duty of Care, in South Africa, is the primary piece of legislation which generally regulates and provides for an employer’s duty in respect of its employees according to the Occupational Health and Safety Act, 85 of 1993 (OHSA).

The OHSA places an obligation on employers to identify and reduce risks to health and safety in the workplace and provides for the regulation and monitoring of workplaces. Duty of Care is the responsibility of any individual who has the obligation to conform to a certain standard of conduct for the protection of another against an unreasonable risk of harm.

Duty of care in the workplace

In a number of countries, Duty of Care relates directly to occupational health and safety laws. This means employers need to do everything practical in their power to provide a hazard-free environment and a workplace that is completely safe. Employers are required to provide Duty of Care in the workplace as well as when employees are travelling abroad for business.  According to iJet, Employers should;

  • Provide a safe working environment – this includes when staying in hotels, using rental cars or even what airlines they use for business travel (etc.)
  • Providing information and instruction on potential hazards and threats
  • Providing supervision to ensure worker safety
  • Monitoring the health and safety of employees
  • Employing qualified persons to provide health and safety advice
  • Monitoring conditions at all locations under your control and management
  • Maintaining appropriate employee records to allow for proper implementation

Duty of Care is an important consideration for those involved with Travel Risk Management and Operational Risk Management. These management sectors need to determine precisely which people have Duty of Care and what the legal liabilities are with regards to it in your particular region. This requires a detailed assessment of an organisation’s operations by appropriate experts.

How to implement duty of care

Phase 1: Learn about Duty of Care in the environment you operate in

Organisations should be proactive and do their research on the Duty of Care that applies to their industry and region. It would also be a preferred idea to monitor the trends of it that will offer a clear understanding of the standards surrounding it. The trends will indicate the best practices for both legal obligations as well as trends in the industry.

Phase 2: Assess your current systems to manage Duty of Care

In an organisation, it extends to business trips and employee travels. These conditions put your employees at a higher risk level. A travel risk management profile for a company is an essential component of its Duty of Care assessment.

Why hire an executive protection service

As part of an organisation’s Duty of Care, it is suggested that hiring executive protection is the best solution for employees, especially when travelling. This should not be limited to C-Suite individuals and executives but any employee in your company.

Any employee has the right to Duty of Care at any point in time. This is significant if they’re travelling or meeting clients/ customers on a regular basis. If your employees are meeting with individuals off of the company’s premises, it is the company’s responsibility to ensure that they are safe before, during and after this meeting. We’ve heard stories of female employees meeting unknown clients and finding themselves in incredibly uncomfortable and dangerous situations. An executive protection officer will ensure your employees are safe while travelling to and from the meeting while ensuring your employee is kept out of harm’s way for the entire meeting process.  

duty of care

An executive protection team is ideal for high profile individuals at your company as well. The executive protection team have the ability to assess the risks that are associated with this high profile individual to determine the level of security needed. This way it can be determined whether or not full-time protection is necessary or if only secure travel management is needed.

If you’re looking at expanding your business, either to another region in your country or even overseas, an executive protection team can do a thorough assessment of the area you plan on expanding to. This way you can anticipate what risks may affect you and your employees, it also helps you decide if the area in which you want to move to is a viable and safe option.

Duty of Care is a vital component in an organisation and the legal obligations of this can be serious, especially if your employees are put at risk. If you feel like you are not covered for this in your organisation, contact us. We can offer a comprehensive assessment and implement an effective Duty of Care profile for your company.

Individuals who feel there is a threat to them or their families usually apply for restraining orders or protection orders. This is a way of ensuring that their loved ones, as well as themselves, are safe and protected. But do restraining orders actually work or are they merely a false sense of security?

What is a restraining order?

A restraining order aims at preventing the reoccurrence of any harm. This could be domestic violence, stalking or sexual harassment.

You need to state the conduct of the alleged offender and what they must refrain from doing. As long as he/she complies with the restraining order, you will be safe. If the respondent contravenes any stipulation of the protection order, he/she may be arrested. A protection order is enforced throughout the country once it’s granted. A restraining order is a court order intended to keep the abuser from your home, place of work, etc.

How to apply for a restraining order

As with any legal proceeding, applying for a restraining can be a lengthy process.

  • Get an affidavit and fill out the application form
  • Supporting affidavits by people who have knowledge of the matter in question may accompany the application
  • These documents must be handed to a clerk at the nearest court. The court will consider the application immediately
  • The application for a protection order is not limited to the person who has been harmed or threatened. The application may be created on behalf of the person by any other individual who has an interest in their well-being. This includes a counsellor, a health service provider, a social worker, a teacher or a member of the SAPS
  • If the court is satisfied that there is sufficient evidence that the suspect is committing or has committed an act of violence/harassment and unnecessary hardship as a result of the act, the court will issue an interim protection order against the respondent

Other information

  • The application for an interim protection order may be brought at any time and not only during office hours or on court days
  • The purpose of this interim protection order is to provide immediate protection to the complainant
  • The interim protection order has no force or effect until it has been served
  • The court is also required to issue a suspended warrant of arrest. A breach of the protection order requires that the respondent must be arrested by the police immediately
  • The interim protection order is not a final order from the court, but a temporary order which grants immediate relief until the return date (the date when the applicant and the respondent, after being given due notice, are to appear before the court to have the protection order made final). On this return date, the respondent is afforded the opportunity to present to the court reasons why the protection order should not be made final  
  • If the respondent does not appear in court on the return date, but the court is satisfied that proper notice has been given to the respondent and that there is sufficient evidence, the court may make a final order without the respondent being there

Are restraining orders effective?

The effectiveness of a restraining order is debatable. Many victims only apply for restraining orders after multiple experiences of serious abuse. The problem is, once these victims apply for a protection order, they run the risk of sending the abuser into a deep rage.  

Restraining Order Statistics

Violations of restraining orders are common and mean significant danger to the victim. The National Institute of Justice completed a two-year follow-up study of restraining orders. The results found that stalkers had the highest rate of re-offending. Here are some additional statistics;

  • 48.8% of victims were abused again after filing the order
  • 69% of stalked women were stalked again
  • 81% of stalked men were stalked again
  • 21% of victims experienced increased stalking and violence

Another study suggested that “the reported rates of protection order violations vary widely across studies, from as low as 7.1% to as high as 81.3%”. While other studies reported that restraining orders have a “15% success rate”. Studies vary based on the testing group they use. It makes it difficult to officially state the effectiveness of a restraining order. But most agree that the success of a protection order is 50/50. After all, it is just a piece of paper…

How you can protect yourself:

  • Tell someone: it is important that people who are close to you or who you work with are aware of your situation.  
  • Self-defense training: you may want to learn some basic self-dense moves so that you have the ability to get out of a sticky situation
  • Have a safety net: ensure you have someone or place of safety that you can run to
  • Get legal advice/ file a report: if you have children involved, find out what actions you can take and make the law enforcement aware of your situation
  • Be vigilant/ change your routine: make changes in your day so it isn’t easy to follow your wherabouts
  • Document everything: keep a record of every text/email, threat or act of violence, this will come in handy during court proceedings
  • Be wary of social media: having your life available for anyone to view or follow online is dangerous. It is easy to trace your location or your routine online
  • Keep your phone on you/charged always: if you need help, your phone is often your best ally
  • Escape plan: save money, move someone different, preferably into a secure complex/estate
  • Get help: if you have exhausted all possible options, try finding an executive protection company that can assist you  

Personal Protection

A 50/50 chance that you and your family are protected doesn’t sit well with us. A better option for you to consider, if you do find yourself in a dangerous situation or if you ever feel unsafe, is executive protection.

Executive Protection is also known as Close Protection or bodyguard services. Our experienced executive protection professionals in the field of covert and overt security will ensure you’re protected.

We will tailor the appropriate protection package for you based on our analysis of your risk profile. Once this is complete we then formulate a plan based on the requirements for the operation accordingly. All facets of your personal security are covered whether locally or internationally. Our specialist operators identify potential threats, ensure uninterrupted surveillance and around-the-clock protection.

We take your safety and security very seriously and while a restraining order is a good start, hiring a professional security officer will ensure absolutely nothing can happen to you. We will protect you 24/7. Contact us, you and your family are worth it.

Here’s all you need to know

The need for a reliable, easy to use and professional security system is imperative. A report from November 2018 showed that there were 22 261 home robberies carried out throughout 2018. The province with the most home invasions was Gauteng, which recorded 8 333 incidents over a 12-month period. The Northern Cape had the least amount of home robberies, recording just 159 cases.

No matter where you stay, you are still at risk of a home invasion. They can happen when you’re home, relaxing with your family or while you’re out and about – there’s no telling exactly when. The best solution for is to ensure you and your family are prepared at all times.  

Security systems

A security system is exactly what it sounds like. It is a system put in place to ensure your home, family and personal belongings are secure at all times. A home security system is a network of integrated electronic devices working together with a central control panel to offer protection against burglars and other potential home intruders.

A typical home security system includes:

  • A control panel, which is the primary controller of a home’s security system
  • Door and window sensors
  • Motion sensors, both interior and exterior
  • Wired or wireless security cameras
  • A high-decibel siren or alarm
  • A yard sign and window stickers

Is there a need?

Professional security systems are an extra expense and depending on how comprehensive the system is, it can become pricey.

This is often a deterrent where individuals feel they don’t have the extra funds for this. However, how much is your safety, privacy and sound of mind worth? Any form of extra security for your home is worth it.

Other ways of adding security

You don’t necessarily have to install a home security system (although it is recommended). There are other ways to boost your home security.

  • Ensure your garden and home is well lit
  • Add extra security bars/gates to windows and glass sliding doors
  • Possibly get a dog (they’re a great deterrent and best friend)
  • Ensure valuables cannot be seen from the road
  • Be careful about who you let in your home (contractors etc)
  • Be vigilant
  • Hire an executive security professional/team to access the safety of your home, neighbourhood and surrounds and get a comprehensive plan on how to combat any weaknesses in your security

Signs your security is compromised

We may feel that our homes are 100% secure but there are professional home invaders who know their way around security plans in place. There are some key signs to identify if your home security has been compromised in any way;

  • Are your online systems acting strange? Identify if your systems have been hacked
  • Is your electric fence making an odd clicking sound or no longer active? Identify if your electric fence has been cut or damaged (ensure you get it repaired ASAP)
  • Have you seen weird objects lying outside your house? Check the surrounds of your house to ensure nothing has been left as a marker for thieves to target your home
  • Have you seen the same people lurking around in your area? Possibly call your security company to identify what their intentions are

The safety of your home is not about your possessions but it’s about the protection of your family and your territory. A home intrusion is an incredibly uncomfortable feeling as someone has completely invaded your space and left you feeling vulnerable. This is why extra measures have to be taken to ensure your family’s wellbeing is always taken care of.

We offer detailed consulting that will help you identify any risks or weaknesses in your home or personal security.

Red Teaming

This term works on the basis of ‘the best offence is a great defence’. Red Teaming is a full-scope, multi-layered simulation designed to measure how well a company’s people and networks, applications and physical security controls can withstand an attack from a real-life adversary.

While ‘red teaming’ is mostly done by large companies, it can also be adopted inside your own home to identify any potential safety risks.

A thorough red team test will expose vulnerabilities and risks regarding:

  • Technology — Networks, applications, routers, security systems, etc.
  • Physical — buildings, windows, doors, physical security measures etc.

There are various professionals who will come to your home or business to test the security of your premises. This is an ideal way to identify weaknesses in your security that you may not have seen.

Security consulting

We specialise in high-risk protection, emergency planning, security consulting and disaster management.

Our approach is that of complete transparency with our clients. We involve you throughout the entire process of consultation and customise each operation to fit your needs. Every operation undergoes a threat assessment which allows us to provide superior service by:

Problem Identification and Analysis – Uncovering underlying issues and security risks:

We conduct extensive research and analysis of the proposed operation to expose any possible added threats or risks. This eliminates the possibility of secondary issues arising and prepares the operation for any contingencies that may occur.

Possible Solution Identification – Establishing the context of the client’s environment:

By examining the setting of the operation, we can anticipate the factors it brings. This allows us to create an optimised solution which works within the confines of the context, utilising it to our client’s advantage.

Solution Roadmap Development and Implementation – Creating custom-designed solutions:

We create a perfect solution which caters for all our client’s needs. Each operation is customised and thereby adjusted to enable the most effective and streamlined solution. Whatever the client’s requirements may be.

We ensure you and your family are in the safest environment possible to go about your daily lives. Contact us for a full consultation if you feel you are at risk in any way.

Close Protection Officers (CPOs) are often referred to as bodyguards. The term possibly made popular by all of the cliche bodyguard movies we can’t help but watch tireously. CPOs are responsible for the personal protection of their clients. This usually entails personally monitoring their clients’ daily whereabouts.  

The sometimes (very) dramatic portrayal of Close Protection Officers in these action-packed movies create a false perception around what CPOs do as well as who they are. We have taken the time to identify and bust the five biggest myths surrounding CPOs.

Our Top 5 Myths:

1. CPOs are ALWAYS men

Not all bodyguards are men. In some situations, a male bodyguard is not needed. A female CPO offers a unique perspective on the world of executive protection. This is not to say that this approach is better or worse, but rather just a different angle to solving the same problem. As a generalisation, female close protection officer’s tend to be less aggressive than their male counterparts. Often female CPOs are preferred because they offer a perception of softness. This makes a female CPO a better option for families with young children.

Both men and women are perfect candidates in a CPO position. Each offer a unique take on the role and offer various takes on how to handle a situation or how to best use their training to better any situation.

2. The bigger the better

Usually, the first thing that people think of when thinking of a CPO is that they need to be an intimidating, abnormally tall, musclebound monster where the bigger the frame, the more protective they’ll be. While some clients prefer to hire a personal protection officer that looks like this – size is certainly no guarantee of professional ability. Ideally, the close protection officer should be someone who doesn’t draw unnecessary attention that operates discreetly whilst blending into the crowd. Agility and the ability to think on your feet are more important than the size of a CPO.

3. CPOs are only used by celebrities

While most celebrities do hire bodyguards, a large number of ordinary, everyday people also require some form of personal protection. These may range from a business executive travelling overseas to an unfamiliar location to someone feeling threatened by the likes of stalkers. In addition, an increasing number of clients feel the need to hire personal protection to safeguard their children.

4. CPOs are trigger happy

CPOs may not necessarily be armed. Admin processes must be in place in order for CPOs to be allowed to carry firearms – permits and licenses must be obtained. In some countries, bodyguards are strictly prohibited from carrying arms. However, CPOs do not need to be armed to protect you.

Many CPOs believe that resorting to gunplay means they have pretty much already failed. The misconception is we’re in this business to fight or draw guns. CPOs are trained to cover and get their principles out of harm’s way. The goal is not to use force. If a CPO needs to draw a gun to respond to a situation – he’s already behind.

5. CPOs have more brawn than brains

A common misconception surrounding CPOs is to be a successful CPO, you only need large muscles and great stamina to get the job done. While having strength and endurance is often vital to their role, CPOs need to react quickly in certain situations and have the capacity to predict if a dangerous situation may arise. By going through rigorous training, CPOs become experts in their field – both physically AND mentally. Having the mental ability to handle various situations far exceeds the need for big muscles.

These myths are only some that surround this line of work. The film industry has definitely had a hand in creating a somewhat false image of this highly skilled yet misunderstood profession where intellect outweighs physical strength. CPOs are still considered a mystery as to what they can actually offer you but regardless of this, you will always be protected by them in any high-risk situation.

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.

It makes sense for your business to shut down for the holidays – not only will you appreciate the break, but your company could come out better for it too. Some companies simply cannot shut down during this time, but those that can will benefit from increased productivity, healthier, happier employees and a better work/life balance. But unfortunately, closing for the holidays can actually increase quite a few of the dangers and risks for C-suite executives and their businesses. How can you combat this issue while reaping the benefits of a well-deserved break? It starts with understanding everything you need to know about the risks:

The risks to your business

The reality is that crime spikes considerably over the holiday period. According to South African crime statistics, an estimated 27 businesses are robbed each day. There has also been a major increase in reported fraud – a massive 110%. Your own employees could even be an inside threat to your business, from insider trading to general theft when you are not around.

These threats increase nearing the holiday season, as people tend to start letting their guard down, and wouldn’t notice suspicious behaviour. In this case, having executive protection personnel present with extensive “soft skills” could be the difference between noticing a detrimental element or not.

The main risk to your business during a shutdown is not having the right security measures and processes in place that will determine every single risk you may face – whether this is during the preparation for shutdown phase or during the actual shutdown. Taking a comprehensive risk assessment will help to alleviate this stress on your company, as relying on the experts is the best way to go about your company safety needs.

The risks to you

Nearing a shutdown, you may find yourself travelling more in order to finalise dealings for the following year. Travel puts you at a serious risk of criminal intent, especially in high-risk countries. During the holidays, you may travel to visit family overseas or become a tourist in a new city. Airports are of particular concern, as criminal elements select targets based on a number of identifying factors such as brand of luggage, the location from which the individual is travelling from, etc. This leaves you exposed and vulnerable to attack. When you don’t use a secure airport transfer, you are increasing the likelihood of an incident.

During this time or at any other point during the holidays, criminal intent could put you at risk of:

  • Kidnapping for ransom
  • Robbery and theft
  • Hijacking
  • Assault and physical attacks

There are also threats you may not have considered, such as:

  • Cybersecurity threats and hacking
  • Targeting your family while you are away
  • Home Break-ins
  • Threats on the road such as drunk or distracted drivers

How do you combat these risks?

Should these threats to your personal safety, and the safety of your family, affect your plans in any way? Not if you have put measures in place to prevent such occurrences. If you feel your position in a company has made you a target for criminals, it is in your company’s “Duty of Care” to provide the protection necessary – even during times of shutdown. If you need an assessment of your risk, contact Arcangel today.