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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.    

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

Security drivers are, more often than not, seen as a luxury or ostentatious expense to an organisation. Many people have the opinion that a security driver is only used by wealthy individuals who wish to flaunt their wealth. This is a false perception, even though a security driver is an extra expense, a security driver is a vital asset to any organisation.

What is a security driver?

It is a common misconception that a security driver and a chauffeur are the same thing. There are vast differences between the two.

By definition, a chauffeur is a person employed to drive a passenger motor vehicle, especially a luxury vehicle such as a large sedan or limousine. They’re simply an individual who will transport you wherever you need to be.

While a security driver is someone who will also transport you where you need to be, there is so much more to their role than just that. Briefly, a security driver:

  • Thoroughly inspects the vehicle to ensure safe operation
  • Conducts any necessary vehicle maintenance
  • Uses defensive and evasive driving to keep you safe
  • Conducts foot patrol and surveillance
  • Conducts a thorough assessment of the route and area beforehand

There are additional skills that executive protection officers and security drivers need to have, these are known as soft skills.   

Soft skills

Soft skills are less tangible and harder to quantify. These are often overlooked as simply the characteristics of an individual and therefore excluded from many executive protection courses.

These characteristics include:

  • Etiquette
  • Communication
  • Flexibility
  • Teamwork
  • Leadership
  • Motivation
  • Patience
  • Persuasion
  • Problem solving abilities
  • Time management
  • Work ethic
  • Listening and engaging in small talk

Security Driver Responsibilities

A security driver is thoroughly trained and has a broad set of skills that combines evasive and defensive driving training, vehicle safety inspection and maintenance, foot patrol and surveillance. Before embarking with the principal on any scheduled trip (either a close trip or abroad), the driver will thoroughly inspect the vehicle, assuring it’s safe and clean. The number of vehicles and drivers will vary depending on the level of risk or environment. A low-risk client may just have one vehicle, whereas a high-level individual may require additional cars to form a fleet that will flank the principal’s vehicle.

Security driver candidates must:

  • hold a valid driving license
  • be well-trained
  • have impeccable communication and written skills
  • be well presented and well spoken
  • maintain an air of professionalism at all times

Security drivers also have to have continuous training to ensure they keep abreast with new technology and new security methods.  

The duties of a security driver are much more involved than that of a chauffeur. Security driver duties include:

  • Vehicle patrol of exterior areas of given locations
  • Foot patrol of interior/exterior areas of given locations
  • Surveillance and reporting any suspicious activities and persons
  • Proactive response to any emergency situation
  • Enforcement of procedures and rules for the safe transportation of the principal
  • Car fleet management and upkeep

Perk or prerequisite to a business?

As noted earlier, security drivers can offer much more than high-performance vehicle manipulation, particularly in unfamiliar locations far from home.

For example, properly-trained security drivers typically engage in pre-mission planning that ensures they avoid risk in the first place. In addition, the drivers have access to ongoing oversight and threat monitoring tools that allow them to maintain situational awareness, even while driving. Those with medical training are able to provide care to travellers experiencing emergency symptoms while on the road.

Beyond that, the way security drivers can support their executives’ time and productivity on the road should be considered as part of the organisation’s broader asset protection program. For top executives, time is money – and that’s even true while they’re in the car. Because a security driver is better able to avoid disruptive situations, there are likely to be fewer distractions or interruptions in transit that could derail productivity or result in costly itinerary changes.

The adequate protection of your employees is your legal obligation as part of their duty of care. A security driver will ensure the safety of your employees. There is also a return on investment (ROI) to a security driver. We say this because, replacing the time lost, replacing the loss of a valuable employee and internal know-how is huge. By protecting your employees, you are protecting your entire organisation from immeasurable loss.

A security driver is not a fancy addition to your company. It is a valuable asset that will have a long-term return on investment that you will regret not having. Contact us for more information on our secure travel management or the other services we offer.  

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.

The scary truth behind violent attacks related to taxi services

Travel safety is a genuine no matter who you are. But for C-suite individuals and executives, driving yourself to important meetings or to the airport isn’t always feasible or safe which is when secure transport services become a necessity. Finding a service that is convenient, reliable, cost-effective and safe is not as simple as it sounds. It is difficult to find a company that can tick all of your boxes and meet your requirements. Travel safety

Recently, services like Uber and Taxify have become a popular choice but often these services infringe on your travel safety. These apps are an easy and convenient way for virtually anyone to find a mode of transportation whenever they need it – it’s simply a click away. But what happens when convenience becomes catastrophic?

Attacks on Uber/Taxify Drivers

Travel safety

As the popularity of these services grow, so does the threat on their competition. This has caused a dangerous ripple effect where Uber and Taxify drivers have been subjects of horrific hate crimes. Reports indicate that competitor taxi services attack Uber or Taxify drivers to scare them into not operating anymore.

This is a means of ensuring they are the only taxi service on the market. These taxi services usually don’t have an app that makes it convenient for any individual to find them and quickly make a booking. The attack on taxi drivers is a terrifying prospect for their passengers who simply want to get to their destination in a safe and timely manner. Now you’re always unsure as to whether your taxi will be under attack or not. For C-suite individuals, this uncertainty of if your driver will be attacked or not is incredibly daunting. A c-suite individual may have more to offer an attacker than just a scare tactic on the driver.

Driver orchestrated attacks

 Not only do passengers have to worry if their drivers will be under attack but crime reports have also stated that many attacks are orchestrated by the Uber/Taxify drivers themselves. When a potential driver signs up to become an Uber or Taxify driver, they’re supposed to go through a thorough vetting process.

Background checks, safety screenings and driver competency tests are supposed to be done but it seems that sometimes a snake slithers through the cracks. Reports have shown that there’s often someone hiding in the boot of the car before you get in. The driver will then take you to a different location and both individuals will attempt to rob you of your valuables or get you to withdraw money from your bank account.

Often these attacks are more malicious where women are reported to have been sexually assaulted. Countless reports have indicated that c-suite individuals are the most vulnerable, especially when travelling to the airport. Sometimes the blame for these attacks cannot be put directly on the taxi service.

Some opportunistic criminals have caught on to the idea of pretending to be taxi drivers to lure potential victims in. Not only this, but these taxi drivers have also caught onto a new trend. Most of the time, these drivers fetch you directly from your house, they have your address, they know what your home looks like and now they know that no one is home.

For wealthier individuals, the luxuries they’re able to afford themselves become prevalent to the driver. They will take the opportunity to go back to your home, sometimes with their friends, and will break in and steal whatever they can. The risk on your life, your family and your possessions is too great for you to use these taxi services.

How to ensure you travel safely

There are some things you can do to ensure you are safe while travelling with one of these taxi services. These include;

  • Check the car registration matches with the registration on the app
  • Make sure the driver’s picture and the name is the same as the person picking you up
  • Ask the driver to repeat your name to you
  • Check the boot of the vehicle before getting in
  • Clearly state where you want to go and ensure the route is adhered to
  • Don’t let them come straight to your front door
  • Give your Uber driver an honest rating at the end of the ride – not everyone deserves 5 stars

The safest option for c-suite and executive individuals would be to contact an executive security company to assist you with safe and secure travel management.

Secure travel management

The ultimate way of ensuring your safety is to have us handle your vehicle travel arrangements. Our deep understanding of the areas, situations and threats place us in a unique position. We are able to provide a secure environment for our clients.Travel safety The secure travel solutions we offer begin with a clear understanding of the type of travel you require.

Whether it be business or leisure, the risks associated with the location and other elements of the itinerary will be identified and analysed. We accomplish this by conducting a country assessment and risk analysis. Specific travel planning and contingencies are based on this analysis. Some of our solutions available include pre-travel advance work, secure journey management and personnel tracking.

Secure airport transfers

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 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 safely. 

Contact us and let us handle your vehicular travel needs to ensure your travel safety. We are inconspicuous and will ensure you reach your destination without a hitch.