Close Protection or bodyguarding as it is more popularly known, is something that most people are only aware of via the media. They have seen the role glamorised by way of the movies, or by reading magazine articles or fabricated stories in books.
Although a small percentage of this media information is close to the truth, the vast majority of what is shown is far from the realities of the profession.
The perceptions that people hold are quite extreme when it comes to their idea of what type of person they see working in Close Protection.
It ranges from one end of the scale where they believe that all bodyguards or close protection officers, as they shall be referred to from now on, are large aggressive people with very little in the way of a fully functioning intellect. This then jumps to the complete opposite end of the spectrum.
Where we find our super skilled super intelligent agent, who is capable of taking on and defeating single handily, any major criminal or terrorist organisation. Both these perceptions are far from the truth.
There may be a number of individuals who fall into the former definition, but they are not and never will be capable of working at a professional level within the world of Close Protection.
Also the media vision of the work of Close Protection Teams, which shows them incessantly protecting their client against repeated acts of violence, is also a work of pure fiction.
Yes, there are official teams out there who do provide protection for certain clients on whom there is a definite and ongoing threat. But it is intelligence and avoidance however, that are the defences used with these teams not mass shootouts.
So what exactly do we mean by the term close protection and what is the role of the close protection operative?
The term close protection has many definitions; but the one that describes the role most succinctly is the following:
It is to reduce the possibility of kidnap, assassination or unlawful act by the application of certain principles and measures to normal daily life.
So this then is the basic role of those working in Close Protection. Their duty is to protect their employer, their Principal, by way of applied procedures and security measures. What measures are required and at what level have to be correctly assessed by the team.