V.I.P. SECURITY IS NOT JUST FOR V.I.P.’S ANYMORE
It’s time to review your personal security
After having discussions with some of my existing clients and receiving a number of enquiries lately from individuals and corporations about keeping people safe. I thought it was time to have a discussion on personal security.
While the risk of being a victim of crime has always been there, there are a lot of factors that have changed over the course of a few years to increase that risk. Such as civil unrest and protests, the political environment, economics, drugs, individuals with mental health issues and demographics with our population now at over a million people.
Examples include robbery, theft, assault, sexual assault, car jacking’s, home invasions, kidnapping, extortion, stalking, and the recipient of threats of bodily harm.
Here are some of the headlines for Halifax I took off the local news sites, for the last week of December 2021.
• Manitoba eyes security threats to politicians and not putting home addresses on filings.
• Optometrist fatally stabbed in his office, twenty-five year old male charged.
• Young woman followed by man in car. Fifty-six year old man charged with Criminal Harassment.
• Atlantic Canada sees a surge in spending on security systems and Closed Circuit Television Cameras by businesses and home owners.
• Man robbed in broad daylight by two suspects while using an ATM machine.
You get the point and I’m sure there are many more incidents that do not make the headlines and it’s the same where ever you live.
No one plans on being a victim of a crime. However some individuals are at higher risk because of their position or status. Such as Business Executives, Wealthy Individuals, Politicians, and anyone who has said something on social media that someone did not agree with.
This group could be targeted because of who they are, there is also the chance of just being a victim of a random crime. In other words being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
If you walk down the street in the bad part of town by yourself at 3:00am, then you are at a greater risk than someone who doesn’t.
Security awareness and keeping safe should be everyone’s concern, including V.I.P’s., fortunately, most people including V.I.P.’s do not need a bodyguard. But they do need a personal security plan to address specific risks.
The purpose of a personal security plan is threefold;
1. Is to teach you how to keep out of dangerous situations by learning situational awareness and assessing potential risks.
2. Is how to get out of situations that are or have the potential to be a security risk?
3. Is how to respond to a situation you find yourself in, where you may be in danger and have no means of escape or calling for help?
So what can you do to keep you and your family safe?
• Review your security for your home and office. Specifically do you have good locks on doors and windows, is the area around your home well lit, do you have an alarm system and security cameras? Do you have a plan in place for an intruder?
• Don’t be predictable, change your daily routine. Leave for work at different times of the day and take a different route to get there.
• Become street smart and learn situational awareness. In other words be aware of your environment. Always be aware of people around you to detect possible threats, when driving keep looking in your rear-view mirror to see if you are being followed.
• Take a preventive approach by asking yourself can this action put me in physical danger. An example would be going to the store at 1:00am to pick up something that could wait till morning or jogging alone at night.
• Have a conversation with your family and your employees about giving out personal information, such as where you are going. As an example; while conducting a Risk and Security Assessment for a corporate client we called their home to see if we could get information about their whereabouts. Their teenage daughter told us what restaurant they were at and who they were with.
• Tell someone where you are going and when you will be back.
• Take all threats and suspicious circumstance seriously. If you receive a threat on social media or by telephone document it and report it to the police. Especially if it threatens you with bodily harm or death threats.
• Take a self-defence course.
At East Coast Fraud & Risk Management Group we have many years’ experience providing VIP Security Services to Executives, Politicians and Wealthy Individuals. One of our most requested services is our Executive Risk and Security Assessment. Where we spend a week with the executive conducting covert and overt surveillance to understand their routine. We conduct a Security Risk Assessment of their home and office. We train family and staff how to deal with requests for information and dealing with problem situations, to increase their situation awareness and enhance their ability to identify personal security risks and risk mitigation strategies. Along with self-defence training, evasive driver training and how to manage stressful situations.
When I first began writing this article I had the intentions of making it about V.I.P Security also called Executive Protection. However after thinking about some of the conversations I have had with spouses and parents. I realized that to our families we are all Very Important People. When it comes to our health we normally don’t think about it until we have a health issue, then we go to the doctor. Your personal security is also like that, we don’t give it much consideration until we become a victim or one of our family members does.
Just like any kind of a risk assessment, you identify the potential risks, analyze the risks and develop risk mitigation strategies and monitor them.
If you get one takeaway from this article is to use common sense when making decisions that affect your personal safety. Remember one of the most effective risk mitigation strategies is risk avoidance.