Bodyguards – How to Select Your Personal Protection

There are few professions that are as misunderstood as that of a bodyguard. Glamourised in Hollywood movies as kung-fu kicking, chandelier swinging heroes, this myth is far removed from the actual reality. In this article for luxury magazine French Touch, Ed Hill of London based security company Intrepid Risk Management explains the finer details of selecting the right provider for personal protection.

To view the article in full. CLICK HERE: Bodyguards – How to Select Personal Protection

Are you safe on your superyacht? Probably not

Are you safe on your superyacht? Probably not; Intrepid Risk Management feature in the latest edition of Tatler magazine on the subject of superyacht security.

To view the article in full… CLICK HERE

Somalia Piracy in 2017

After a five year lull, 2017 has seen a return of Somali pirates.  As part of our regular features on superyacht security, we examine the issue and the potential repercussions for the superyacht industry.

To view the article in full. CLICK HERE: Somalia Piracy in 2017

Technology – the Future of Superyacht Security

Technology now plays a significant part in our daily lives and security technology has become a global billion dollar industry. In his latest article for Yacht Investor magazine, superyacht security expert Ed Hill discusses some of the advanced security technology systems currently being used by Ultra Night Net Worth Individuals to protect their yachts.

To view the article in full. CLICK HERE: Superyacht Security Technology Report

***EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY LONDON***

Intrepid Risk Management are recruiting quality security personnel for a forthcoming prestigious event to take place next month in London.

– Dates: 11th to 14th July (male and female personnel)
– Hours: 0700 to 19:00 hrs and 1900 to 0700 hrs
– Location: Fulham Broadway, West London
– ROP: £150 (days), £160 (nights)
– Accom: Not provided
– Welfare: There will be light refreshments available whilst on task.
– Payment: Within 7 days of invoice.
– Dress: TBC

Required docs;

– SIA license
– Headshot
– Passport copy
– DBS certificate
– Military Discharge Papers

Please email an expression of interest with “Asset Protection Task – West London” in the subject heading to hr@intrepid-risk.com

***EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY – EVENT SECURITY LONDON***

Intrepid Risk Management are recruiting quality security personnel for a forthcoming prestigious event to take place next month in London.

The job will be straightforward and is primarily about access control to ensure a new product remains out of the public domain. If you are available and can recommend any good quality operators then please get in touch.

 Dates: 11th to 14th July (x 40 pax needed)
 Hours: 07:00 – 19:00 and 19:00 – 07:00
 Location: Stamford Bridge Chelsea FC
 ROP: £150 (days), £160 (nights)
 Accom: Not provided
 Welfare: There will be light refreshments available whilst on task.
 Payment: Within 7 days of invoice.
 Attire: Casual, we are trying to secure branded t-shirts/tops for all security staff.

Required docs;

 SIA license ( Close Protection license preferred )
 Headshot photograph
 Passport copy
 DBS certificate

Please email an expression of interest with “Asset Protection Task – Nike” in the subject heading to hr@intrepid-risk.com

Closing date for applications will be 1800 hrs on Sunday 18th June 2017.

Many thanks

French Riviera Security Update – Yacht Investor

Crime on the French Riviera is a growing concern. From Marseille to Monaco, organised criminal gangs are conducting audacious burglaries on luxury homes while street robbery is also on the increase. The relaxed atmosphere experienced on the Riviera naturally puts people at ease and off their guard which presents a perfect opportunity for criminals. In this article, our security expert Ed Hill scrutinises crime in the region and offers advice on how to prevent you from becoming a victim.

To view the article in full. CLICK HERE: French Riviera Security 2017 Article Yacht Investor

London’s Moped Crime Epidemic – is Enough Being Done?

This weekend, Londoners were alerted of more shocking headlines of the latest incident involving attacks by criminals on mopeds. Throughout London, newspaper billboards displayed alarming images of a helmeted motorcyclist riding pillion whilst wielding a hammer. The sinister-looking images were captured on mobile phones by alarmed witnesses and came accompanied with the headline “Moped Hammer Horror”.

These disturbing headlines reported on an incident that had taken place the previous afternoon in London’s West End.  Terrified pedestrians were forced to dive for cover as two scooters brazenly dashed around the area of Great Portland Street where they carried out at least one theft.  Such was their audacity that they wildly mounted the pavement before brandishing a hammer and a crowbar to scare off anyone who tried to challenge them.

Despite the shocking nature of these images, criminal attacks in London involving mopeds are rapidly increasing.  According to London’s Evening Standard, there has been a 600% surge in moped-related crimes within the last year with an estimated £500,000 worth of goods stolen.  It is said that up to 22 robberies a day are being carried out. Statistics from the Metropolitan police indicate a crime epidemic where moped-enabled crime has dramatically risen from 1,053 attacks in 2014 to 7,668 attacks last year.

A large number of these attacks involve drive-by snatches of mobile phones or bags on their unsuspecting victims.  Even the son of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was recently mugged for his mobile phone by a thief on a moped as he was walking back to his north London home.  Mr Corbyn escaped unharmed in the attack however other victims haven’t been so fortunate.

In February 2016, detectives from Scotland Yard appealed for information following a spate of attacks where women were specifically targeted in some of London’s more affluent residential areas.  A number of women, often with young children, were robbed of their handbags and jewellery in broad daylight attacks. In some cases, muggers have violently wrenched rings from the fingers of their victims before making their getaway on a waiting scooter.

Other attacks have involved smash and grab raids on premises such last year’s audacious attempted robbery on the luxury watch store Chronext in London’s Piccadilly. The police received a tip-off regarding the attack and officers were able to swoop and intercept the scooter gang, armed with axes and knives, prior to launching their attack.

This however, was a minor victory for the police in what seems to be an almost impossible battle to win.  The perpetrators of these crimes are typically dressed in black, wearing helmets with mirrored visors and riding unregistered motorcycles.  Criminals are difficult to identify and their vehicles are extremely difficult to trace. Mopeds are quick, agile, easy to steal and can go places that cars can’t, making them one of the easiest ways to escape without being caught.

Furthermore, despite this crime wave, the police are somewhat reluctant to pursue attackers on mopeds. This stance comes in the aftermath of an incident in 2014 in Islington, north London after an 18 year old teenager died after crashing his moped while being chased by police.  Despite the teenager carrying a number of mobile phones and seven bags of skunk cannabis, the officers involved in the chase faced charges of gross misconduct.

Nevertheless, the police have acknowledged that a problem exists with moped related crime and have taken some action.  In February of this year, police launched a series of dawn raids on 15 properties across London on suspected moped gangs.   City of London police have also joined forces with the Met to launch Operation Attrition to crack down on the criminals.  However, with an alleged average of 22 moped robberies per day, the question must be raised regarding whether the police are doing enough.

With the above in mind and recognition that the police can’t be everywhere, aside from hiring bodyguards or employing other forms of personal protection, Intrepid Risk Management are able to offer some simple advice on how to minimise the threat of this type of attack:

  • Before leaving your home, carefully plan and prepare your travel arrangements. Ensure that someone knows where you’re going, who you’re with and what time you’ll be home.
  • Be constantly aware of personal possessions of significant value, particularly expensive watches and jewellery.  If you don’t have to wear something or if you’re travelling alone then leave your valuables at home.
  • Be as assertive as you can, walk with confidence and be aware of your surroundings and who is around you.
  • Avoid short cuts and dark, isolated areas. Vary your routine and be discreet when handling cash, phones and wearing jewellery in a public place.
  • Keep your bags close to you and secured with zips closed. Regularly check your belongings and your pockets.
  • Avoid texting or checking your mobile phone whilst walking. If you need to use your phone then stop to do so and consistently be aware of what’s going on around you.
  • Refrain from wearing earphones and reducing the use of your senses.
  • If you feel uneasy about an individual or situation, trust your instincts and leave the area and head towards a public place such as a shop.

Intrepid Risk Management is a London based security and risk management company specialising in the provision of specialist security and protection services to High Net Worth Individuals, VIP’s and celebrities. For further advice on security matters, visit www.intrepid-risk.com

 

Photograph courtesy of the Evening Standard

 

With terrorism once again hitting the headlines: is London really safe?

Wednesday 22nd March 2017 is a date that the United Kingdom and London in particular would rather forget. On that day at 2.38 pm, as the sun struggled to penetrate the grey London clouds, Khalid Masood drove his grey Hyundai hire car across Westminster Bridge purposely ploughing into pedestrians as he went.

Leaving a trail of dismembered bodies behind him, Masood then careered into the railings outside Parliament before arming himself with two knives and launching a fatal attack on PC Keith Palmer in the grounds of the Palace of Westminster.  In a whirlwind of events, Masood was then shot dead by a Minister’s police bodyguard.

Just five weeks on from that incident and terrorist activity in central London is once again making the headlines. Yesterday a man was arrested in Whitehall, a few metres away from where the Westminster attack had taken place in what Scotland Yard claim was an ongoing counter-terrorist operation. A bag containing a number of kitchen knives was recovered from the scene and the suspect, who is known to the security services, was detained for questioning at a police station in south London.

Later that evening, a woman was shot by police and more arrests were made as armed police raided homes across London and Kent.  Scotland Yard later released a statement claiming that six suspects were being held in a south London police station on suspicion of the commission, preparation and instigation of terrorist acts. They stressed that this operation was unrelated to the earlier arrest in Whitehall.

Only five weeks on from the horrific attack in Westminster and as more news of planned terror attacks appear on our television screens, some may be asking the question; is London safe?

As one of the world’s most popular cities, the British security services are certainly aware of the significance of London being high on the terrorists’ lists of priority targets.

The London 7/7 attacks demonstrated the catastrophic impact of a sophisticated attack on the capital and the threat posed by ‘home grown’ radicalised terrorists.  However, since that fatal day in 2007, the British security services have worked tirelessly to prevent another similar incident with thirteen terrorist attacks being foiled within the last four years.

Immediately after the Westminster attack, the competence of the emergency services was undoubtedly put to the test.  Parliament was placed on immediate lockdown and the Prime Minister was whisked away by her team of bodyguards.  Within six minutes of the attack, the first ambulance crew arrived at the scene.  Thirteen minutes later, an air ambulance helicopter arrived to assist with the urgent evacuation of the injured.

To reassure a concerned public, more police officers were instantly deployed onto the streets to display an overt and visible presence.  An investigation into the incident began and that same evening, the security services conducted raids on the homes of suspects who they believed may have played a part in the attack.  By the following morning, eleven suspects had been detained.

Yesterday’s incidents highlight the continued behind the scenes work being undertaken by the police and MI5. Prime Minister, Theresa May, praised the work of Britain’s security services, saying: “I think it shows that our police and our intelligence and security services are on the alert as they always are, looking to keep us safe and secure.

 “I would say that we owe a huge debt of gratitude to these people, many of whom are unseen, unheard, yet the job they do day in, day out to keep us secure is a really important one and we should thank them for it.”

Nevertheless, yesterday’s incidents also highlight that there is still a continued terror threat to Britain as there are in many other western countries.  The threat level in the UK remains at severe which means that a terrorist attack is very likely.  However, recent events illustrate a forced change in tactics where terrorists in the UK are using bladed weapons as opposed to firearms or explosives. Notwithstanding the potential carnage of an attack where a knife is used, this shift in modus operandi indicates a certain degree of desperation where the terrorist have been denied access to more destructive weaponry.

Interestingly, on the same day as these arrests were made, a nineteen year old man from west London pleaded guilty to plotting to blow up crowds of shoppers on London’s Oxford Street with a nail bomb. The evidence gathered in this case also came from information provided by members of the public.

Another noteworthy point is that yesterday’s arrests were made following tip-offs to the police from within the Muslim community. Often accused of self-imposed alienation and an unwilling failure to integrate into British society, this demonstrates an openness to cooperate and oppose the division that extremists wish to create.

The UK’s campaign on terror is far from over. However, yesterdays’ arrests can be regarded as another victory for the British security services where suspects are being deprived of the ability to inflict mass damage to their intended targets.  Perhaps it could even be argued that last month’s attack in Westminster also resulted in some degree of failure because Khalid Masood was unsuccessful in his bid to get beyond the gates of parliament.

London has a long and proud history and the people of London are famed for their resolve in the face of adversity. A bastion of democracy, tolerance and diversity, London continues to cement its place as the world’s greatest city.  It is not alone in its fight against terrorism however thanks to the relentless work being undertaken by our emergency and security services and with increased cooperation from the public, London is certainly much safer than other cities and this is one war that London is determined to win.

 

Are football clubs neglecting players’ security?

One of the main headlines dominating this week’s news was the shocking bomb attack on a bus carrying one of Europe’s top football teams to a Champions League game.  Three pipe bombs were remotely detonated as the Borussia Dortmund bus left the team’s hotel heading towards the stadium for their quarter final tie against Monaco.  Dortmund defender and Spanish international Marc Bartra was injured by flying shrapnel and later underwent an emergency operation for a broken wrist.  A police officer also sustained injuries from the blast.  The game was postponed and a man was later arrested on terror charges.

Earlier in the week, in a separate incident, Everton midfielder Ross Barkley was the victim of an “unprovoked attack” whilst out with friends in a Liverpool bar.  Although this incident was far less sinister than the bus attack in Dortmund, both highlight the potential vulnerability of top flight footballers.

Attacks on footballers are not uncommon, last year the Manchester United team bus came under attack on its way to Upton Park in London when it strayed past a pub where West Ham fans were drinking.  The United players dived for cover and filmed the incident on their phones as their bus was pelted with glasses and bottles.  There were no injuries however it draws attention to another security incident that could have potentially been avoided.

Attacks on individual players are far more commonplace.  Last year, West Ham striker Andy Carroll was subjected to a terrifying ordeal after allegedly being targeted by gunmen on motorcycles after he left the club’s training ground. A few weeks later, Bournemouth’s Jordon Ibe was held at knifepoint in south east London and robbed of his £25,000 Rolex watch.

Players’ homes have also been targeted with John Terry, Wayne Rooney, and Roberto Firmino being some of the most recent and highly publicised cases.  In 2015, the wife of former Manchester United star Angel di Maria was reportedly too scared to return to their home following an attempted robbery at their Cheshire mansion. Thieves used scaffold poles to smash patio doors while the Argentina star, his wife and one-year-old daughter were relaxing inside.

These incidents are by no means isolated and further detailed research reveals the full extent of the issue.  In a multi-million pound industry where players are high profile assets, it’s somewhat difficult to comprehend the continued pattern of attacks where footballers are the targets. In most other areas of player care, top level footballers are unashamedly mollycoddled by their clubs.  Most football clubs appreciate that they have a duty of care to their players, so why are there so many lapses in security?

Whether they like it or not, top flight footballers are constantly in the public eye and media hype regarding their flash cars, glamorous girlfriends and ostentatious lifestyle will always attract attention.  Unfortunately, that attention brings an unwelcome side.  Whether it’s an organised criminal or a fan of an opposing team, footballers are targets.

This week’s attack on the Borussia Dortmund bus presents an alarming and dangerous problem, that of terrorism.  Fortunately, minimal injuries were sustained this attack and it could’ve been far worse however, the intent was clear.  Imagine the headlines if the bomb had massacred the entire team?  Furthermore, imagine if during any of the incidents mentioned in the cases above, one of those footballers would have been taken hostage or even murdered?  Scaremongering perhaps but it shouldn’t be ruled out.

Terrorists feed off news headlines and propaganda. A terrorist attack on a football team or an individual player would undoubtedly grab the exposure that a terrorist group craves.  This week’s incidents further reinforce the vulnerability of modern sports stars. Nevertheless, attacks on footballers are nothing new and the football industry as a whole needs to wake up to that fact before something far more sinister happens.

 

Photo courtesy of Sky News.