High Today – Gone Tomorrow. Say No to Drugs

Drug abuse within the superyacht industry is almost as old as the industry itself. However, as maritime regulations become more controlled and on board health & safety issues come under increased scrutiny, drug abuse amongst superyacht crews is no longer acceptable.  In the latest edition of Yachting Matters, superyacht security expert Ed Hill explains how having a policy for crew drugs testing can have a positive impact for everyone on board.

To view the article… CLICK HERE

The 2016 London Yacht Jet and Prestige Car Show – The Countdown Begins

With just over three weeks to this year’s London Yacht Jet and Prestige Car Show, Intrepid Risk Management are gearing up for what is expected to be an exceptional show.

Held from 4th to 7th May at Old Billingsgate in the City of London the show is hotly anticipated to exceed the success of last year’s show.  With visitors attending from around the globe, the show attracts a variety of clientele with a keen interest in the luxury market.

This year’s exhibitors include some of the world’s most prestige and luxurious brands. In addition to products and services associated with superyachts, private jets and luxury cars, other high end brands include makers of fine jewellery, staff recruitment companies and private members clubs as well as the specialist security services provided by Intrepid Risk Management.

Ed Hill, Intrepid Risk Management’s Managing Director is excited to be exhibiting at this year’s show. “We attended last year’s show as visitors and were hugely impressed with the wide array of participants and excellent networking opportunities.  The show was so good; we immediately made the decision to get more involved this year”.

In response to Intrepid’s participation in this year’s show, Andrew Stuart, one of the show’s organiser’s states, “the London Yacht, Jet and Prestige Car Show has quickly become the main event for London’s luxury market.  We are delighted to welcome London based security company Intrepid Risk Management as one of our exhibitors”. 

 “Security is an increasingly important element to the luxury market that is often overlooked.  Intrepid Risk Management has a wealth of credible knowledge and experience in this area and brings an added dimension to the show”.

Intrepid Risk Management provides specialist security services to the luxury market.  These services include personal protection, asset protection, home security and superyacht security services both in the United Kingdom and around the globe.

Ed, a former sniper in the Royal Marines Commandos, continues, “our personnel, both male and female, have a credible background in some of the UK’s elite military units.  However, one of the main elements that sets us apart is our ability to match individual operators to suit the precise needs of the individual client”. 

 “For example, some clients may prefer a female operative to look after their children while others may seek operatives with certain linguist or medical skills. Every client is unique, has specific individual requirements and we do our utmost to give them exactly what they want”. 

Ed and will be representing Intrepid Risk Management at The London Yacht, Jet and Prestige Car Show, from 4th to 7th May 2016, at Stand A19 on the ground floor. The London Yacht Jet and Prestige Car Show held at Old Billingsgate, London each year brings together high net worth individuals and representatives from the superyacht, private aviation, supercar and luxury goods market. To speak with Ed and the team beforehand email info@intrepid-risk.com to arrange an appointment.

Caribbean Yacht Murder Raises Security Concerns

The recent fatal shooting of a German national by masked gunmen on board a yacht in St. Vincent in the Caribbean raises concerns over security in the region.  The incident that took place in Wallilabou Bay at around 1.30 am on 4th March left one man dead and another man, believed to be the yacht’s Captain, injured.

 

Ralph Gonsaves, the Prime Minister for St Vincent and the Grenadines praised the local Coast Guard for arriving at the scene within twenty minutes but pledged to increase security in the area.  Nevertheless, the incident raises increased concerns for the safety of yachts in the region.  In January 2016, warnings were issued by the maritime authorities of Trinidad and Tobago after two sailing vessels were boarded and ransacked by pirates armed with assault rifles.

 

Such incidents continue to illustrate the vulnerability of yachts cruising in the Caribbean where the continuous conflict of extreme wealth against impoverished local communities renders them an attractive target for criminality.  A yacht’s clear expression of wealth, alongside ill equipped and often poorly motivated local security services exposes the yacht’s security vulnerabilities even further.

 

Consequently, yacht owners, management, Captain’s and crew should consider going one step further with the enforcement of their own rigid security procedures. Adopting a strict on board security culture is vital for any yacht.  However, the adoption of on board security procedures along with a robust visible presence could mean the difference between the yacht being selected or overlooked by criminals as they search for an easy target.

 

In addition, regular security training for crew members should be sought from a security company with a strong pedigree in the superyacht industry.  Utilising the services of a reputable security organisation for this type of training can enhance the crew’s knowledge and awareness and enable them to deal with the multitude of threats they face.

 

Yachts should also consider the employment of specialist security personnel to be present on board while the yacht is cruising in areas where there is a heightened security threat.  Whilst on board, a team of security professionals can conduct a comprehensive security assessment of the yacht, highlighting any weaknesses, conduct crew security training and assist with a 24 hour watch routine.

 

 

This will enhance the yacht’s overall security posture by providing a robust and physical on board presence.  This in turn provides considerable peace of mind to owners, managers and whoever is on board at that time.

 

 

 

 

Nowhere to Hide

The world is experiencing a frightening time with terrorism threats reaching every corner of the globe. A secure yacht can ensure owners, guests and crew can remain safe while enjoying the benefits of yachting. Intrepid’s superyacht security expert Ed Hill was asked to contribute to this article in Dockwalk magazine.

To view the magazine… CLICK HERE

Specialist security guard on watch looking out to sea

Piracy Article in Yacht Investor Magazine

Superyacht security expert Ed Hill provides an overview and summary of the piracy threat facing yacht owners today.

In late 2008, the world was awakened to an emerging threat that was threatening to destabilise world trade. This threat didn’t come from a global terror network, neither did it come from an unbalanced dictator. This threat came from Somali pirates.

To read the article… CLICK HERE

Have a very merry Christmas but don’t invite burglars into your home….

Christmas is a special time of year when friends and family come together to celebrate the festive season.  Sadly, some criminals regard this time of year as an opportunity to exploit people’s vulnerability and break into homes to steal cash, jewellery, credit cards, electronics, children’s gifts and anything else of value that can be sold on for profit. During the festive season home security is paramount.

In the build up to Christmas, the Metropolitan Police have issued photographs of London’s most wanted burglary suspects in a bid to warn the public of Christmas crime. Scotland Yard have also released CCTV images of two men caught stealing presents from under a Christmas tree after they broke into a south London home.

London based security company, Intrepid Risk Management, offers the following home security advice to keep your home safe during the festive season.

  • Always ensure all of your windows are locked and secure; leave a light on and remember to lock your front door, even if you are inside. Always ensure any back gates are locked.
  • Don’t openly display your Christmas tree and gifts in the front window so they’re easily visible from the street. Consider delaying putting presents around the tree until Christmas morning.
  • After Christmas day, don’t leave boxes outside of your home that may advertise your new presents.
  • Never leave keys inside of doors when the premises are unoccupied.
  • Ensure car keys are always kept out of sight.
  • Refrain from letting everyone know that you’re away from home with posts on social media sites.
  • Before leaving your home, double check that all windows are locked, valuables are not on display, all tools are locked away, light timers are set and your intruder alarm system is armed.

Christmas is a very special time of the year for everyone – don’t let those with bad intentions ruin it.

 

Personal Protection – who needs it?

Increasing rates of crime, violence and reductions in police manpower has resulted in a number of high profile individuals turning to the private security sector to provide them and their families with personal protection services.  A spate of recent attacks on the homes of a number of famous celebrities in London has led to an upsurge in the requirement for specialised protection services.

 

Hiring a team of bodyguards or close protection officers is often associated with celebrities, politicians or royalty.  However, an increasing amount of corporate CEO’s, company executives and high net worth individuals are seeking additional comfort and peace of mind for themselves and their loved ones by utilising these services.  Consequently, being confident of your own personal safety, security and well-being as well as those closest to you eliminates one of the unwanted problems of celebrity status or wealth.

 

There are a variety of reasons why someone may feel the need to take out personal protection, some of these reasons are listed below:

 

Famous people and celebrities.  Like it or not, fame can intrude on your own personal lifestyle and bring an unprecedented amount of unwanted attention.  Reports of obsessive fans stalking high profile celebrities such as actors and sports stars are not uncommon and can often be disturbing and distressing for the victim.  Over-zealous paparazzi can also bring attention that is neither wanted or welcome.  Conversely, other individuals may have more violent motives and may have intentions to cause more serious harm.

 

Being in the public eye.  Someone that is suddenly thrust in to the media spotlight may require personal protection.  Examples of this are lottery winners, witnesses to a major crime or an individual that has become involved in some sort of public scandal.

 

Carrying large amounts of cash or valuables. The prospect of carrying a large amount of cash or valuable items such as jewellery or artwork through a bustling city like London can be very daunting. Expert security personnel may therefore be employed to plan the most practical route, provide surveillance and be on hand to ensure the goods are carried safely from A to B.

 

Business trips.  Some corporate executives may have to travel overseas to an unfamiliar region for business purposes.  Some countries present a greater risk than others and the executive may feel safer by being accompanied by a Close Protection Officer.  Former military personnel are particularly well suited to this role as they are accustomed to planning and operating in hostile regions.

 

Domestic disputes.  There may be occasions where in the event of a matrimonial or relationship break-up one of the partners has threatened the other with violence.  These incidents can be particularly unpleasant and if one partner feels under threat then they may feel safer by hiring the services of a bodyguard.

 

Specific events and occasions. Some individuals may choose to take out personal protection for themselves or their family on certain events or occasions. There are numerous examples of this but some of the more obvious occasions are perhaps a visit to a concert, a nightclub or a sporting event.  It is common practice for high net worth parents to hire close protection officers to escort their teenage children to specific events.

 

The requirements for the hiring of a bodyguard are as diverse as the clientele that seek to use their services.  London based Intrepid Risk Management fully understands these requirements and provides close protection officers that are specifically suited to their respective client.  A full and comprehensive risk assessment is carried out prior to every task to ensure a fully bespoke and cost effective service is delivered.

 

 

 

 

 

Home Security: Are Celebrities Safe in their Homes?

The recent burglary on the £16 million London home of Premiership footballer David Ospina is yet another example of what appears to be a continuous trend of luxury homes of high profile individuals being targeted by criminal gangs. The Arsenal star’s luxury mansion, located in one of London’s most exclusive suburbs, was raided by burglars while his supermodel wife and children were asleep upstairs.

 

Within the past few weeks, a number of high profile celebrities have been the unfortunate victims of audacious burglaries, including celebrity chef Jamie Oliver whose £7 million North London luxury mansion was raided and ransacked.  Sherlock Holmes star Benedict Cumberbatch is another celebrity to raise concerns over the safety and security of his wife and child following an incident of stalker harassment at their north London home.  Whilst this incident may not have been as traumatic as a burglary, it highlights the potential vulnerability of some high profile celebrities and their families.

 

Other recent incidents demonstrate that criminals are prepared to use brutal violence to achieve their aims.  Earlier this month, Geraldine Winner, widow of film director Michael Winner was taken to hospital after being beaten with an iron bar during an attack at her Knightsbridge home.  In Manchester, robbers armed with baseball bats made off with £175,000 worth of goods in a raid on the luxury mansion of Everton footballer Tom Cleverley.

 

Considerable wealth and a luxury lifestyle are some of the many trappings of celebrity status yet many celebrities fail to realise that coupled with their rise to fame is the unfortunate fact that their homes and families are under constant threat from the criminally minded. Irrespective of status and wealth, the cost of burglary can be financially burdensome as well as being emotionally and physically draining for the victims.  The psychological impact, particularly for the victims of a violent burglary can be devastating.

 

As luxury homes continue to be targeted by organised criminal gangs, the utilisation of a few basic measures can significantly reduce the threat.  Burglars tend to select homes that have little or no visible security and taking just a few basic steps can make a substantial difference. Here’s a few of the more basic considerations;

 

  • The installation of a burglar alarm that meets UK industry standards and is visible from the outside is a must.
  • Any home could be at risk if it appears to be empty, therefore leave lights, a radio or the TV on to make the property appear occupied.
  • Ensure that any valuables, including car keys are left out of sight.
  • When leaving your home, ensure that all doors and windows are locked and the burglar alarm is set, even if you’re only going out for a few minutes.
  • Put keys out of reach of letterboxes.
  • Store any high value items such as cash, jewellery or passports in a properly secured safe.
  • If leaving the property unoccupied for a few days then additional action should be taken. Consider asking a trusted friend or neighbour to visit the property to open and close curtains and use a timer device to turn the lights on at night.

 

Adopting a layered approach to protecting your property should be adopted by working from the outside in.  If sufficient measures are implemented in the grounds outside of the main building this should act as a first-line deterrent to any would-be raiders.  Basic considerations here are;

 

  • Any climbing aids such as ladders and wheelie bins should be locked away.
  • Increase the difficulty of scaling fences by fitting a trellis.
  • Ensure sheds are locked and secured to prevent tools being used to break in.
  • Consider sighting CCTV systems covering vulnerable areas.
  • Intruder lights can be extremely effective but make sure they can’t be reached or tampered with.
  • Razor wire and broken glass could potentially cause injury making the property owner liable therefore, consider using dense and prickly climbing plants.

 

When offering advice to the general public on how to protect their homes, most police forces advise against segregating their home from the surrounding streets with high walls and vegetation.  However, due to the added problem of public and press intrusion into their personal lives, celebrities often have little choice other than to surround their home with high walls.  Additional security measures must therefore be considered as once a high wall is compromised, it affords the intruder a great deal of cover from being spotted by neighbours or anyone that happens to be passing by.

 

A large proportion of luxury homes are located in secluded and semi-rural areas.  Unfortunately, this type of isolation can present a perfect target for anyone with harmful intentions.  There’s also an additional disadvantage in that police response times may be slower thus affording the intruders crucial time to break in to the property and make their getaway.

 

Relying on your local constabulary to solve the issue would be incredibly naïve.  Ian Hopkins, Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police recently warned that police officers will only be dispatched to a break-in if the suspects are still at the scene. However, if someone returns to find their home has been ransacked and the perpetrators have fled, the victims will not be treated as priority.

 

It’s been well publicised that police forces throughout the country are drastically overstretched.  A number of high profile and high net worth individuals are turning to the private security sector to patrol and safeguard their homes.  Hiring a reputable security firm such as London based company Intrepid Risk Management can prove to be a sound investment as it provides a robust 24/7 round-the-clock presence without intruding on the lifestyle of the homeowner.

 

The financial and emotional impact of burglary is undeniably a harrowing and traumatic experience for the victims, no matter who they are.  Prevention is surely better than cure.

 

Ed Hill MA FdA

www.intrepid-risk.com

 

 

 

Superyacht Security in Yacht Investor Magazine

Superyacht security is an important aspect of ownership that is often overlooked by the owners of luxury yachts.  In recent years, some yachts have been the victim of violent criminal attacks.  From piracy to terrorism, these threats should not be taken lightly.  However, as Ed Hill explains in this article for Yacht Investor magazine, these threats can be significantly reduced if managed correctly.

To read the article… CLICK HERE

The Russian Party at the 2015 Monaco Yacht Show

Intrepid Risk Management was delighted to be invited as one of the co-sponsors of the Russian Party at this year’s Monaco Yacht Show.  Hosted by London law firm Bargate Murray, the event symbolises the strong connections with the yachting industry and our Russian clientele.

 

Held at Le Before Bar on Monaco’s Route de la Piscine, the event was attended by a eclectic range of international representatives from within the superyacht industry.  The plentiful supply of sumptuous food and drinks served amidst a warm, friendly ambience ensured that a great time was had by all.

 

As co-sponsors and providers of the evening’s concierge service, Intrepid Risk Management would like to thank our hosts Bargate Murray, our fellow co-sponsors Lumotics Marine, Watkins Superyachts, Daria Piletskaya (artist), itBoat, Yachts Russia, Yacht Investor, Vaara, Russian Sturgeon, Wista Russia, Russian Roulette, Robert Allen Law, Rosgosstrakh and all of the staff at Le Before Bar Monaco for a truly fantastic evening, we look forward to seeing you all again next year!