The close protection series
This week we are going to continue with our short series on the close protection industry in Ireland. ‘MICHAEL’ has once again written a really good article on the difference between executives hiring a driver and hiring a security driver. This article won’t be for everybody (mine rarely are) but it gives an insight into the mindset and applications required for many security roles not just driving. You could just as easily apply the same decision making to a receptionist/concierge/security presence at a corporate building. I’ll let Michael do most of the talking as normal and jump in as required with these orange boxes. -Tony
Do clients require a chauffeur driver or a security driver? #MYOPINON
I’m sure at some stage in our lives we have been in the wrong place at the right time and heard someone say I was doing security and driving for so and so when they were here last week for the TV awards or filming a movie. You ask a few more questions and you find out the that the driver is just that, a driver. No training, no concept of what really the elements are to be classed as a “security driver.”
Tony- these people are usually good mates with the guy who tells you he was bodyguarding (yep, that’s a made up word) some famous star when in reality they happened to be doing event security in the same general vicinity of the star.
A chauffeur driver and security driver have similar job roles BUT have a very different mindset and skill set .Lets firstly have a look at a chauffeur and attempt to set out their skillset.
They will more than likely love their car like they love their wife/husband or children. They will have it washed, shined and might even have a name for it. At a basic base level the chauffeur should have the car stocked with water (chilled) , a few small packages of wet wipes, tissues, mints and hopefully a power source which will be able to facilitate the various types of phone which are on the market at the minute.
They will be very knowledgeable on the best road to take from the airport to the client’s hotel at certain times of the day or the must see places. They will know where the best restaurants are depending on the clients taste and potentially know some of the best ale houses to attend to wet the lips. They potentially may have worked some details where he has had to step in and ASSIST the IBG (individual body guard) as the clients PA refused to pay for a two- or three-man details to ensure the task was carried out in a professional manner. They may carry a standard medical kit in the car but potentially may not know what’s in the kit or how to apply a bandage. As a basic standard they should be badged and vetted but this isn’t always the case. What they may perceive as suitable dress for the task and how they carry themselves may or may not be totally unacceptable to the client’s outlook. Its all the little things that add up that make a chauffeur and security driver different. #myopinion
That’s not to say that these aren’t admirable traits. Preparation and pride in ones workspace are great traits. It’s what’s missing from the mindset and skillset which is where the problem lies. -Tony
A security driver on the other hand should initially have training in the fundamentals of Close Protection having either completed this work while serving in the armed forces or the police. They might have served within the specialist units that would provide close protection daily such as RMPCPU, SAS, or SO1. They might have also come from a civilian background and trained with a REPUTABLE company who would have incorporated security related driving techniques within their course. They might have self-invested and continued on to obtain their IAM or RoSPA certification and bulked this up further with a defensive driving course again with a REPUTABLE company.
They would be educated on the workings and the dynamics of the vehicle they are driving. This might include the SWL(Safe Working Load; this is the max weight which can be aloud in the vehicle before the weight affect the handling of the vehicle).
They would understand car positioning, whether this be in a solo drive or a multi car manoeuvre. Car positioning in relation to gaining the best line of sight going around corners to see what lies ahead or to show a low key presence when in a multi car convoy.
They would understand what’s best for the team and client with regards to picking up and dropping of the client in various locations as they are working in a team of similar skills and mindset. They have capacity and resources to tap into local information on the ground to determine which of their planned routes are best to take.
The added value that brings to a client or organisation is hard to quantify until something goes wrong. It doesn’t have to be a hostile incident. Traffic accident, protest, family medical emergency all come to mind instantly. -Tony
Embusing and Debusing from vehicles would be regarded as a vulnerable opportunity to be exposed. They would also stay in the vehicle and carry out their duties and not get involved in the limelight. Who remembers this incident of a missed embus.
There is so much wrong with both the CP operatives and the driver in this clip it’s hard to watch. It’s obvious from very early in the clip what’s about to happen or at least that something is about to go wrong. The CP guys errors are one thing but the drivers actions are absolutely ridiculous. -Tony
They would understand surveillance and how to detect if they were being followed and what the appropriate response would be depending on the threat and risk to the client.
They would have a specifically prepared medical kit on board and should have as a base line FPOSI/FREC3 to provide trauma and or medical support if required.
The security driver would also be aware of the potential that they will be working long hours; therefore, they would have an appropriately prepared grab bag for themselves. This will vary from operative to operative but may include torch, spare batteries, notebook, loose change, pen, protein bars, mouthwash, battery pack, change of ties/shirts and any other items they deem necessary.
They will also have the water, wet wipes, tissues, charging cables, knowledge of where the various restaurants are and the best ale houses the best must see sights but they are watching your surroundings to ensure that you are out of harm’s way
They have the skill set and mind frame to be able to sense“the absence of the normal in the presence of the abnormal .”
The above reasons are in #MY OPINION what are some of the differences between a chauffeur and a security driver.
I hope this article has given those of you interested in a potential career in close protection executive protection or security driving an insight into the role. It’s not just sitting behind the wheel of the fancy car and cruising around the city. Its tough work. You aren’t paid just for your time driving. You are paid for the weeks and months of training its taken to get the role. You are paid for the constant awareness and added value you bring to the client. – Tony
This article was based on security driving but it could just as easily apply to security concierge or reception security role. You aren’t paid for the potion .You are paid for the value you add to the position – Tony