The safety of the individuals hiring them, as well as their possessions depends highly on the qualifications of the former. Quite frequently, those are former policemen, soldiers, or special force members.
However, a number of inexperienced adepts would like to start their adventure with personal protection as well. Are they bound to fail in their attempts? It is not always so.
The most crucial component affecting the effectiveness of the training is one’s psychological preparation. It is a commonly known fact that it is exceptional in former police officers and troops. However, it is a common belief that one can be trained how to perform the job of a bodyguard, just as it is possible to teach a person how to shoot or be properly engaged in melee combat.
It all depends on one’s motivation and willingness to achieve success in the industry. Regulations to date limit the training process of a security guard to the moment of being awarded with a license. In order to perform his tasks properly, such a person has to constantly improve his skills and qualifications.
Phenomena connected with the need of utilization of close protection
techniques – terrorism & terrorist. It goes without saying that terrorism is one of the biggest threats of today’s world. While analysing the severity of attacks and their scale, one should not doubt that VIPs should be at all possible occasions protected against the aforementioned forms of assault. In order to assess the threat a given problem pose, its specificity must be identified at first.
The notion of „terrorism” was for the first time in history used during the Conference of the International Criminal Law Association in Brussels, in 1930. To date, there have been approximately 200 various definitions of the phenomenon in question.
While trying to grasp its characteristic features, one will face a number of limitations and difficulties. One of statements of historian Walter Laqueur has to be touched upon here.
While asked why he has been avoiding formulating an unequivocal definition of terrorism, he replied: „For 50 or so years, people are constantly trying to understand the idea behind terrorism.
It is a phenomenon having different forms, depending on its place of origin and epoch. How can one find common ground between Russian revolutionists from the end of the 19th century and Al-Qaida anarchists?Terrorism is mainly based on the utilization of force
or threat in order to achieve political or ideological goals. It is hard to say something beyond that. Terrorism is like pornography it escapes logical classification, but if one sees it then it becomes apparent.” It is hard to argue with the statement, as it perfectly shows the complexity of the phenomenon in question.
For the purpose of this publication, a strict definition of terrorism is not needed. All that is required is the utterance formulated by Walter Laqueur stating that terrorism can be most fully perceived through its manifestations.
Terrorist acts are undoubtedly illegal, as they are based on kidnapping people and forcedly taking control over means of communication, economic sabotage, attacks, robberies, demanding ransom to finance organization’s own activity, posing threat to life, health, and freedom of authorities, and kidnapping people from outside the area in order to gain publicity (especially journalists, priests, voluntary workers).
One may also indicate the usage of explosives and firearms in public areas and poisoning certain spots by means of radioactive materials and chemicals. Longin Tadeusz Szmidt additionally pointed out that terrorism has always been strictly connected with crafty and hard to identify methods of killing the leaders of nations.While describing the phenomenon of terrorism as a threat for the protected person, one should also point out and indicate its sources. The following are enumerated:
- social and economic sources that are directly connected to economic crises, social tensions, social and national discrimination, as well as with the perception of dissonance between the factual reality and the one presented by the media;
- historical and political sources.
They have their beginning in severe social reactions, demanding full democratization and respecting human rights;
- sociological sources that may be related to the atmosphere typical for a given country or the so-called spirit of violence;
- psychological sources stating that a significant part of terrorists is highly mentally unstable which is additionally combined with the overly high self-esteem. When it comes to the area of attack, the following are proposed by the experts:
- land terrorism (the major threat area for VIPs and the key one for security guards)
- air terrorism (personal protection is then entrusted to the authorities managing planes, airports, etc.)
- maritime terrorism (tasks and responsibilities are then similar to air attacks)
While taking into account the type of terroristic activities, one may distinguish: bombing-based, nuclear, biological, chemical, technical, cybernetic (attacks on IT networks), and narcotic-oriented (narcotic cartels undertakings) terrorism.
The highest threat for VIPs is undoubtedly the first type, namely bombing-based one. Close protection-oriented undertakings should therefore incorporate the knowledge on paradigms effective during a bomb attack. They will be discussed in further sections of this publication. It is exceptionally difficult to argue with the thesis that we must be protected against terrorism.
The same applies to VIPs. The importance of the latter is also worth discussing, as the threat is much higher when a top authority is attacked than when the assault poses threat to a pop star or a wealthy businessman. However, it does not limit the necessity to analyse and counteract terroristic attack threat. It may directly impact the safety of the person a given security guard is responsible for.
Crime is also one of the issues that may endanger protected VIPs. Up to the beginning of the 80s, Poland had been considered to be one of the safest countries in Europe. Law enforcement bodies had been numerous and properly financed there, and crime forecasting, prevention, and penalizing schemes had met all the European standards.
However, at the end of the discussed period, the myth of threat-free Poland started to crumble. The effects of crime fighting scene were becoming gradually more negligible.
The said state of affairs was predominantly caused by the decreasing trust in law enforcing organizations, as well as by the rapid increase in crimes committed by the citizens.
Another important aspect that must be taken into account were economic and political changes taking place in 1989,the liberalization of economic activity, and the emergence of free market.
Some individuals possessed unimaginable riches, whereas others were exceptionally poor. In order to survive till the next day, the latter searched for the answer in crimes, leading to the occurrence of the phenomenon commonly known as organized crime.
According to official data from 2001, within the borders of Poland, there were over 400 organized crime groups consociating approximately 45 thousand people. They were generating profits by means of goods smuggling, selling stolen cars, producing and marketing narcotics, counterfeiting national currency, commuting bank frauds, selling firearms, and what is of exceptional importance from the point of view of VIPs demanding ransom.
Criminals induce fear in the society, especially due to using terror and blackmailing. They do not hesitate to kidnap others or kill them. Such individuals resort to brutal treatment, such as beating, torturing, drowning, etc.
All those factors combined directly translate into wealthy representatives of the society feeling threatened. What is more, criminals frequently tend to attack the family of a VIP as well, in order to convince him to perform a given action. Therefore, children, wife, and beloved ones of such an individual must be highly protected.Popularity and Fame The threat of attack may be in some cases linked to the popularity
of a given human being. When a VIP is in isolation, then he may only receive unwanted phone calls or be nagged by photographers. The problem arises when he has to leave his place of permanent residence or workplace, as well as when he is in a publicly accessible place.
Danger may still be low, but the inquisitiveness of journalist may quickly become overwhelming. Fans or supporters of a given sportsman or artist may cause havoc in order to touch their idol or get hold of any item belonging to him or her.
Of course, there is also the risk of serious injuries or even death (let us take John Lennon as an example) it cannot be neglected. That is why famous and popular individuals should by all means care about their safety.
The matter also concerns politicians who are widely recognizable and controversial. In politics, there are no limitations. Opponents may even resort to killing a representative of the other side to impose his or her right on others. Elected politicians tend to have close protection officer
, but care should be additionally exercised to care about those running in elections.
Such VIPs may be ridiculed by the crowd or the opposition (by throwing eggs or pouring water over the candidate), leading to the end of their political career. The role of security guards should in the aforementioned cases not be limited to physical protection only.
They must also keep information about VIP’s family, realized projects, and operation profile confidential. The image of a famous person highly depends on the bodyguards being in his immediate surroundings. The manner of their operation, professionalism, and knowledge are top priorities there.