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Close Protection in USA a reality check

Let’s take a look at some facts and figures so that we can identify the real Threats and Risk and not the falsely perceived namely Terrorism which accounts for 31 deaths on average in USA with the 9/11 taken into account.Close protection in USA is about more about professional approach to the fundamentals and basics than the glory hugging action hero gestures and posturing .

Some 13,286 people were killed in the US by firearms in 2015, and 26,819 people were injured (those figures exclude suicide]) Those figures are likely to rise by several hundred, once incidents in the final week of the year are counted. Source:  Gun Violence Archive

The US death toll between 1968 and 2011 surpasses all wars ever fought by the country. There were about 1.4 million firearm deaths in that period, compared with 1.2 million US deaths in every conflict from the War of Independence to Iraq. Source: Politifact.

There were 372 mass shootings in the US in 2015, killing 475 people and injuring 1,870. A mass shooting is describing a single shooting incident which kills or injures four or more people, including the assailant. Source: Mass Shooting Tracker

There are thought to be about 300 million guns in the US, owned by about a third of the population so that is 106.6 million people with guns.

There were 372 mass shootings in the US in 2015, killing 475 people and wounding 1,870. These events take place in cinemas, shopping malls and all public.

source the Mass Shooting Tracker.

There were an estimated 1,165,383 violent crimes (murder and non-negligent homicides, rapes, robberies, and aggravated assaults) reported by law enforcement.)

There are approximately 1.4 million active gang members comprising more than 33,000 gangs in the United States.

Source 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment FBI

343 well-armed anti-government militias numbering over 100.000 members, many have been involved in armed stand offs with federal and local forces.

Added to that there are 800,000 armed police with a stablished reputation of using their weapons aggressively.

The main threat in USA is guns and crime and occasionally the law enforcements. The figures make it clear that this is no Walt Disney landscape and you need to develop a good local knowledge for example of crime hotspots, type of crimes, active gangs, and their area of operation and methodology.

It is essential to take into account active, current threats rather than the news driven high profile threats that frankly are statically should be very low on the scale of priorities.

Essential tools for close protection operative in USA is an accurate threat and risk assessment, thorough planning, well-practised situational & spatial awareness and hopefully a gun!

Close protection how not to!

Close protection has certain ground rule, these are the basic of the art of body guarding and are incorporated in and understood by close protection teams everywhere.

We also take it for granted and assume that the highly placed government officials such as the prime minster who due to sensitivity of their position require 24hr security will benefit from the very best close protection that can be provided.

One would assume that the members of these team are regularly trained and constantly subjected to tests and performance monitoring, one would assume that they are the elites.

These assumptions have been sorely tested a short while ago on the day that the Prime Minster surrounded by his close protection team stepped out of a building from a meeting.

On that occasion a young man ran through the advance guards! Completely unnoticed, he then continued to run toward the Prime Minster who had actually noticed him before even the closest member of the bodyguard team and had raised his elbow in defence.

PM2

What followed only underscored the close protection team’s failure, the young man actually ran into and touched the Prime Minster physically had his intentions been malicious and deadly the Prime Minster would be dead!

This would have been an outrageous outcome considering our natural assumption that he is protected by the best the country can offer in close protection.

As the incident unfolded things got worse! While the bodyguards finally decided to tackle the man they did so collectively! The Prime Minster was left to make his way to his with no protection.

all in       PM

The incident highlighted so many failures in the close protection team both individually and collectively  that  it’s footage is bound to become a prime teaching tools for close protection courses everywhere  in order to show  how not to bodyguard anyone.  At SQR centre of excellence we teach  future close protection operatives vigilance, dynamic threat and risk assessment, standard operating procedures, foot formations, individual roles and responsibilities , operational planning, emergency response, physical intervention and many other subjects any one of which would have prevented the event to occur the way it did .

Poorang