How to select the right personal security service (close protection) in London, UK
1. Research your requirement
Understanding the protection industry
To summarise, most close protection operatives (that’s ‘personal protection officer’ or ‘bodyguard’ to the public) are self employed individuals, who are licensed and governed by the SIA (Security Industry Authority).
In order to obtain the correct licensing they must have attended a level 3 close protection course, a first aid course and undergone a criminal background check. It is important to that note prior experience in any form Is NOT a requirement to obtain the correct licensing.
A level 3 close protection course covers the fundamentals of executive close protection and the minimum expectancies of those stepping into a close protection role.
Understanding how Protection companies work
Legally operating executive close protection companies are required to have the correct and corresponding level of insurance prior to any operational conduct. Those in charge of close protection operations are required to have a non frontline SIA license as a minimum, or if they intended to participate in the operation itself they must also posses a frontline Close Protection License.
To protect their business and clients, the protection companies operatives should be recruited via a well organised onboarding process in which personal protection operatives have received and signed; Non Disclosure Agreement, Sub Contractor Agreement, Personal Information, Company Policies.
The company’s Sub contractor (protection officer) database may vary depending on their business plan and target audience. For example; the pay rates in which an experienced, well regarded ex British military ‘bodyguard’ would expect to receive would be significantly higher than those with little experience or lesser adversed professional background.
Companies may choose to provide bodyguards with higher experience at a higher cost, or lower experience at a lower cost. A crucial factor in evaluating a protection company is being able to gauge the profit percentage being taken by the protection company.
A low cost, low profit may be reflected by a minimal time investment by the company, where as a low cost higher profit, may be reflect by a lower professional output from the subcontractor (bodyguard) due to a reduction in pay or being recruited for their lower ability/knowledge.
A higher cost SHOULD dictate both a greater time investment by the company and a higher professional output from the Sub contractors (bodyguards). Without the presence of these two factors, the business may be over priced due to in experience or inhibited profit turnover.
It is important to note that a business aimed at lower cost would need a larger client base resulting in shorter time investment per client at peak times to meet profit turnover demand.
Know what you want
Assessing what you think you need vs what you really need vs what you’d like, and basing your expectations on your decision.
What you really need may not be what you really like, therefore a decision has to be made if you really need it or can it be tailored to be more accommodating. A tailored, bespoke service will be higher in cost and should receive a higher budget.
If you are unsure of the service you want, this may help. >Hire Personal Protection
Bodyguards vary in experience and manner, investing in a protection company would be the same as making any other investment in regards to receiving a return. Questions must be asked and comparisons made, to ensure you a receiving good value and ROI.
Bodyguards are not robots, they all require the natural fundamentals for physical and cognitive stability. Higher experienced individuals who have a strong military background may be more adhered to a prolonged level of output, however they too require natural fundamentals to prevent ‘burnout’, increase cognitive function thus reducing human error.
Think ROI, not initial saving
Basing your service on what you can afford, and not what you can save from an up front cost, will allow for a much greater ROI and all round service. A reputable high end protection company will endeavour to provide a smooth service, dealing with obstacles quickly and discreetly, you will not notice how hard and proficiently they work, this is to allow the service to not to interrupt your lifestyle. It is only once you have hired a bad service, will you really appreciate the difference.
Cost (per operative) (Based on a one day service in peak season)
Less than £30.00ph This is towards the lower end of the protection cost scale, in peak season you can expect to receive either non military personnel, or military personnel with limited personal security experience. If the company is a new start up or established by non British military professionals, you may receive well trained and experienced personnel, however the operations may be more sub contractor dominant rather, than a managed bespoke service.
£30.ooph – £50.00ph This is the average cost for personal protection, even in peak season you should expect to receive well trained and experienced military personnel or non military if requested. The company itself should be established by British military professionals, and you should receive a well managed bespoke service.
More than £50.00ph This cost should be expected if you require a highly bespoke and specialised service, in high threat or pressurised conditions. You can also expect this cost if you require former British Special Forces, SAS, SBS, SRS or specialist military such as Bomb Disposal Experts, Pilots, Drone Pilots, Doctors & Paramedics, or Protection experts with extremely high expertise.