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What do YOU do if you find yourself attacked or threatened of being attacked? The following article is to provide YOU the reader with advice and guidance on maximising your own personal survival if you find yourself attacked or threatened of being attacked by a Knifeman.   Due to our concern and disgust here at Mobius, at the increase in abhorrent knife crime, stabbings and death on our streets here in the UK, we have decided to release a brief blog to provide advice and guidance on ‘Personal Security’ and how you, as a pedestrian or when driving can help to protect yourself in ‘worst case scenario’. According to the House of Commons Library Research Briefings, (https://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/SN04304#fullreport) - “In the year ending March 2018, there were around 40,100 (selected) offences involving a knife or sharp instrument in England and Wales. This is the highest number in the eight-year series (from year ending March 2011) the earliest point for which comparable data are available.”   Out of the 44 police forces, 42 recorded a rise in knife crime since 2011.   Source: Home Office, year ending March England & Wales excluding Manchester   2019 has begun on par with increasing these figures year-on-year from 2018.   Unlike many aspects of violent crime, knife attacks are not limited to the usual familiarity between attacker and victim but that attacks are sporadic regardless of time of day, are not always combined with robbery but solely for gang related ‘point scoring games’, and more importantly, are indiscriminate.  Evidentially, anyone can be attacked anytime of the day, during any activity and in most areas throughout London and the UK. So what can we do to maximise our personal security?   PERSONAL SECURITY Before we highlight aspects of ‘Actions-On’ relative to street knife crime in London it is important to gain an understanding of ‘Personal Security’ as a whole. The 5 Principals of Personal Security (SAFER) Personal Security should be considered in the context of all circumstances; during work, in your social and family life and regardless of what country you are in. The following 5 principles are ones that decrease our risk to any threats posed, thus increasing our chances of survival. Personal Situation Awareness Observation is the key to ALL aspects of situational awareness. Travelling by either foot or vehicle, pre-empting actions untoward including those of a hostile surveillance nature requires a high level of observation – not just the looking but the seeing, and not just the seeing but the assessing – continuously. Situation awareness should begin the moment you step foot outside your front door and should not end until you return. An installation method of alert such as motion and body heat sensors around your property to alert you in real time of any approach from all directions is one main device we can employ to counter any surprise and benefit any preparations. It provides a much safer area and time to assess the immediate street scene before opening the door. This is by no way a paranoid move, but is a method we can implement to reduce risk as much as possible. It alerts you of anyone approaching your house and/ or your vehicles parked in the drive during the day or night. The installation of motion sensors with a smart phone image/ video alert capability internal to your house also ensures that the house you left vacant is safe to return to and that no possibility of unwanted persons are present The Colours of Awareness State – ‘Cooper’s Colours’ The ‘Coopers Colours’ was originally introduced by a US Marine Lieutenant Colonel that provides an excellent illustration of ‘states of mind’ concerning alertness levels. They were originally devised with white, yellow, orange and red. The US Marine Corps subsequently added black to highlight a physical condition experienced when one goes from white or yellow and immediately to red. Induced shock sustained as a result of mental unpreparedness causes shock and even momentary paralysis. The colours benefit the mental awareness states specific to those operating in high-risk environments and those where the risk to threat is higher than the norm but also the levels concerning situational awareness.     However, they also illustrate a benefit to anyone in a public space where ‘unknowns’ are present. Situation awareness, both personal and whilst working is prevalent - more so...

employment agency noun a business that finds employers or employees for those seeking them.     service noun 1. the action of helping or doing work for someone.     "As a business owner or manager, you know that hiring the wrong person is the most costly mistake you can make." -- Brian Tracy   Close Protection (CP), also known as Executive Protection (EP), refers to security and risk mitigation measures taken to ensure the safety of VIPs or other individuals who may be exposed to elevated personal risk due to their employment, high-profile status, net worth, affiliations or geographical location.  Due to this 'risk' which can result in serious injury or death, it stands to reason then that the provision of CP and the manner in which it is conducted is therefore of paramount importance to ensure the safety and well being of those being protected. More than 40 countries – including the US, China, Canada, Australia and the UK – have more workers hired to protect specific people, places and things than police officers with a mandate to protect the public at large, according to the data HERE. In Britain, 232,000 private guards were employed in 2015, compared with 151,000 police. The global market for private security services, which include private guarding, surveillance and armed transport, is now worth an estimated $180bn (£140bn), and is projected to grow to $240bn by 2020. The security industry, both training and and the provision of specialist security alike through Close Protection personnel continues to grow.  Newly incorporated Close Protection training companies delivering their 2-3 week courses and CP contract service providers appear week on week. The industry's economic growth may be 'booming' but so are the numbers of 'facilitators'.   An employment agency or a service? When a person is exposed to such risk they may decide to seek the 'services' of a security company that specialises in 'Personal Protection'. Generally on a global scale, Close Protection companies do not permanently employ their operatives on a 'stand-by' basis and deploy them as and when contracts are received - but vice-versa; companies receive contracts for which they then source the relevant manpower.  Many companies are 'one-man-bands'.  The creation of a slick website, social media advertisement, SEO and Google PPC to cast their net far and wide in the hope that in the very least they 'catch'a few fish in the process. The standard approach delivered by many Close Protection companies is thus:   According to definition, this process alone in effect makes the Close Protection company an 'employment agency'.     So, what is the difference between a security company that conducts its role as merely an 'employment agency' and one that actually provides the 'Service'? TRAINING - KNOWLEDGE - EXPERIENCE - ADVICE - GUIDANCE   There remains, of course, a huge difference between companies whereby the management has little to no training, little to no knowledge and little to no experience compared with those companies that have been formed on the back of the pinnacle of all of the above (See our Blog Transition of Experience)   "The duration a company has been in business is no gauge as to the operational effectiveness of that business"   When a prospective client seeks a specialist security service - and for serious reasons, they then expect to be 'Advised' and 'Guided' as to the most effective mitigation of that risk(s). It is this 'advice and guidance' specifically that separates those security companies that are 'services' and those that are mere 'employment agencies'.  They will not only highlight specifics concerning the modus operandi of threat(s) but will determine and explain how to minimise, negate or remove the risk(s) to those threat(s). They will conduct a proper and accurate threat and risk assessment, identify exposure to those threats and order into priority those risks that can be controlled and those that cannot.   The Close Protection company providing the Service will deploy its manpower, systems and procedure according to its own internal policy for operational standards - not according to any government licensing scheme whereby anyone can get a license.  It will select, manage and brief the deployed teams, operationally manage and conduct oversight according to the operational complexity whilst providing dynamic updates to the client.  It will ensure that the operators they deploy have signed Service Agreements with NDA's and full Scope of Works in addition to financing the operation professionally and effectively. Close Protection...

“Security is Dictated by Money and Party Politics”   In the current global climate of security ‘risk’, ‘Protective Security Services’ provision remains an ever-increasing popular service.  Much ado with the levels of that service provision is focused on what is within ‘our’ control – and what is not!  Standards of service are affected by the knowledge and experience of the advisors and managers of the company delivering the service to the same of those who they deploy on their behalf.  With the huge differentials in the training and experience of those ‘advisors’, ‘managers’ and also those they deploy on their behalf from around the world, this ‘Control’ of security provision can be limited in the extreme.  It can also be limited all the way to the top of government led operations. Many times, we witness government leaders experiencing incidents they should not be. In almost every instance the resulting situation was as a direct result of the standards of locally employed private security supporting the event being attended.  Too much trust being placed in that local support with too little oversight and management of them creates an environment whereby the risk (read: exposure) to any action untoward is increased. This ‘lack of control’ is further compounded by too much reliance.  The tasking of locally employed security guards, systems and processes should involve a constant measure of leadership from the main stakeholder(s). Much ado with this should be conducted at the point of ‘Reconnaissance’ – the ‘Security Advance’. All verification details concerning the manner in which delegate/ guest and vehicle passes are made and issued, the material, security level afforded to those passes, quality and number of locally employed guards, employment and deployment processes of them, detection limits of walk-thru metal detectors, and so on.     During my recent second visit to the Munich Security Conference, I couldn’t help but notice lapses and gaps in the ‘ground-up’ security provision.  This basic on-the-ground Conference manned guarding security is the foundation, the base-line for which all other security measures rely. 4,400 uniformed Police drafted in from many German Police Forces provided the assistance at what is one of the most high-profile events to take place in the year.  Almost being on par with Davos World Economic Forum, APEC and BRIC Summits, the event attracts both political and world business leaders from around the world.  Uniformed Police are supported by those more covert to those very overt as Counter Attack Team members to helicopter top-cover.  Yet, after all that is said and done – if an individual or vehicle pass is not manufactured in a high-level security method or issued without proper verification of the individual(s) requesting one, then all of the song, dance and fan-fair of the heavily armed and Policed areas is but to no avail. The provision of Close Protection operations is often described as an ‘Onion’; concentric layers of security.  Within government realms, this includes the uniformed, and at times, covert Police presence.  The layers of security combine the differing elements of individual and vehicle passes distribution, searches, perimeter and building security with the reactive presence of the actual CP operators as dusting of icing.  If the foundations of security are not present then all else fails to produce the combined effort of ‘Deter, Detect, Deny, Delay, Defend’.                 Mobius international is a close-knit team of individually skilled people from the world of business and government specialist units. We combine our skills to provide our clients with the protection and reassurance they need to conduct business in locations and environments that are uncertain and potentially dangerous.             ...

What is the Process for Principals Who Increase Their Risk? Risk mitigation within the sphere of Close Protection operations begins with the compilation of a Threat & Risk Assessment which is intended for the purpose of: Determining the threats posed Determining the risks to those threats Organising those risks and threats into order of priority Mitigation of those threats Mitigation and/ or acceptance of risks to threats   As outlined in our Blog, ‘Threat and Risk Assessments’, during the initial stages of security implementation, whether physical or electronic systems or procedures, one must first assess the threat and the level of risk in accordance to the threat. Close Protection Team Leaders and Individual Bodyguards make informed decisions about security risks that are directly or indirectly under their control as part of their responsibilities. In fact, to a certain extent, any member of a Close Protection Team does. Within the context of CP, threat and risk assessments (TRA’s) identifies those threats present and makes recommendations where to avoid, reduce and ‘accept’ risk, as well as how to diminish the impact of threatening events. In an existing security operation, the TRA further assesses and identifies security measures that are inappropriate or non-existent. Recommendations are then made to add or modify where applicable but also to determine the implementation priorities. However, one aspect that must also be considered and which is often overlooked – until too late – is that of the risk the Principal poses to themselves.  Through their actions that are deliberate, unintentional or indeed, accidental, the risk to any threat(s) can be increased to their lives, the lives of those accompanying (including security personnel) at one extreme and physical injury and reputational damage at the other.   Principal Risk Causation   There are five main aspects that should be considered to what I would uniquely term within Close Protection as ‘Principal Risk Causation’.  The reason why it is termed ‘Risk’ and not ‘Threat’ is because the Threat(s) may already be present but that the Principal is increasing his or her risk to the exposure of them. They are: No concern for personal security (or safety) No concern for information security Fraternisation Excess Alcohol Drugs   Examples of the above could include the Principal: Crossing a road without observing for traffic Driving a vehicle without a seatbelt and/ or ineffective vision (see Prince Philip Jan 2019) Insistence on no accompanying security present at specific locations or functions Insistence to his or her preferred manner in which security should be provided Travelling without notifying provisioned security Fraternisation with attached persons especially in presence of the third party Questionable social behaviour due to excess alcohol Incorrect use of medicinal drugs and use of illegal substances   The list of possibilities is almost endless but they all encompass the same question –   What is the process for Principals who increase their risk?   The answer to what process to be conducted is dependent on the relationship between the Principal and their security.  These relationships are, in the main, usually dictated by the manner in which the security is contractually provided or imposed – which is subsequently usually dictated by the social class/ standing in society or professional position. There are 3 types of relationship of Close Protection Provision concerning the direction or instruction of that protection. These are via: Directly Employed Commercial Company Contract Services Provider Government Enacted Example: The Principal states a request detrimental to security provision.  He/ she states and insists to the CPTL that they wish to go for a walk alone, without security.     Flow Diagrams of Decision-Making Practises for Close Protection Operations The following set of flow diagrams outline possible processes for hierarchical decision making as a result of specific requests by a Principal that could detrimentally effect the provision of security based on the nature of the operational provision of that protection; Directly Employed, Company Contract Services Provider, or Government.   DIRECTLY EMPLOYED   COMPANY CONTRACT SERVICES PROVIDER   GOVERNMENT UNIT                   Richard J Aitch Director of Operations & Training __________________________ Mobius International Ltd & Mobius International UK Ltd Expert in the Provision of Protective Services Secura Libertate Per Motum® Secure Freedom of Movement     Mobius international is a close-knit team of individually skilled people from the world of business and government specialist units. We combine our skills to provide our clients with the protection and reassurance they need to conduct business in locations and environments...

Is it possible without any former Military or Police career? I am often asked; "What is the best way to excel in specialist security within the industry when I don't have any former military or police service?"   Whilst there are without doubt many competent 'workers' in the industry whom have neither any former military or police training and experience it does remain an obvious stance, that those with such training will operate at a higher level than those who do not.  Not only is the training longer and more in-depth, there are specific selection criteria for those individuals wishing to specialise in their respective government units.  From basic military and police training we see the foundations of character building on which to progress further, more stringent and advanced training. Every member of a government protection or surveillance team from the UKSF, RMP CP, Police and Intelligence Services is trained to a standard that is arguably, unsurpassed. Prior to being selected for training, the individual would undoubtedly have had a strong military or police background, more often than not have served in some form of elite military or anti-terrorist/ firearms unit, in itself having completed rigorous selection procedures. They would have undergone stringent physical, medical and mental examinations and in some areas, psychometric testing and evaluation, and, during their training, would have been constantly assessed for proficiency and attitude. As a result, the personnel are motivated, pro-active, diligent, dependable, reliable and resourceful. They would be able to operate as an individual as well as in a tight knit team. They have disciplined characters and would also invariably, be of a mature age. In international Close Protection and Surveillance circles – they are widely respected as experts and the content and standard of personnel involved is arguably the highest in the world today. When those same individuals, highly trained and experienced operators, enter the commercial world of the security 'industry' the levels of service from a comparative perspective to their non-former military or police counterparts remains distinct.  So how can the latter be in a position to compete when the commercial training available as dictated by the industry regulator, the Security Industry Authority, is a paltry 2 weeks that anyone can pass? I often respond to such enquires with joining the military or the police and gain that training and experience for free. However, often many are too old or indeed have personal commitments not conducive to employment in the Services. This, however, is no barrier if you wish to excel as other options are available. The ONLY way to compete effectively is to consider volunteering for specialist training within the Reserve government units.  These can be the SAS and RMP where not only will you receive exceptional training you will also be able to specialise. https://apply.army.mod.uk/roles/infantry/sas-reserve https://www.army.mod.uk/…/royal-military-police/rmpreserves/ The RMP Reserves permits attendance on the RMP Close Protection Course. Or why not join Mi5 for a few years? https://www.mi5.gov.uk/careers/mso   We as a company have, and currently are, employing those with the above experience based on the experience and additional courses they have attained. The training and experience you will receive - not to mention the personal satisfaction and pride is without question. Government Service or '2-weeks' of poor SIA training?  Standing out from the crowd or one of many? YOU DECIDE!         Richard J Aitch Director of Operations & Training __________________________ Mobius International Ltd & Mobius International UK Ltd Expert in the Provision of Protective Services Secura Libertate Per Motum® Secure Freedom of Movement     Mobius international is a close-knit team of individually skilled people from the world of business and government specialist units. We combine our skills to provide our clients with the protection and reassurance they need to conduct business in locations and environments that are uncertain and potentially dangerous.             ...

Covert Surveillance Tactics, Techniques & Procedure (TTP’s)   "A Fisherman Always Sees Another Fisherman From Afar." -- Russian Proverb   In June 2010 I was departing Beijing International Airport for London with a colleague.  Whilst my colleague was sorting out his abysmal admin, I propped myself up at the BA desk and surveyed the surrounding scene of the airport.  My attention was immediately drawn to a male looking up at the information board.  He was Western European in appearance and did not have any baggage with him.  As I observed, he turned around and looked directly towards me.  Bingo. We left the desk and walked towards the escalator.  As we walked I turned around and there he was, following.  I told my colleague and we paused at the top of the escalator and eye balled him.  He had a single black wire leading to an earpiece in his ear.  I looked around the area for any possible accomplices.  The male broke into a smile and it was clearly as a result of someone on his ‘net’ making fun of the fact that we had ‘pinged’ him.  We waited and continued to observe him which most likely made him feel uncomfortable as he then made his way to inside a jeweller’s shop.  We followed and watched brazenly making it known that we ‘know’. Unfortunately, due to time constraints we couldn’t play games and had to make our way to the departure lounge. Two days prior to this incident, we had landed at Beijing Private Air Terminal in a foreign (to UK and China) registered private aircraft and visited a foreign Embassy in Beijing.  In the evening, in the dark, I left the Embassy with the Principal with all of the remainder of those accompanying having been instructed by the Principal to finish for the day.  As soon as we departed the Embassy gate we were held at lights and I immediately noticed the vehicle behind us ‘4-Up’ with four males.  I made a note of the registration and with each turn left and right, the vehicle behind followed.  Sat in the rear, I turned around in my seat to make it known to them that I was watching and unsurprisingly, they pulled off.  This apparent ‘follow’ was supported by my colleague who observed the vehicle sliding in behind us having been positioned static outside the Embassy with its lights off. There are only a few reasons why anyone would use the country lane where I live; to use as a road serving the next village, to drop kids off at the local school but very little else.  As a village, my continual process of mental ‘vetting’ of those ‘unknowns’ around me becomes a comparatively easy task in comparison to when I am in London or for those who reside in busier settings.  Those persons/ vehicles owned known to reside nearby are ‘disregarded’, those that are new to the area/ newly observed tend to stand out from the rest. These are noted but without fanfare. However, increased attention is paid to repeat sightings of that ‘newly observed person or vehicle but more so when accompanied by ‘without reason to be there’.  Dog walking on several occasions within the last 2 years identified just that; a male stood outside his vehicle whilst parked in a layby and on the phone.  Nothing particularly outstanding about that other than observing this man and vehicle several times within a very short period of time.  The vehicle was also a silver coloured Vauxhall Vectra, the old type that you simply do not see around these days.  Noted – and recorded.  During this period of the same sighting of the same male and vehicle, another unknown individual was also sighted, this time a blonde-haired woman.  She was on foot walking up the lane behind me – an act I had never seen before on this lane.  She was on her own, without dog and walking in the direction of no-where.  As I was dog walking, I turned around and looked at her; she then immediately asked me where the school was.  I replied. “Up there, take the first right then the left”. I then turned left and after only walking another 50 meters, I turned and observed through the...

A look at how we define 'Operational Success'?   "The road to success and the road to failure are almost exactly the same." -- Colin R. Davis As I flick through various social media posts I increasingly find posts about a recent 'EP Detail" / "CP Task' the poster was on and then goes on to say how successful it was and how their 'training' proved so and their 'hard work' made and saved the day. The first thing I do is look for the text where it said they identified a threat and dealt with it, how they were attacked and dealt with it, how they detected surveillance and dealt with it. In all of these posts there is nothing of the sort. This then made me think about how others view 'Success' and how, specifically, those employed within the Protective Services industry define - 'Operational Success'. The Oxford Dictionary defines 'Success' as; ...

The Mobius Strip -  Non-orientable   "We do not question or judge; we do not change our focus or approach; we deliver".   I am often asked; “Why did we name our company ‘Mobius’?” The answer to the question is not so much Why? – as it is What is 'Mobius'? Mathematically, the Möbius strip or Möbius band, also spelled Mobius or Moebius, is a surface with only one side and only one boundary. The Möbius strip has the mathematical property of being non-orientable. It can be realised as a ruled surface. There are several linked aspects concerning the Mobius Strip to our approach to security operations, whether they be Protective or Surveillance in nature. The first being that we are not orientable. On a non-orientable surface, there's no way to consistently define the notions of 'right' and 'left' and anything that is slid around a non-orientable surface will come back to its starting point as a mirror image. It sounds mathematically complex but in real terms, the association to security services approach being, that we are solely focused on the operational objective.  We do not question or judge; we do not change our focus or approach, we deliver - and with absolute integrity. The second and probably more influential aspect is that with every operation there is the deliverance of measures to either protect or to gain intelligence, both of which have their adversaries. The Mobius Strip denotes the fact that within our approach, we have both sides covered – we use our experience, our insight and our unique government level methodology to ensure that operationally, we are thoroughly diligent.     “If you take a strip of paper, twist it and wrap it halfway around and connect the ends together it would form a sort of circle; - ‘The Mobius Strip’. It has no front or back and only has one side – so if I ran my finger all the way around I get back to the other side.”     From the film 'Möbius', a 2013 Russian-French film about FSB and CIA covert operations, written and directed by Éric Rochant, and starring Jean Dujardin and Cécile de France       __________________________ Mobius International Ltd & Mobius International UK Ltd Expert in the Provision of Protective Services Secura Libertate Per Motum® Secure Freedom of Movement              ...

Operational Planning - Could've - Should've - Would've   “The British write some of the best doctrine in the world; it is fortunate that their officers do not read it.” Attributed to Colonel (later Field Marshal) Erwin Rommel The raison d’être for the provision of Close Protection operations is, quite naturally, ‘To protect’. This remains the fundamental reason for all and any protection operation. However, although this reason is common throughout, the aims and content of operational planning is not and remains a specific and oriented led phase that is pivotal to the entire scope of the operation itself. This is due to operational differences between operations such as: Principal Profile Conduct of operation Budgets CPT manpower strength Available assets Location(s) of operation THREAT(s)   Why do we have a plan? ‘Plans are devised to ensure that mission goals are met through the effective deployment and use of manpower and assets in mitigating risk to threats and meeting other operational requirements’. Operational plans are based on information. If there is no information, there is no plan. This information is largely based on the aforementioned operational differences. However, the more relevant information with regard to facilitating a smooth-running op is normally received from the Boss’ office. Information from the PA/ secretaries (or Boss) regarding the schedule must be scrutinised by the TL. Timings, countries, locations, vehicles, meetings – all must be checked in detail and confirmed. Information can also be gained from other members of staff that for some reason has not filtered down to security. Information from chauffeurs, nannies, house managers, pilots and so on. PAs/ secretaries are busy people and in an organisation where many are employed, those operating in security have at times a tendency to be last on the ‘dissemination list’. With this information a plan can then be formed. The TL must implement this plan based on two main aims: 1. The provision of maximum security possible in the given circumstances 2. The provision of a smooth running administration operation     Realistically, in the commercial corporate environment, day-to-day taskings and responsibilities, aims and requirements of the operation remain a continuing process. This is due to a constant trickle feed of not only changes to the schedule but also, at times, the very absence of any proper schedule with an ‘as and when’ process being adopted. As such, the process of implementing an operational plan remains a continuing one. The TL makes decisions and risk assessments and deploys assets based on both. The process is dynamic. The operational planning cycle above illustrates this continuing activity. Information is received, threats are assessed, risks and vulnerabilities to threats determined and in line with approved budgets, safeguards implemented. The process remains a continual one for every trip, journey and function, and for every serial on the schedule. Standard operational procedures are put in place; specific training conducted, team attachments briefed, equipment distributed, recces conducted and so on. Hence operations starting from scratch will naturally experience and dictate a far greater workload. The TL has a duty to collate all information, assess it and create a plan. He is then to convert the plan in to an effective practical operation where all those involved understand the goals and aims of the mission and each individual knows each of their own specific responsibilities. Militarily, this is known as an ‘Operation Order’. An Op Order or ‘OPORD’ outlines the situation, mission and activities of the unit to achieve their mission goals. During the operation, the situation may change which means the Op Order needs to be modified. Instead of producing a further Op Order, a ‘Fragmentation Order’ or ‘FRAGO’ is given. Commercially, unless operating in a typical high-risk environment such as Iraq and Afghanistan, with many operators and vehicles on the ground and friendly forces in the area of responsibility, a full Op Order would not be conducted; more a continuing format of ‘FRAGO’ style would be produced. There is no need for the formality of a full Op Order within a small team working the commercial role. Instead, the TL will outline the schedule and task responsibilities in a less formal manner, in a hotel room for instance. “The only thing that is constant is change.” Heraclitus Commercial Close Protection operations are not finite in the manner they...