08 Aug CLOSE PROTECTION COMPANIES: A Priority for Service or Business?
A Priority for Service or Business?
For several years my life-long friend, professional businessman and now co-founder asked me to form a company with him. For several years, it took me to answer yes and shake his hand.
For the last 15 years, I have been employed by a former Forbes 10 as his head of security, responsible for all personal protection and related concerns. The position provides a work/ life balance not found in many occupations – certainly not in Close Protection and yet, privileged as this may be for a quality family life, I wanted to use my down time to better this industry to an extent that all of my concerns about it are rectified to the standard that I wanted to see and not one dictated by any regulatory body. I agreed to help form a company but with one caveat; that if we did this, if we formed yet another security company in this industry, that we are to do everything properly – and to the highest standards possible.
“There’s more to life than buying something for a dollar and selling it for two.”
It has been an interesting period since our incorporation, for me specifically. Unlike many company owners in this industry, I have worked the shop floor in all dynamic situations it has to offer. I understand the role, the effect of standards on the ground, maximising standards for those ‘protected’, led teams in high-risk environments and arranged the full compliment of protective assets and attachments for travel, residential and personal security throughout, liaising with government departments and those involved in world business affairs. Dealing with the business side of operations then became a new angle for me, but one that I thoroughly enjoy.
This enjoyment stems from being in complete control of the ‘who and the what’ that is deployed on an operation. To deliver that standard required based on nothing else but pure experience on the ground. To see fit where others make mistakes in providing the service, from those conducting them to those managing them. To actually provide a level of service that is simply unsurpassed in every respect.
Since SIA licensing, the industry has exploded – with those that advertise their services and those for training. With a swamped market, the industry has forced wages down; a less than professional service is offered; and lip service is paid to training. Very few are more vocal than I in highlighting the facts but being vocal is not going to change the industry alone. The SIA are not interested in raising standards and the market is hand-tied to raise them themselves. One can only then, create a disconnect between the industry ‘norm’ and the standard one wishes to see. To provide specialist security services based on not only on-the-ground experience at government level but with a sense of honour, pride, dedication and truth.
After all, there’s more to Close Protection ‘Business’ than buying something for a dollar and selling it for two.
Richard J Aitch
Director of Operations & Training
Mobius International UK Ltd