Aircraft travel connoisseurs suggest that 2022 saw an increase in air travel by approximately 25 percent compared to the previous year. Many of these millions of flights happen due to large companies’ business operations. In other words, CEOs travel around the world to get work done. So, this article explores how location security in different countries and regions can benefit high-ranking individuals on the go.
Simply put, location security comprises the protocols, methods, and tactics to use when traveling from one place to another. Some of these include:
- Advance planning and risk assessment,
- Lodging arrangements, and
- Local security providers.
Although not an exhaustive list, it shows the items you must address before taking the principal to a designated location. Whether that be for only a few hours or multiple weeks.
Yes, it’s true that protectees sometimes abruptly decide to go to a far-off destination without alerting anyone — not even their personal assistants. But, in most cases, the executive will have more or less a fixed schedule for days. In turn, this allows their PA and protection team to prepare accordingly.
But what does preparing accordingly actually mean? Several things!
Advance Planning & Risk Assessment
Due to their prominence or status, CEOs and other high-profile individuals require much more preparation than regular tourists. In fact, their sheer presence in a particular region or country can attract well-organized threat actors and opportunity criminals.
To provide maximum location security, the executive protection team must conduct a site advance and risk assessment. Firstly, a site advance relates to visiting the destination before the principal’s arrival. Secondly, a risk assessment is an in-depth report with all the findings established during the visit.
In the world of protecting the wealthy and prominent, we often call this advance planning. In this process, one or more EP agents travel to the destination and gather as much intelligence as possible, including:
- Prior incidents in the location,
- Previously active criminal groups, and
- Building and parking lot safety.
In doing so, they should be accompanied by a local protection provider. Typically, hiring people from a particular region enhances location security for everyone involved. But why is that? Well, for several reasons.
To start off, a local security provider will have the cultural, religious, and language predisposition to move around seamlessly. For illustration, they won’t arouse too much attention from locals. And if you were wondering, that is precisely what you should opt for!
Secondly, a local security provider will likely be familiar with driving dynamics and safe routes. Similarly, they may be experienced in security driving and could, therefore, traverse the streets more quickly than regular chauffeurs.
Thirdly, if you try to find a medical facility in Africa by merely using Google, you might be in for a surprise. The reason is that many hospitals aren’t adequately mapped or don’t have trauma treatment centers. Contrarily, a locally sourced protection provider can collect all information about the closest medical facilities.
The Underrated Risk of Conferences
In 2022, there were thousands of business and corporate conferences worldwide. Along similar lines, many included corporate leaders, UHNW individuals — and their families. Thus, it stands to reason that they all want to be safe in their hotels and conference rooms.
Similarly, most conferences are highly sophisticated events that often bring together thousands of prominent people. During the function, they often discuss controversial issues and make decisions with wide-ranging consequences.
Predictably, each of these individuals will have a distinct threat profile. Likewise, the attendance of specific individuals could elevate the threat level in the host city. That is, some of the following malicious actors could target them:
- Environmentalist groups,
- Fixated individuals,
- Petty thieves, or
- Armed gangs.
Equally noteworthy, local populations usually know about the conference months in advance due to media coverage. In turn, this allows malicious actors to prepare for an attack. When we say attack, we also mean acts of embarrassment — not physical assaults per se.
To counteract them, the executive and their entourage will require covert and overt protection. In a nutshell, covert means hidden from the general public and even the protectees themselves. In contrast, overt refers to onsite protective agents who act as visual deterrents. At any rate, the risk assessment will detail whether both or only one of the two is necessary for a specific setting.
Location Security and Hotels
We can use the recent World Cup in Qatar as a prime example of location security in a foreign land. It attracts some 1,7 million visitors who have mostly looked for hotel accommodation. Out of that number, hundreds of international guests include:
- High-net-worth individuals,
- Government officials, and
- Celebrities and entertainers.
All these people and their entourage want to feel safe and sound when crossing the paths of thousands of others, sometimes drunken fans and pickpockets.
Truth be told, the Qatari government has imposed stringent measures to ensure safety. However, like in any other environment, it’s impossible to predict and counter all possible emergencies. Therefore, when traveling to high-level events anywhere in the world, we recommend booking a hotel with:
- Designated and secure parking lots,
- CCTV cameras,
- Physical deterrents, including fences and security guards, and
- Access control points.
These measures can discourage potential criminals or even other hotel guests from committing criminal acts or intruding on the personal space of the protectees.
Finally, we suggest liaising with the hotel manager well in advance of the trip to make sure the principal’s room is at a safe distance from the hotel’s entrance and exit. But also that hotel staff are trained and vetted via a thorough background check!
If you are a prominent individual or wealthy family, you probably need some level of location security when traveling. But unfortunately, corporations nowadays operate exclusively on the principle of “value add.”
As a result, few business managers see value in executive protection until a vicious enemy confronts them — abroad or domestically. But, by then, it may be too late.
Therefore, location security is all about prevention rather than reaction. It is the science of collecting intelligence and preparing for any and all eventualities. Most importantly, it focuses on planning safe routes to get the protectees securely from point A to point B to point C — and back.
Don’t get us wrong: We aren’t saying that all threats can be eliminated. Yet, implementing precautionary measures and engaging local support staff can significantly reduce the likelihood of the unexpected from transpiring.
To help you elevate your learning and career, EP Access offers courses on executive protection advances and security driving. Learn anything from the comfort of your home or office!