Close Protection, or Body-guarding as it is more commonly known, is a complex subject that throws up all sorts of Hollywood images to those outside the industry. It is often imagined that Bodyguards are big burly men with a lack of intelligence, running around with guns and driving fast cars, but the fact of the matter is that this is often far from truth, and in fact, can be quite the opposite.
It is an industry that requires intelligence, extreme amounts of patience, and at times a thick skin. It is also an industry which unfortunately, in recent years, has been flooded by under qualified Close Protection Operators who dream of big bucks without thinking about the fact that you are actually there to protect someone’s life, and in turn, could lose your own. This book aims to set the record straight on what it takes to be a Close Protection Operative, and what can be expected of you. It is a book that has been long needed in the industry and one that author, Richard J Aitch, has been working on for a long time. So now that it is here, how good is it?
About The Close Protection Book
Well the first thing you notice when you get this book is the sheer size of the thing. This is no pocket book. This is a professionally written explanation of the Close Protection Industry and all that it involves: and explain it does! The book itself is a good quality hard back book, well made and neatly presented with a dust cover. Anyone who picks up this book will not be disappointed with the content. It has 566 pages and 33 chapters, and after you take away the Table of Contents and Foreword you’re still left with 531 pages of information (yes I did count!), which when compared to other books on the same topic is a lot (the closest I could find was a 400 page book)! And it’s not just stuffed with pictures of the author with VIP’s and Pop-stars either. Yes it has some images and graphics, but every one of them is relevant to the page that it is contained on. Likewise you won’t find page after page of forms for you to try and copy and use in your day to day security operations, which is a good thing, as these forms are normally very basic at best. Instead, what you find is detailed explanations of every aspect of Close Protection, accompanied, where appropriate, by either a diagram/illustration or a photograph. In one chapter he goes into detail about the capabilities and threat of snipers against a client and how they should be considered, which is unusual for a book aimed predominately at the UK industry, but goes to show how in depth this book really is. Later on in the book he discusses the Criminal Justice Act 1998 (Offensive Weapons) Order and explains what can and can’t be used for protection while on operations in the UK. There are many case studies throughout the book that he discusses in great detail too. No stone is left unturned and the book is written in such a way so as to be aimed at everyone who may come into contact or work in Close Protection, including those that would employ a Close Protection Team. The Author himself states:
“The aim of this book is to provide the reader with a valuable ‘no-holds barred’ source of information and advice that is realistic for those with an interest in this elitist field, those considering undertaking Close Protection training, but more importantly, for those who are seriously employed at the sharper end of professional protection operations throughout the world, to which the book is dedicated”.
The chapters covered in the book start from explaining the beginning of Close Protection and examining the story of the 47 Ronin (a lesson in loyalty), as well as explaining what makes a good Bodyguard. It goes onto explain, in great detail, about, the basics of CP, how Close Protection Teams are formed, your roles and responsibilities, threat assessments, reconnaissance, communications, driver training, fitness, residential security, surveillance, and explains how to react to certain situations. There’s a lot more as well (I don’t want to give too much away)! He finishes the book by discussing what he feels is a lack of standards in the UK Security Industry brought on by the Security Industry Authority (the regulating body), which is something I agree with, and is a bold move, one which I applaud. But what makes all this information new, relevant and accurate. Why is this book being dubbed as ‘arguably the most relevant and accurate interpretation of one of the world’s most unusual and secretive professions’? Well that would have something to do with the author.
About The Author
Richard Aitch isn’t simply someone who has studied Close Protection from afar. Nor is he someone who after 5 minutes in the industry thinks he knows it all. In fact he has walked the walk for many years and knows what he is talking about. He has over 25 years significant military, government, and commercial Close Protection, Surveillance, and Security experience. He has served in both the Parachute Regiment and the Royal Military Police Close Protection Unit and has provided protection to British Ambassadors, UK Special Envoy’s, members of both the British and Saudi Royal families, Members of Parliament, 2 General Officers Commanding British Forces in Northern Ireland, A-list Celebrities, CEO’s, owners of world leading companies and some of the most powerful and influential business leaders today. He has led Close Protection operations in 48 countries across 6 continents and also holds a degree in Security and Risk Management.
He was also a member of the Expert Consultation Group for reviewing the National Occupational Standards but later removed himself in protest due to the low level of standards that the UK Government and the SIA have accepted. In a nutshell, the author knows his stuff!
He has written this book because he feels the industry standards for Close Protection need raising and because of his “passion to strive for excellence in this elitist role”, which can only be a good thing for the industry.
From a personal point of view I always find it interesting reading about other people’s perspective on this industry. It’s always good to read about how other people do things as you never know, they may just do something you haven’t thought about and as the saying goes “every day is a school day”, especially when working in the field of Close Protection!
In short this book is well written and accurate and it sets the bar high! As I mentioned earlier it something that the UK Close Protection industry has needed for a long time now and I recommend this book to anyone working in the Close Protection industry, anyone who is thinking of joining the industry and those who employ within the industry. Even potential clients looking to hire a bodyguard for the first time should get this book as it will give them an idea of what they should expect from their potential Close Protection Team. Some may criticise it for not being available through digital copy, but that is a minor point, and to be honest, a digital version of a book like this would do it no justice. This book should be a part of every Close Protection and Security Operators book collection.
For further advice on working within the security industry, go to our Entering The Security Industry Page, fore related articles.