November 9, 2021
VIP Security: Duties and Responsibilities
VIP Protection is not what you see in the movies or on TV. The role of VIP security personnel is to plan and prepare for potential situations before they happen and to ensure their client is not exposed to security threats during the course of their day.
The movies and TV shows portray VIP protection in a very different way. Typically, all VIP security personnel wear sunglasses, have copped haircuts and wear dark suits. They are typically highly imposing individuals that ‘should not be messed with’.
In real life, some of these traits are extremely valuable but being a security specialist is about much more than an athletic build and an imposing presence.
At The Chivalry Group, all our VIP security personnel are highly trained security specialists, with expertise and experience in all aspects of personal protection for individuals and groups of people.
We work with a wide range of VIPs including politicians, celebrities, sports stars, and business executives. Each VIP individual requires bespoke management and the duties and responsibilities of the VIP protection personnel responsible changes based on the requirements of the individual or the group.
In many cases, VIP protection is not limited or exclusive to an individual. Whilst the individual may be the client, protection duties will often include close family members and assets (including the home and vehicles).
What are the responsibilities of VIP security?
The roles and responsibilities of VIP security can be varied and are typically dictated by the role of the VIP under protection.
There are a number of stages involved in VIP protection work, but these can typically be broken down into three main areas:
- Direct Protection
- Mobile Protection
- Static Protection
The duties and responsibilities of VIP security staff will change based on the protection phase, however, before any physical protection work begins, detailed planning will help to establish the strategy and tactics that will need to be deployed at each of the protection phases.
Once a VIP protection job has been commissioned, a detailed planning phase begins. During this phase, an operation plan specific to the job will be formalised and will include input from advance security officers and the team leader.
During the planning phases, the team will establish every potential threat to the client which will help to inform the operational plan. Liaison with local authorities and police may be necessary to gain a better understanding of specific threats relevant to the location.
Direct protection refers to the work of a VIP protection officer when a client is away from their home or static location, but not travelling. This would typically mean attending events or meetings as part of their day-to-day itinerary.
This is a time when a client can be particularly vulnerable and it is important for the security protection team to maintain vigilance at all times. The direct protection phase is seen as one of the most vulnerable times for a client as there is no protection from a vehicle or perimeter walls.
During the planning phases, the security team would aim to scope every single meeting location prior to the client attending in order to assess the potential threats as this is the time when a client is the most exposed.
Unplanned or hastily arranged meetings are the most difficult for security protection teams as they may not have been able to carry out specific reconnaissance of a venue prior to a meeting – the more information VIP protection teams know beforehand, the more they can prepare for every eventuality.
VIP security officers are typically trained in advanced driving and evasive driving, and this is an important skill during the mobile protection phase. In this phase of VIP protection, the client will be moved between one venue and another and once again, vigilance is the key for security personnel in order to determine any potential threats, both on the road and on surrounding streets and buildings.
An important part of this phase is ensuring the vehicles being used to transport the VIP are well maintained. A breakdown can cause a huge potential security risk and part of the role of security officers is to check that regular maintenance of the vehicle has been carried out and depending on the length of the job, it may be required to carry out maintenance during the job.
As well as ensuring the overall maintenance of any vehicles used to transport the client, pre and post-trip inspections will be carried out on the vehicles to ensure there are no threats associated with the vehicles used.
As well as the potential threats faced from terrorists or criminals, clients are also vulnerable to the normal hazards associated with travelling by road including other drivers and that’s why driving skills are an important element of VIP protection work in the mobile phase.
As the name suggests, static protection is carried out in a static venue, most typically in the home or temporary residence of a VIP (such as a hotel). In recent times, there has been an increase in the number of targeted attacks on VIPs in their homes. This has led to an increase in the planning and protection given to the static protection phase.
The planning phase is crucial when it comes to static protection. Understanding and mitigating the potential threats to a client’s home or residence is a key part of ensuring the absolute protection of the property.
From covert surveillance to installing CCTV security systems, the planning phase of VIP protection helps to uncover any potential security risks before static protection commences, helping to provide a great level of protection as well as providing security teams with improved coverage.
Reporting is an essential responsibility for VIP protection teams. Whether it’s incident reports or daily updates, it is important to collect as much information as possible when carrying out VIP protection work as it can not only help to protect the current client, it can also help to inform future VIP protection jobs.
Incident reports are a valuable asset when it comes to continuous improvement. Understanding why an incident took place and what could have been done to prevent it can really help security teams to plan for future jobs and prevent similar incidents from happening again.
Duties and responsibilities of VIP Security – summary
As you can see, the job of a VIP security specialist is varied and is dependent on the client and their day-to-day activities. No matter the client or the bespoke job, these are some of the duties and responsibilities of VIP security that are relevant on most jobs:
- Planning and reconnaissance
- Securing public locations before a client attends a public event
- Performing background checks on all staff, vendors and close contacts
- Escorting the client in public settings
- Identifying suspicious behaviour
- Driving the client from one location to another
- Securing the primary residence and place of residence (e.g. hotels)
There are, of course, many other duties and responsibilities involved in the protection of VIPs and these are bespoke to each individual job.
Our VIP Protection Security team have worked with some of the world’s leading figures from all walks of life – from leading sports stars to diplomats and musical icons. Our VIP protection services are wide and varying and we often work closely with executive assistants to arrange complete protection from the airport gate, to media liaison, and large scale security coordination.
With over 100 years of experience in our executive team, we provide tailored VIP protection security that is discreet and above all, confidential.
We have offices in New Zealand and Australia combining strategic partnerships and team resources in all corners of the globe. Talk to the team today about your VIP Protection needs.