Executive Protection Solutions
for Elected and Party Officials

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Guildstone Associates
Executive Protection Solutions for Elected and Party Officials

Introduction

The political environment in the United Kingdom has become increasingly acrimonious in recent years. This increase has placed elected and political party officials at both national and local levels within a progressively more challenging risk and threat profile. This profile is, unfortunately, greater for elected and party officials who are seen as representing socially progressive or inclusive views and can increase further if these officials happen to be female or from a minority cultural or ethnic background, as many of the groups and individuals behind these threats hold nativist and misogynistic views.

In response to the increasingly challenging risk and threat profile faced by these elected and political party officials, Guildstone Associates has designed a bespoke protective security solution. The core aim of this solution is to allow these key democratic facilitators to continue to interact with the public in a safe and secure environment that is reflective of the UK’s constituency based democratic traditions.

Company Overview

Guildstone Associates is an innovative client focused company that looks to build enduring relationships with our corporate and private clients via the provision of individually tailored and truly holistic risk management and protective security solutions.

Adherence to our core ethos and values define Guildstone and set it apart within the security and risk management industry. This adherence ensures that we at all times operate to the highest professional and ethical standards and provides our clients with the confidence that their interests will always be placed at the heart of our operating methodology.

Experience in Security Provision in Support of Public Engagement

Guildstone Associates and the wider Black Diamond Group have extensive experience in delivering bespoke low-profile security and safety solutions that allow public and private sector clients to successfully engage and interact with members of the public. This experience has been gained via the security and logistical management of events conducted in support of major national infrastructure projects.

Our Staff – Composition of Protective Security Teams

A Key component of Guildstone’s success in supporting its clients has been its ability to deploy high calibre multiskilled teams of experienced former military, law enforcement and civilian Protective Security Associates. Many of our Associates will have gained this experience whilst serving in specialist military, law enforcement and private sector organisations.

Key Competencies of Guildstone Associates

All Guildstone Protective Security Associates are trained to carry out their duties in a discrete low-profile manner. As qualified executive protection officers, they are skilled in the following key competencies which are assessed prior to deployment on task:

  • Behavioural detection and profiling
  • Countersurveillance, situational awareness and information gathering
  • Risk management and planning including dynamic risk assessments
  • Conflict management and de-escalation
  • People management and customer centric interpersonal skills
  • Physical intervention and restraint
  • Media Awareness and management of the media narrative
  • Reputational risk management
  • Extraction and evacuation methods
  • Medical first response

Recruitment and Assessment of Protective Security Associates

To maintain the high calibre of its Protective Security Associates Guildstone recruits via a process that is both selective and proactively inclusive. This process is distinctive within the security and risk management industry, in that it insists makes full use of recommendations from Guildstone’s network of acknowledged security industry professionals and seeks to lead on the promotion of equality, diversity and inclusion within the industry.

As part of our recruitment process, all Protective Security Associates are required to provide the following documentation prior to undertaking a probationary assessment:

  • Verifiable career history of employment in key military, law enforcement or security industry covert or protective security roles
  • Evidence of significant operational executive protection or covert surveillance experience
  • References from known senior military, law enforcement or security industry professionals
  • UK SIA Close Protection Licence
  • Recognised first response medical qualification
  • Documented evidence of specialist qualifications and experience in areas such as surveillance, behavioural detection, firearms and cyber security.
  • Valid Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificate

Personal Protective Associate (PPA)

Elected or party officials (Principals) who have a heightened threat profile may be assigned a Personal Protective Associate or PPA. PPAs are highly experienced Senior Protective Security Associates who will be individually matched to the threat level, and the Principal’s professional and lifestyle profile. The aim is that in dress, appearance and conduct the PPA should appear to be a member of the Principal’s team, an acquaintance or fellow attendee, rather than an overt executive protection professional.

Guildstone Associates Operational Strategy

Our protective security teams work to the Guildstone Associates’ Operational Security Strategy, as well as the Joint Emergency Services Interoperability Programme (JESIP).

Guildstone Associates’ Operational Security Strategy aligns with the UK National Security Framework in the following key areas:

  • Good Governance – Leadership that provides effective security and accountability.
  • Culture and Awareness – A security culture with clear personal accountability and a mature understanding of managing risk, responsibility and reputational protection.
  • Risk Management – Risk management that analyses threats via proven risk management mechanisms and enables clients to make informed, practical and effective business enabling decisions.
  • Information – Information policies that give clients confidence that Guildstone Associates will always maintain the confidentiality, integrity and availability of their information.
  • Technology and Equipment – Use of modern and functional technology and equipment that is resilient to threats and compliant with data protection regulations.
  • Personnel Security – Personnel are a client’s most important asset. Ensuring personnel are suitably protected is key to client confidence.
  • Physical Security – Physical security measures that ensure clients are provided with a safe and secure working environment that protects against a wide range of threats from media intrusion and crime to terrorism.
  • Preparing for and Responding to Security Incidents – Proven security responses managed by experienced staff will greatly reduce a client’s vulnerability to security incidents, disruptive activities and reputational damage.
  • Policy Priorities – Providing security that is truly aligned with client needs and priorities.
  • Vetting – Guildstone Associates only uses personnel who are appropriately licenced and referenced.
  • Accountability – Guildstone Associates always holds itself accountable to clients and key stakeholders, providing confidence that its services will be delivered to meet and exceed their requirements.

JESIP

is used by all UK Emergency Services to deliver an efficient and structured response to emergencies. The Programme observes the following five principles to deliver a jointly agreed working strategy where all parties understand what is going to happen when and by whom:

Co-locate

Communicate

Co-ordinate

Jointly understand risk

Shared Situational Awareness

Diversity and Inclusion

Guildstone Associates is an inclusive employer that respects difference and strives to attract talent from all areas of society. It overtly embraces equality of opportunity and seeks to develop and mentor talent from sectors of society that are underrepresented in the security and risk management industry. This commitment to diversity, mentoring and development is a core strength of Guildstone’s operating methodology and allows it to draw from a board pool of high-calibre talent and individually match our Protective Security Associates to client profiles and requirements.

Bespoke Operational Strategy for Protection for Elected and Party Officials

Primary Role

The primary role of the protective security teams assigned to provide security support to elected and party officials (referred to as the Principal/s) is to ensure the safety of the Principal and their staff at venues and events where they will be interacting with constituents and the wider public.

Method of Operation

In order to allow the Principal and their staff to interact with the public in a safe and inclusive environment, Guildstone’s Protective Security Associates are trained to carry out their duties in a low key and unobtrusive manner. The aim is for the team members to ensure the safety of the Principal and their staff via the use of specialist behavioural detection, executive protection and counter-surveillance techniques rather than an overt, intimidatory and potentially confrontational security posture. To the casual observer, the team will appear to be integral members of the Principal’s or party staff rather than an overt contracted security presence.

Guildstone’s protective security solution places a high emphasis on a discrete, low profile operating methodology. Once a threat actor has identified the members of a protective security team they will have breached one of the initial security layers surrounding a Principal and will be developing plans to mitigate the team’s ability to protect the Principal. This will often be done via distraction and other techniques designed to isolate the Principal from their security provision.

Assessment of Risk and Security Plan

Prior to an event or activity, Guildstone Associates will undertake a detailed risk assessment and draft a security plan.

The risk assessment and security plan will be built via a phased methodology that can be aligned with the API 780 and ISO 31000 standards. The aim is to facilitate a bespoke security strategy for each event that is both cost-effective and commensurate with the threat level faced by the Principal and their staff.

The final phase will be the inclusion and integration of the security plan and recommendation within the Principal’s current security plans and procedures.

The phases are as follows:

  1. Definition – Protected persons, assets and activity (environment)
  2. Threat Identification
  3. Review of Current safety and security measures and infrastructure
  4. Pre-mitigation scoring and production of threat mitigation recommendations
  5. Post-mitigation scoring
  6. Production of security plan
  7. Input or revisions to the Principal’s current security plans and procedures

This process approaches risk as the product of a ‘threat actor.’ The pathway by which a threat actor poses a risk to the Principal, their staff, environment, assets and reputation is known as a ‘threat stream’. The resulting risk is measured by the probability of the threat actor navigating a threat stream, the consequence to the Principal should the threat actor be successful and the vulnerability of the client to the risk.

Post the completion of the security plan and prior to the commencement of any event or activity Guildstone Associates will carry out a security sweep and dynamic risk assessment. The results of this assessment will be briefed to the Principal and the security plan amended accordingly.

Detailed Operational Methodology

When deployed in support of our clients Guildstone Associates security teams carry out their duties in line with a detailed event or task specific operating methodology.

For those teams providing protective security support to elected and party officials the detailed operating methodology is based upon Guildstone Associates’ highly successful and proven public consultation and community engagement methodology.

Key components of this methodology are outlined below:

Dress and Conduct

Members of Guildstone Associates’ protective security teams will dress and conduct their activities in a low-profile unobtrusive and professional manner that is reflective of the Principal’s staff team and the nature of the event or activity. The emphasis is on a discreet professional style that blends into the background rather than an overt and intimidatory security posture.

Media Awareness and Control of the Media Narrative

Protective security teams will conduct themselves with an awareness of the need to protect the reputation of the Principal and maintain control of the media narrative at all times. This awareness is acutely relevant in the era of mass social media and the 24hr news cycle.

Any approaches by media to team members will be noted and directed to the media management lead within the Principal’s staff.

Team members are able to assist with facilitating media engagements, but this will always be carried out under the direction of a member of the Principal’s staff.

Legislative Requirements

All team members are fully aware of the legislative requirements of licensed security operatives deployed in an executive protection role specifically, the following:

  • Their actions must at all times abide by the requirements of the relevant legal, human rights and data protection legislation.
  • Any evidence collation carried out by Associates must be done in a manner that ensures the evidence is admissible in a court of law.

Interventions

In the majority of cases, the support Guildstone’s protective security teams provide to elected officials, party officers and their staff will be to provide a reassuring presence that allows the Principal and their staff to carry out their activities with the confidence that in the event of any untoward activity, the resources to protect them are in place.

There will however inevitably be situations where the team may have cause to intervene to prevent physical or reputational harm to the Principal and their staff. The majority of these interventions will be dealt with via the use of people management and customer service techniques. Whilst the highest levels of discretion and customer service skills will be deployed in any intervention situation, the safety of the Principal and their staff will always remain the overriding objective.

The key components of any intervention action will be:

  • Ensuring the safety of the Principal and their staff, primarily by distancing them from the threat, regardless of whether the threat is physical or reputational.
  • Ensuring the safety of the public
  • Retaining control of the media narrative
  • Carrying out all actions in a manner that is lawful and reflective of the UK’s democratic traditions.

Specific Intervention Techniques

Dealing with Threatening or Abusive Interactions

  • Threatening or abusive interactions will be dealt with via a prearranged coded notification procedure.
  • When the procedure is activated, if a Principal or staff member is comfortable with the interaction, they can inform the Associate that they wish to continue with their activities using the notification methodology.
  • Alternatively, they can use the procedure as a pretext to break from an interaction that they are uncomfortable with. This will be done in a manner that is diplomatic and sensitive to the nature of the event or activity, such as informing a Principal or staff member that they are due on a conference call.
  • Once the Principal has moved away from the interaction, they can inform the team if they wish to re-engage with the individuals causing concern or if they would like the team to diplomatically signpost these individuals to alternative methods of contacting the Principal, their team or other alternatives such as the organisation sponsoring the event.

Refusal of Entry and Denial of Service Situations

  • Where an individual has previously made threats of a serious nature to Principals or staff or where an individual is known to pose a high risk of violent or disruptive behaviour. The client may, under advice from law enforcement agencies or Guildstone Associates, wish to deny certain individuals access to an event or venue.
  • In these situations, the refusal of entry or denial of service will be done as diplomatically as possible and with an acute awareness of how the team’s actions may be interpreted in the social media and 24 hour news era.

Protest Situations – Mutual Respect

  • Where groups or individuals wish to stage a peaceful and non-intrusive protest, where possible this will be facilitated. This facilitation will take place under the proviso that the protest can be facilitated in a manner that does not interfere with the Principals and their staff’s activities or with the ability of members of the public to safely and confidently interact with Principals and their staff.
  • As an example, a small group of well-behaved protesters may wish to highlight a cause whilst handing out leaflets outside a venue. Such a protest would not normally be interfered with. Indeed, the team would attempt to establish cordial relations with the group to facilitate a situation where the Principal and the group can conduct their activities in a mutually respectful manner.

Protest Situations – Disruptive

  • Where an individual or group attempts to disrupt an event or pose a significant threat to a Principal, party staff or members of the public. The team will take the following actions:
    • Principals and staff will be escorted to a point of safety, that allows safe egress.
    • If two or more team members are present, once Principals and staff members are secure members of the public and any other event participants will be assisted in moving themselves to a point of safety.
    • If there is the potential to de-escalate the situation a team member and a senior Principal or staff member will attempt to engage with the protester/s. They will explain to them that if they are willing to protest in a respectful manner that does not interfere with the ability of Principals and staff to conduct their activities, the event and the protest can continue.
    • If the protestor/s refuses to engage, continues to disrupt the event, or threatens to cause harm to others. Dependant on a dynamic risk assessment of the nature of the protest activity, Principals, their staff and any sensitive assets will be held in a secure location on site or escorted from the venue and the police contacted.
    • If it is safe to do so and will not inflame the situation the team will then take action to prevent damage to and recover any remaining assets.
    • If the security team, Principals and staff are on still site when law enforcement units arrive, the team will work with them to facilitate safe egress for the Principal and their staff.
    • Once the Principals and their staff have been evacuated and moved to a place of safety the team will complete an incident report for submission to the client and law enforcement agencies.

Unprovoked Attacks Planned or Spontaneous

  • All Guildstone Protective Security Associates are trained in behavioural detection and close protection techniques. They will use these techniques to monitor interactions between Principals, staff and the public.
  • If an individual or group moves to attempt to launch an unprovoked attack on a Principal or a member of staff, the team possesses the skills and capability to be able to move swiftly to neutralise the threat and extract Principals and staff to a place of safety.
  • Whilst Principals and staff are being moved to a place of safety, if the situation allows, law enforcement agencies will be notified. If this cannot be achieved without compromising the safety of Principals and staff members during the move, law enforcement agencies will be notified once Principals and staff members are secure in a place of safety.

Actions that could Undermine the Reputation of the Principal

  • Protective Security teams will at all times maintain an awareness of actions that could undermine the reputation of clients. These actions may be pre-planned or spontaneous in nature. They can include ambush marketing and importantly types of stunts or protest activity.
  • These actions may be carried out for commercial gain (YouTubers) or to highlight an individual‘s or group’s concerns or cause.
  • Procedures for dealing with these actions will vary dependent on the type of action, the client’s wishes and the type of event.
  • The protection of Principals and staff and the minimising of any reputational damage will be the team’s primary objectives in these situations.

Provision of Additional Services

Should elected or party officials require an enhanced level of security provision Guildstone Associates are able to meet this need via a complimentary range of security, managerial and logistical support solutions including:

  • Embedded Security Consultancy
  • Executive and Corporate Personal Protection Services
  • Surveillance and Counter-surveillance Services
  • Cyber Security
  • Corporate, Project and Event Security Surveys and Risk Assessments
  • Operational Management and Operations Room Solutions
  • Emergency and First Response Medical Support
  • Travel Advice
  • Security Infrastructure Planning and Installation
  • Event Management
  • Equipment Hire
  • Logistical Support
  • Transportation Services (VIP, Passenger and Logistical)

Summary

Via the use of highly skilled low-profile Protective Security Associates and specialised executive protection techniques Guildstone Associates has designed a bespoke protective security solution for elected and party officials. This is a solution that allows these key democratic facilitators to carry out their duties in a manner that is reflective of the UK’s traditions of open participation and constituency based democracy.

The ethics based operating strategy that drives this solution stands in sharp contrast to more overt and often intimidatory security strategies that are offered by other security providers. Whereas these more overt strategies do provide some deterrent value. They can if incorrectly deployed have the potential to impede and undermine the UK’s democratic traditions, by forming a barrier between elected officials and the public.

Guildstone Associates’ solution should therefore be viewed as an enabling strategy and capability multiplier, that both enhances our clients’ ability to confidently engage with the public and strengthens these valuable traditions.

Appendix A – Executive Summary

Executive Summary

Introduction

In response to the increased threat profile faced by elected and party officials in the United Kingdom, Guildstone Associates has designed a bespoke protective security solution whose core aim is to allow these key democratic facilitators to continue to interact with the public in a safe and secure environment that is reflective of the UK’s constituency based traditions of parliamentary democracy.

This solution stands in sharp contrast to more overt and often intimidatory security strategies that if incorrectly deployed have the potential to form a barrier between elected officials and the public.

Composition of Protective Security Teams

A key component of Guildstone’s success in supporting its clients has been its ability to deploy multiskilled teams of highly experienced Protective Security Associates. These Associates are recruited via a process that is both selective and inclusive, allowing Guildstone to draw from a board pool of high-calibre talent from a diverse range of backgrounds.

Our Associates are trained to carry out their duties in a discrete low-profile manner. As qualified executive protection officers, they are skilled in the following key competencies which are assessed prior to deployment on task:

  • Behavioural detection and profiling
  • Countersurveillance, situational awareness and information gathering
  • Risk management and planning including dynamic risk assessments
  • Conflict management and de-escalation
  • People management and customer centric interpersonal skills
  • Physical intervention and restraint
  • Media Awareness and management of the narrative
  • Reputational risk management
  • Extraction and evacuation methods
  • Medical first response

Operating Methodology

Guildstone Associates’ security teams carry out their duties via an innovative and proven security methodology that has been successfully deployed on public engagement events in support of major national infrastructure projects.

Key components of this methodology are:

  • Team members conducting their duties in a low-profile unobtrusive manner with an emphasis on a discreet professional style that blends into the background rather than an overt intimidatory security posture.
  • The safety of elected and party officials (the Principals) and their staff remains paramount at all times.
  • Behavioural detection and executive protection techniques deployed to provide enhanced protection for the Principal and their staff.
  • Any required Interventions primarily dealt with via the use of people management and customer service techniques.
  • Teams operating with an awareness of the need to protect the reputation of the Principal and maintain control of the media narrative at all times.
  • Full compliance with legislative requirements of licensed security operatives deployed in an executive protection role.
  • Specific techniques for dealing with
  • Threatening or Abusive Interactions
  • Refusal of Entry and Denial of Service Situations
  • Protests
  • Unprovoked Attacks
  • Actions that could undermine the reputation of the Principals or their organisations

Additional Security Support

Should our clients require an enhanced level of security provision Guildstone Associates are able to meet this need via a complimentary range of security, managerial and logistical support solutions including:

  • Embedded Security Consultancy
  • High Net Worth, Executive and Corporate Personal Protection Services
  • Surveillance and Counter-surveillance Services
  • Cyber Security Support
  • Corporate, Project and Event Security Surveys and Risk Assessments
  • Operational Management and Operations Room Solutions
  • Emergency and First Response Medical Support
  • Travel Advice
  • Security Infrastructure Planning and Installation
  • Event Management
  • Logistical Support including Transportation and Equipment Hire

Appendix B Active Attacker Scenario

Active Attacker Scenario

Introduction

The increasingly adversarial political climate within the United Kingdom and the impact of global events on the UK has led to an increased risk of elected and party officials (the Principals) being targeted either deliberately or as part of a wider incident. These attacks usually do not last longer than 10 to 15 minutes and can involve multiple deaths and injuries.

Run Hide Tell and Citizen Aid™

The National Police Chief’s Council has produced guidelines to follow if individuals find themselves in a firearms or weapons attack situation. All elected and party officials and their staff should be aware of this guidance. A summary of these guidelines is given in Appendix C.

Principals should also be aware of the Citizen Aid™ App and have it installed on their phones. The App is a simple, logical system of immediate actions designed to guide the public to undertake the following actions; react safely, pass effective messages to the emergency services, prioritise the injured and give lifesaving first aid. The App can be downloaded from Google Play or the Apple App Store.

Profile of an Active Attacker

An Active Attacker is an individual who is actively engaged in attacking a Principal, their staff or other persons in the vicinity. They may act individually or as part of a larger group. Active Attackers in the UK have in the past primarily used bladed weapons but may also use explosives or firearms. Active Attacker situations are often unpredictable and will normally evolve quickly.

Typically, the immediate deployment of police or law enforcement is required to stop the attack and mitigate further harm to victims.

However as active attacker situations are often over within the ten to fifteen minutes window before the police or other law enforcement arrive on the scene, Guildstone’s Protective Security Associates are trained both mentally and physically to deal with an active attacker situation.

Planning

Planning for active attacker situations will assist with mitigating the potential impact of an attack by use of the following countermeasures:

  • The provision of experienced and qualified protective security teams.
  • Collation of information and situational awareness including threat profiling
  • Briefing of principles and staff
  • Reconnaissance of venues
  • Coordination with venue staff to ensure the physical security of venues.
  • A proactive security culture
  • Use of behavioural detection techniques
  • Use of conflict de-escalation methods
  • A notification system that allows an interaction to be diplomatically broken.
  • Swift deployment of proactive and reactive security actions to neutralise identified threats
  • Rehearsed primary and secondary evacuation procedures
  • Post attack procedures

The Security Plan

The Security Plan is critical to the effective management of an active attacker situation and will outline the courses of action to be taken,

The plan will be impacted by information gathering and situational awareness conducted prior to any event or activity. It will also include input from multiple sources such as law enforcement, the Principal, political and party organisations and Guildstone Associates intelligence resources.

It will include the following:

  • A preferred method for reporting active attacker threats
  • Emergency courses of action
  • Evacuation policies and procedures
  • Emergency escape procedures and route assignments
  • Lockdown procedures for individual rooms and areas.
  • Integration with venue Emergency Operations Procedures
  • Information concerning local area emergency services and medical facilities
  • Post incident reporting and procedures

Emergency Course of Action

A proactive and flexible course of action that will be used in an active attacker situation will consider several factors including;

  • How to extract the Principal and their staff
  • How to evacuate or lock down specific areas and locations within a venue
  • Application of immediate first response medical care
  • How to evacuate when the primary evacuation routes are unusable
  • How to engage with and neutralise an active attacker
  • How to alert the police and other emergency services
  • Post evacuation and incident procedures

Post Incident

Once the Principal and their staff are secured in a place of safety and the attacker is secured or is no longer a threat, the location will be considered as an active crime scene. The protective security team will then support first responders and law enforcement as required.

Key components of post incident procedures are assisting the Principal’s staff to account for individuals including any potential victims. The correct collation of information and evidence to assist law enforcement agencies in the investigation of the incident and prosecution of attackers.

Appendix C Run Hide Tell Guidance

Run Hide Tell

The National Police Chief’s Council has produced guidelines to follow if you find yourself in a firearms or weapons attack.

There are three key steps to keeping safe during an attack:

Run

  • If there is a safe route, run.
  • Insist others go with you.
  • Don’t let them slow you down.
  • Leave your belongings behind.

Hide

  • If you can’t run, hide.
  • Find cover from gunfire.
  • Lock the door and barricade yourself in.
  • Move away from the door.
  • Be very quiet and silence your phone.

Tell

  • Dial 999 when you are safe.
  • Give your location.
  • Give the direction the attacker is moving in.
  • Give as much information as you can.
  • Can you safely stop others from entering the area?

A four-minute video of the guidance is available at: https://youtu.be/gx0d6W-QeUQ

Summary

Whilst the number of active attacker situations in the United Kingdom is fortunately very low. However, the increasingly adversarial political climate within the UK and the impact of global events have led to an increased risk of elected and party officials (the Principals) being targeted either deliberately or as part of a wider incident. It is therefore important that public officials plan for these situations and put in place the necessary mitigation measures.

Key to any decision on what mitigation measures to put in place is the knowledge that active attacker situations are often over within the ten to fifteen minutes window before the police or other law enforcement arrive on the scene. Therefore, consideration should be given to the use of correctly trained security professionals during activities such as public engagement events when the threat to public officials is at its greatest.

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