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Blogs

 

DynCorp announces removal of TCN’s from PSD positions in Iraq

· The ADPM announced today that the DoS has finalized their decision to remove TCNs from PSD positions due to the requirement for secret clearances. · There will be a transition plan to replace TCN personnel with US as they arrive starting with the next PSS course graduation in November. · He will be talking with PMO to see if there are other positions elsewhere within the company. · If personnel have other opportunities and want to depart sooner, he will look into pro-rating bonuses. John O’Ryan, PMP Deputy PSD Commander DynCorp International CIVPOL-Iraq ................................................................. Another interesting development out in the Sandpit. The current TWISS II contract only requires the contractor to have "Secret Facilities Clearance at time of proposal submission" [for a contract]. The only real reason I can think of for this, as they already have the contract and already have Team Leaders with SC clearance is that they are being leaned on to provide work for Americans. It's not like the current TCNs (Third Country Nationals - operatives who are not from the contracted country and not local Iraqis) are lacking in skills, they are mostly Europeans with plenty of experience out there, lots have NATO clearance and the only thing stopping them getting US SC is the fact they don't hold a US passport. Although there are quite a few US contractors who'd be available for this, I can't see them doing it for TCN wages, which raises the question 'are they going to bring over inexperienced guys to make up the numbers (aka cannon fodder) or cut the number of guys on each rotation so they can be paid more' (with the associated risks of reduced eyes and bodies on the ground)

MrBlonde

MrBlonde

 

Ahmadinejad's failed protective detail

Quite interesting to watch. I have to say I'm continually amazed at how badly controlled crowds are when the President of Iran/Afghanistan/India/Pakistan etc ventures out. Perhaps is a cultural thing, that they have to be up-close-and-personal with their 'fans' but there have been so many attempts, near-misses and successes (Benazir Bhutto for one) that I'd have thought they'd have learnt by now http://www.stratfor.com/content/above_tearline_failure_iranian_presidential_security?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=official&utm_campaign=tearline

MrBlonde

MrBlonde

 

What is Karzai up to?

August 16, Afghanistan's president issued an ultimatum to thousands of private security contractors he says are undermining his nation's army and police force: Cease operations in four months. "The security companies have to go," presidential spokesman Waheed Omar said as he announced the deadline. With complaints that they are poorly regulated, reckless and effectively operate outside local law, western security operatives have become a point of contention between the Afghan government and U.S. and NATO coalition forces and the international community. So what is Karzai up to? There are plenty of stories relating to how bad the local Afghan security forces are, their Police force is universally dismissed as 'having a long way to go' and their military isn't much better. http://www.policespe...dpost&p=1816236 Add to that the fact that the 'home-grown' security doesn't on the whole have a clue, with 30 being killed in one Taliban attack on a roads construction group in Sangin just last week. Almost all western interests are protected by almost 40,000 western security operatives, from supply convoys to embassies to business interests there at the invitation of the Afghan government with the hope to help rebuild their country. Without PMCs, it's going to be VERY difficult to stay in-country ; on one hand there's a lot of money to be made, but on the other you can't do that if you're getting shot at, blown-up and kidnapped all the time. So why risk a western exodus back to safer climes? Power and Money (sound familiar?) Personally I think Karzai is a pretty smart cookie, and some might say a greedy one too. He needs to be seen to be doing something to take charge of his country and keep the 'western cowboys' in check with elections due again in September. There are probably only two or three Afghan groups who could even begin to fill the void left by a western pull-out, however they'll still need a lot of help. The Asia Security Group (think of an Afghan Blackwater) is one of the largest of the home-grown companies. They are rumoured to be involved in both Opium farming on one hand and the CIA-directed Kandahar Strike Force on the other, with general security operations somewhere in the middle. There is also Watan Risk Management, who provides a range of services including security for NATO convoys. Did I mention that both of these companies are run by the Karzai family? Strange that, don't you think? I wouldn't be surprised if an 'Approved Contractor Scheme' appeared, whereby licences to operate are granted to existing western security, providing someone like ASG have a certain level of strategic control, and no doubt a certain level of funding, or am I being cynical?

MrBlonde

MrBlonde

 

First Post

Heyy, So first post. I've been on PS.com for some time now, but more as just a browser whilst I got into the Specials. Have read alot of amazing and helpfull posts! and now want to see if I can post some equaly helpfull posts and this blog, to give an insite into my experiences Lets see what happens ey. Toby

waltont

waltont

 

2nd Driving lesson. 12/08/2010

Quarter to 11 on a thursday, and it was the day of my second driving lesson. It seemed an eternity before the week went by since the last one, however, when she opened her diary she seemed fully booked, but explained she had 2 people doing their test this week, and that if they passed, she would have more slots to fill up. She picked me up and we went to lea green industrial estate which was a short drive away. She told me she takes all learner drivers there as it's a very long and not too bendy stretch of road, and that it's a good place to get students changing gears. As we were on our way, she asked me about last weeks lesson just to recap and how I thought it went. We also round one of the main roundabouts in town, and she was annoyed that a woman was right behind her and it was even more of a hazard as it was raining. Eventually we got there, she pulled over and we swapped seats. I adjusted the seat and the mirrors and we were ready to go. I was told to pull off from the side of the road like I did last week and then pull back in again after 100 yards. I did this without any problem. After this, she told me she wanted me to change into second gear. I was a bit nervous at first as I could see a mini roundabout just ahead, and all sorts of things were going through my head, like would I make it to the roundabout before I manage to change into 2nd, What happens if there are cars on the right and I have to give way and i'm in second gear? It was easy! I pulled off, and after a few seconds changed to second gear. It's a very quiet area and there was no cars in the area, so i didn't have to stop at the roundabout. Quite a bit after the mini roundabout, I was told to pull up . She explained that there was a sharp right hand bend coming up ahead and it was also on a hill due to the train track beneath. I knew it was there already as the college bus always comes this way home from college. I was told to steer to the left a bit so I didn't get in the way of traffic on the right hand side of the road, and then obviously steer right to go past the bend. Again I was told to change into 2nd gear, and whilst going along the stretch of road, I was asked to change into 3rd gear. I managed to execute it perfectly and here I was driving along at just under 30 mph. Merseyside Police training academy was coming up on my right, and although response cars are not usually there, I was just anticipating one to come wizzing past on blues and twos. Thankfully, nothing did. I went round a sharp left bend before coming up to yet another mini roundabout. This one was quite weird as you approached it at an angle and then had to turn right, despite it being a straight ahead way. I managed to pass it fine and then I was basically told to go back the way I had come from. That was my 2nd lesson done, and I booked my 3rd one which was to happen the following thursday again, which is also results day for my AS levels, so I have 2 things to look forward to! (as well as the celebration on the night time with some friends, so 3 things to look forward to )

carty23

carty23

 

1st Driving lesson & the 1st time behind a wheel ever! 5/08/2010

I thought I would start this blog to give me something to do (I am bored over the summer holidays) and so I could also keep a track of my driving rather than remembering it all mentally. So, as the title says, it was my first driving lesson ever on 5th August. The night before I was thinking "Oh I cannot be bothered with tomorrow" due to the fact that I had an early lesson (9.30am) and I had to be up at 8.30am. However, I'm glad I was bothered as I absolutely loved it! My driving instructor picked me up at my house and pulled off the main road and into a quiet estate. We swapped seats and after swapping seats, she went through all the boring stuff (adjusting the mirrors, adjusting the car seat, [which I had to do before I even got in the car, because at 6'4" and trying to get into the drivers seat of a Corsa which a small woman has just been driving, is very hard to do!] the handbrake, the gear stick, the indicators and window wipers etc. After all that had been done, she told me to pull away from the side of the road, drive along slowly and then pull over again in front of a car she had pointed out. She told me she would take control of the handbrake and clutch at first, and alls I had to do was use the accelerator and the steering wheel, as well as the indicators if necessary. After the first go was over with, she asked me did I want to take control fo the handbrake and clutch, and I decided to give it a bash! I was a little bit heavy footed with the accelerator and released the clutch too quickly (Although not to stall it), and when I was turning around the corner I underestimated the centreing of the steering, so I ended up in the middle of the road instead of on the left. The next part was to roll up to a give way line, and to pull out on the main road. Due to the time in the morning it wasn't that busy at all, so i didn't have to mess around with the clutch and break too much. I safely pulled out onto the main road, went over a speed bump and after about 50 yards or so pulled back into the side road I initially started out on. I repeated this again before pulling outside my own house, in full control of the car. I was quite pleased that within an hour, I had learned to handle a car and all of its controls without wrapping it around a tree or parking it up someones rear. I handed over my money and booked my next driving lesson, which was the thursday following.

carty23

carty23

 

Brighton Pride 2010

From 7.30am on Saturday 7th August 2010 I ignored my nagging alarm clock every nine minutes and at 8.06am I contemplated another 9 minutes of 'snooze' due to only having 4 hours of sleep. I decided that if I was going to make it for briefing I was cutting it a bit slim and left the comfort of my nice warm bed and get ready. I put on my white shirt which had not been worn since the beginning of this year due to change in force clothing style, my incredibly itchy black trousers, parade boots and my nice new tunic (that I had spent many hours the evening before trying to attach metal numbers to the shoulder pads with not a great deal continuous success) which my boyfriend had ordered online a few months before (I knew if I had got one from clothing's stores I would not want to hand it back afterwards) and headed to John Street police station in Brighton for the 9am parade briefing. After a few cheery words from the ACC of Sussex and ACC of Hampshire Constabulary we headed out to the parade assembly point by Brighton Pier where we were asked to line up. Now it seems you can rely on the police to keep public order, arrest people, mediate, bosh down doors and such like, but asking us to form an orderly line with 5 people in each row was a task too much! 40 minutes later we were asked to remember our positions and assemble shortly before 11am. I decided to kill a bit of time by have a look at all the floats and of course the scantily dressed people in various forms lycra that at some point started its life as swim/under wear. I think I spent a few minutes trying to guess how many litres of body glitter had been required for this event and if this had lead to a temporary national shortage of the stuff. 1055am and I was frantically removing excess glitter transfer from my tunic thanks to the many photo opportunities that had come about during my little walk. Just after 11am we started to march, we were at the front of the parade and for a brief few moments we were all actually in an orderly row. The crowd either side where cheering, blowing whistles and 'high fiving' the ACC as we moved along the route. It was nice to see so many people of the public supporting us and everyone in the parade. After an hour or so of stop-starting while the rest of the parade caught-up we arrived at the finishing point in Preston Park where again a great number of us were asked to feature in photos with people that had been quite imaginative with their parade outfits. A quick ciggy round the back of stand and about 8 packets of Haribo sweets later (they were being dished out by a man that couldn't remember if he had already given you a packet or not) and we were back on a coach bound for John Street police station. I had just over 10 minutes to get changed into operational clothes, eat a sandwich, drink a coffee and smoke a ciggy before the briefing at the start of my shift. 10 minutes isn't a lot of time to do all 4, so I chose the 2 important ones, get changed and have a ciggy (I know coffee is important, but I managed to work that into the briefing). Briefing was held by a sergeant I have never met before (well, at least I think he was a sergeant, hard to tell with our new uniforms), "Do you have IP?" he asked, "errr, yes, only just" I replied expecting to be crewed with PC for the big street party in St James Street that follows the pride event. I was crewed with a PCSO, who's first words to me were "Oh, I'm so nervous, I've never done a big event like this before and we're not in my usual area", "hmmm, I don't want to make you any more nervous, but neither of I, infact this is the first time I haven't been crewed with a PC, oh and you have 18 months more experience than me...... sorry!" We headed out to our given micro-area and luckily it was a nice quiet one. I spent several hours chatting to my colleague, passersby and old ladies that had no idea why the front of their local Boots/Morrisons/Tescos was mobbed with thousands of people waving rainbow coloured flags. I also nodded a lot! 7pm we were asked to attend the other end (the busy end) of St James Street to cover for officers that had gone for refs. We waded through the crowed as if it was treacle, it took 15 minutes to cover the ground it would normally take 2 minutes. It was getting busy! After asking several men to jump out of the giant litter bins, posing for more pictures for more increasingly drunk women, explaining a number of times to numerous people that you really can't pee in my helmet, denying there is no such offence as section 1 of the crimes against fashion act (if there was quite a few drunk people there deserved 25 years) and directing people to cash machines, toilets and pubs we were asked to wait to be picked up by the main road. ' Oh, refs' I stupidly thought to myself, I will finally get to eat my surely stale unrefrigerated tuna mayonnaise sandwich back at the nick. It didn't take long before I realised we were heading in the wrong direction. "Right, we have intel to suggest there is going to be an illegal rave down at Black Rock (the beach by Brighton Marina), block the road and don't let anyone down there, call up coms get briefed on the ANPR hit", We took out the 'police stop' signs and traffic cones from the vehicle and blocked off the entry road to Black Rock. Coms gave me a description of the vehicle we were looking for and settled in for a stint of traffic control. A nice break from the noise and alcohol fueled street part I spent my time chatting to an out-of-town sales guy who was waiting endlessly for a taxi he had ordered. I mused with a dear old couple that were strolling down the beach front on the subject of 'youths' and also the merits of trams in cities today. PSU/LST (our public order guys and girls) appeared in 3 vans from behind us, "Oh you have blocked the road off, we were waiting down on the beach". I explained what we were doing and they decided to join my colleague and I. A few minutes later I spot a vehicle turning round and parking up off the distance which vaguely matched the description. I called coms to verify the colour, the confirmed it could be it. PSU/LST heard my radio (they were on a different channel) and decided to talk a drive up. Moments later, lots of blue lights and activity, it was the people we were after. Job done, I waited around for a what seemed to my rumbling stomach as a life time to be picked up and dropped off at the nick for my sandwich. An hour (and a very crusty sandwich) later at 10pm we were back in the thick of it, we were given the busiest part of the street party, the 100 yards where its shoulder to shoulder. The usual array of requests to wear the police helmet, photo requests, 'are you gay?' questions along with the 'guys calm it down', 'please don't do that', 'wait til you get home', 'put that away' and the 'if you don't <insert request> right now you are going to get <insert consequence> plus responding to a few alcohol related jobs from the radio saw us through til midnight when we were stood down. Although my feet/legs/back were killing me at the end of the shift, I did actually enjoy it. It gave me some confidence knowing that I managed to get through it all without having to rely on being crewed with a PC. Because of this, a few days later I went out on patrol for the very first time on my very own..... but that's a blog for later

elloelloello

elloelloello

 

My road to the City of London...

Well as some of you may know, I've applied to join the City of London Police as a regular. To my delight I received a letter this week confirming that I have passed the final interview. Hurrah! :drinking: All that is left is my medical and fitness, both of which I know won't be an issue. I don't know how long the wait will be for a start date, and taking into account what happened to the 2,000 Met Police applicants who got knocked back recently (even though they had passed every stage), I am well aware that sometimes things can go wrong particularly in the current economic climate. What surprises me the most, is the fact that I have got to this stage so quickly and on my first attempt. I first applied to the Surrey Specials when I was 18 and got knocked back twice, before finally getting through on my third try. The great Lord Vader was actually one of my assessors, as he was a Section Officer (now a S/Sgt) at the time. I also unsuccessfully applied to the Prison Service last year - I got knocked back by a really small amount at the assessment centre. The bit that I failed on with the Prison was the role plays. For the normal (adult) role plays I got Non – Verbal communication - A+ ; Suspending Judgement - B+ ; Showing Understanding - C ; Assertion - A+ ; Exploring & Clarifying - C ; Respect for Others - C+ For the juvenile role play I got the following: Non – Verbal communication - A+ ; Suspending Judgement - A+ ; Showing Understanding - A+ ; Assertion - A+ ; Exploring & Clarifying - A I failed because the Respect for others grade had to be a B (I got a C+), even though I suspect that my overall score was probably higher than average. As a backup plan I have now re-applied to the Prison Service (as they have only just re-opened recruiting, and have my assessment centre with them on 11th August at Holloway in London. Back to the police; I had been reluctant to keep any sort of time line on my City Police application, as each stage I got to I genuinely thought would be my last. So here is my application experience to date: 10 February 2010 - I see a thread pop up in the Regulars Zone about the City of London Police (here). I have considered applying to the regulars on a couple of previous occasions, and half completed the forms and then giving up half way through. I was not keen to join my current force (Surrey) for a couple of reasons - firstly if successful with Surrey then I would only really want to work as a Neighbourhood officer (NSO) on my current area, something that is fairly unlikely to happen unless I'm very lucky. Secondly Surrey is one of the first forces to have adopted the 'PLC' method of recruiting - in a nutshell you pay (currently over £1k) to do a law course at college in your spare time. Once you are on the course you can then apply properly to Surrey. The rest of the recruitment process is the same - application, assessment etc - so you could then get knocked back at any of those stages even though you've spent a lot of time, money and effort for a qualification that cannot be used outside of policing. The Met I believe are also introducing this type of method of recruitment, and other forces are also considering it. The sheer cost of the course would make it significantly more difficult for me to join, and knowing that this may be one of the last opportunities to join the police in the old fashioned way, I didn't want to pass this opportunity up. Also, the City would be a fantastic force to work for - I work within a fairly small force already where everybody knows each other, something that I don't think you would get as easily in the Met. 15 February 2010 - 09:00 and the recruiting line opens. I try from the outset and get an automated message each time advising that I cannot be connected due to the volume of calls. Luckily all the calls came out of my free minutes and it wasn't costing me. My mobile also keeps track of how many times I called the number - after a whopping 111 attempts and over three hours later I get through! I'm one of the lucky ones to get an application pack. Within an hour of getting through the line is closed – all 500 packs they have available have gone. The pack arrives the following week, and the form is pretty big – 16 pages in all. There are four big competency based questions as well as other questions such as why I want to be a police officer and why I have chosen the force that I have. I spent hours at my desk each evening after work going through them, trying to think up examples. I would type up my answers onto a blank word document on my computer, and then made multiple photocopies of the pages so I could write them out in draft. In the end the finished product was that I used up all the available space to get my messages across, without going over. I then kept a photocopy of my completed application form, and signed and dated it on the 2nd March. 12 April 2010 – A little over a month after submitting my application, I receive a letter inviting me to the assessment centre, which will take place at the Met Police Training Centre in Hendon, North London. Within the letter was information about the assessment centre (known as the Westshire Centre pack), which I need to memorise prior to going to the assessment, as some of it will be relevant to the written exercises and role plays. Being honest, I hate assessment centres. The irony is that I really enjoy being an assessor for Surrey Specials, but hate being on the receiving end. I guess it does no harm to be on the receiving end of my own medicine once and a while. The assessment date was set for 7th May. 7 May 2010 – some of you may remember the 7th May, as it was the day after the General Election. As I am on the train at the crack of dawn heading up to Waterloo I wonder to myself who is more nervous - me, David Cameron, or Gordon Brown, all in effect fighting for our careers. On the tube up to Colindale station I notice that the further we get north, the fewer passengers there are. As we are within reach of Colindale, I spot a smartly dressed chap sat on the next row of seats to my right, reading through what looks suspiciously like a Westshire Centre pack. I look to my left, and there is a smartly dressed young lady doing exactly the same. As we approach Colindale I approach the young lady and say ‘Are you…’, and before I finish she replies ‘Yes, and you?’. ‘Yes’, I reply again, ‘and I think that bloke down there is too!’. The smartly dressed chap notices us and comes over. We all shake hands and make the usual small talk about how nervous we all are. As we walk down the road in the direction of the training school, we spot a couple more smartly dressed recruits and go to the entrance to Hendon. The security guard on the gate advises us that we are about 45 minutes early, and points us in the direction of a nearby greasy spoon. The small talk continues and, although I should be starving, the last thing I can think about is food. As we enter, I notice the café is full of smartly dressed young men and women, all of whom are also there for the assessment. I wonder if the security guard is working on commission from the café. I chat to just about everybody in the café, and discover that majority are serving Specials or PCSOs, and only a minority appear to have no policing experience whatsoever. I eat toast; I drink tea; we leave. On arrival at Hendon we are signed in and then asked to wait in a side room. A television is on with the political pundits all discussing the potential implications of a hung parliament. It is good in a way as it gives everyone something to talk about. After a while three assessors enter the room and split us into ‘syndicates’ of eight. We are each given a sticker with our syndicate and candidate numbers, which must be on display at all times. My syndicate goes in for the written first. I complete the two written exercises in the time given and am not really sure one way or the other how I think I did. We then stay in the same room, and then take our written (different to the previous written tests) and numerical reasoning tests, which has multiple choice answers. The numerical one came first, and I only managed to answer about two thirds of the questions. I completely lost track of time and my heart sinks – at this point I’m convinced I failed. We then move onto the written test, and get three practice questions. At this point I feel really de-motivated, but tell myself that I may not have failed, and to carry on giving it my best. The assessor tells us the answers to the practice questions and one of my answers was incorrect. If I wasn’t deflated enough lol… When it comes to the actual test, I have enough time to recheck all my answers, and I’m as sure as I can be that I have answered them with what I believe to be the correct answers. I try to imagine what one of my regular Sgts would do in those situations, and think, ‘yeah, that’s what he would do’, and that kind of backed up my answers. We then moved onto the roleplays, before doing the competency based interviews last. I try to be as relaxed as possible throughout, but still have the maths test in the back of my mind, and still think that I have failed. In all bar one of the roleplays I used up the full five minutes allowed. Unlike my prison officer assessment, all of the assessors were very friendly throughout. The end of the day comes, and all I can do is go home, put my feet up, and try not to think about it. 28 May 2010 – I’ve been waiting all month for my result, and am aware that I will know the outcome imminently, as one of the other candidates had told me that HR had told them that we would receive letters at the end of the month. I had to get up early that morning anyway as I was due to give evidence in Court over an arrest that I made last year. I go to Court and was quite nervous, but the defence was rubbish and not surprisingly the defendant was found guilty. When I get back to the police station I switch my mobile phone on and have a text message from one of the other candidates to say that he’d received a letter confirming that he’d passed the assessment centre. The office was full of PCSOs who were on their lunch. I couldn’t wait any longer and called my landlady, who fortunately was at home, and I asked her to open my mail for me. I passed! As soon as I got the magic words our all the PCSOs started cheering and clapping, I was lost for words as I honestly thought I’d failed in the maths part. When I got home that evening to check my results, I saw that they marked the maths with the written reasoning test and given them an overall grade of ‘B’, so I must have done fairly well on the written reasoning to make up for the maths! 25 June 2010 – I receive another letter from the City of London Police. In a nutshell they’ve had more people pass than they have vacancies, and because of this all those who’ve passed the assessment centre will return for a final interview, again competency based but rather than four questions like the interview it will be six, for each of the six competency areas (+ communication which is assessed throughout). I go through my results from the assessment centre to help decide which competencies I did well on previously, and which ones had room for improvement. I know that the competition by now will be very tough and am determined to succeed. In the end I come up with completely new examples for all bar two of the competencies ‘Resilience’ and ‘Team working’, where I stick to my existing examples. The interview is set for the 9th July. 9 July 2010 – I get up early. As with my assessment centre; I had everything prepared the night before to make my job in the morning as easy as possible. My landlady had her screaming grandkids round, so I caught the bus into Kingston, and had a big breakfast in one of the cafés, going over my notes once again. I then travel up to the City and find another café around the corner from Snow Hill Police station where I park my bum for the next two hours, going over all my notes again whilst drinking a rather unhealthy mix of coffees and milkshakes (but they were the seriously good milkshakes!). When I arrive for my interview there are three other candidates who are due to be interviewed at the same time as me. Two were Specials (one Met, one Essex) and the other chap was a PCSO with the City (he was due to start his shift from the same police station shortly after his interview!). When we are called in I am sat in a small room with a lady from HR and a Police Inspector, both of whom were armed with clip boards. I was told (as had been previously mentioned in the letter) that I could have up to five minutes per question, and that afterwards I could ask any questions I had about the role. It was over before I knew it – I was in and out of there in less than twenty five minutes and waited outside for the other candidates. The next candidate was out over ten minutes later, and the last one came out nearly twenty minutes after me. This made me wonder whether I had put enough detail into my answers, but as it later turned out both of us passed (he text the other day to let me know). 4 August 2010The long wait is over – I’m aware that the letters have gone out and I call my landlady to ask her to open my post, and to my complete shock I’ve passed. Even as I’m typing this I still can’t quite believe it. There is still the medical and fitness to go, both of which I have undertaken as a Special and am not concerned about. In other news on Monday I passed my Special Sergeants exam, with 13/15 correct answers. Well, that’s about it from me for now – I’m having a police free weekend this weekend and will be back to normal next week. Thanks once again for reading! Giraffe P.s. – Just to finish off, here’s a couple of City of London pictures for you to look at…

Giraffe

Giraffe

 

The next step

Hi People, Been a long time since I sat down and wrote a blog. Thought it was time for an update. Well last time I was looking for a job with a p we are not consarks Police service. Well it turned out that none of them were recruiting and that some were in the process of shutting down. Whis is always sad as you wonder where the pople they already have will end up. Plus it means we as a general public lose another unique service. Well after sitting around and not being getting very far I decided to do something positive. What did I do? I went out and started my own security company. I know I know not quite the same. However the company is established around one major public service client the NHS . This is not to say we are not considering other clients, we are and are currently in talks with the local borough council to provide them with services for their parks, open spaces and other areas. hey if you want to check us out or website is www.southern-support.co.uk and get back I would appraciate the feed back. Thanks Jason

JaseS1434

JaseS1434

 

Watching for Watchers

In my last blog post, I mentioned Surveillance Detection and was going to put together a post about that, then I found the following on STRATFOR which is not only pretty good, but it saves me doing it all :-) .................................... In last week’s Security Weekly we discussed how situational awareness is a mindset that can — and should — be practiced by everyone. We also described the different levels of situational awareness and discussed which level is appropriate for different sorts of situations. And we noted how all criminals and terrorists follow a process when planning their acts and that this process is visible at certain times to people who are watching for such behavior. When one considers these facts, it inevitably leads to the question: “What in the world am I looking for?†The brief answer is: “warning signs of criminal or terrorist behavior.†Since this brief answer is very vague, it becomes necessary to describe the behavior in more detail. Surveillance It is important to make one fundamental point clear up front. The operational behavior that most commonly exposes a person planning a criminal or terrorist act to scrutiny by the intended target is surveillance. Other portions of the planning process can be conducted elsewhere, especially in the age of the Internet, when so much information is available online. From an operational standpoint, however, there simply is no substitute for having eyes on the potential target. In military terms, surveillance is often called reconnaissance, and in a criminal context it is often referred to as casing or scoping out. Environmental activist and animal rights groups trained by the Ruckus Society refer to it as “scouting.†No matter what terminology is being used for the activity, it is meant to accomplish the same objective: assessing a potential target for value, vulnerabilities and potential security measures. Surveillance is required so that criminals can conduct a cost-benefit analysis. The amount of time devoted to the criminal surveillance process will vary, depending on the type of crime and the type of criminal involved. A criminal who operates like an ambush predator, such as a purse-snatcher, may lie in wait for a suitable target to come within striking distance. This is akin to a crocodile lying in a watering hole waiting for an animal to come and get a drink. The criminal will have only a few seconds to size up the potential target and conduct the cost-benefit calculation before formulating his plan, getting ready and striking. On the other extreme are the criminals who behave more like stalking predators. Such a criminal is like a lion on the savannah that carefully looks over the herd and selects a vulnerable animal believed to be the easiest to take down. A criminal who operates like a stalking predator, such as a kidnapper or terrorist, may select a suitable target and then take days or even weeks to follow the target, assess its vulnerabilities and determine if the potential take is worth the risk. Normally, stalking criminals will prey only on targets they feel are vulnerable and can be successfully hit, although they will occasionally take bigger risks on high-value targets. Of course, there are many other criminals who fall somewhere in the middle, and they may take anywhere from a few minutes to several hours to watch a potential target. Regardless of the time spent observing the target, all criminals will conduct this surveillance and they are vulnerable to detection during this time. Given that surveillance is so widely practiced, it is quite amazing to consider that, in general, criminals and terrorists are terrible at conducting surveillance. There are some exceptions, such as the relatively sophisticated surveillance performed by Greenpeace and some of the other groups trained by the Ruckus Society, or the low-key and highly detailed surveillance performed by some high-end art and jewelry thieves, but such surveillance is the exception rather than the rule. The term “tradecraft†is an espionage term that refers to techniques and procedures used in the field, but term also implies quite a bit of finesse in the practice of these techniques. Tradecraft, then, is really more of an art rather than a science, and surveillance tradecraft is no exception. Like playing the violin or fencing with a foil, it takes time and practice to become a skilled surveillance practitioner. Most individuals involved in criminal and terrorist activity simply do not devote the time necessary to master this skill. Because of this, they have terrible technique, use sloppy procedures and lack finesse when they are watching people. Although everybody planning a criminal or terrorist attack conducts preoperational surveillance, that does not necessarily mean they are good at it. The simple truth is that these individuals are able to get by with such a poor level of surveillance tradecraft because most victims simply are not looking for them. And this is where we tie the discussion back into last week’s Security Weekly. Most people do not practice situational awareness. For those who do, the poor surveillance tradecraft exhibited by criminals is good news. It gives them time to avoid an immediate threat and contact the authorities. Demeanor Is the Key The behavior a person needs to outwardly display in order to master the art of surveillance tradecraft is called good demeanor. Good demeanor is not intuitive. In fact, the things one has to do to maintain good demeanor frequently run counter to human nature. Because of this, intelligence and security professionals who work surveillance operations receive extensive training that includes many hours of heavily critiqued practical exercises, often followed by field training with a team of experienced surveillance professionals. This training teaches and reinforces good demeanor. Criminals and terrorists do not receive this type of training and, as a result, bad surveillance tradecraft has long proved to be an Achilles’ heel for terrorist and criminal organizations. Surveillance is an unnatural activity, and a person doing it must deal with strong feelings of self-consciousness and of being out of place. People conducting surveillance frequently suffer from what is called “burn syndrome,†the erroneous belief that the people they are watching have spotted them. Feeling “burned†will cause surveillants to do unnatural things, such as suddenly ducking back into a doorway or turning around abruptly when they unexpectedly come face to face with the target. People inexperienced in the art of surveillance find it difficult to control this natural reaction. Even experienced surveillance operatives occasionally have the feeling of being burned; the difference is they have received a lot of training and they are better able to control their reaction and work through it. They are able to maintain a normal looking demeanor while their insides are screaming that the person they are surveilling has seen them. In addition to doing something unnatural or stupid when feeling burned, another very common mistake made by amateurs when conducting surveillance is the failure to get into proper “character†for the job or, when in character, appearing in places or carrying out activities that are incongruent with the character’s “costume.†The terms used to describe these role-playing aspects of surveillance are “cover for status†and “cover for action.†Cover for status is a person’s purported identity — his costume. A person can pretend to be a student, a businessman, a repairman, etc. Cover for action explains why the person is doing what he or she is doing — why that guy has been standing on that street corner for half an hour. The purpose of using good cover for action and cover for status is to make the presence of the person conducting the surveillance look routine and normal. When done right, the surveillance operative fits in with the mental snapshot subconsciously taken by the target as the target goes about his or her business. Inexperienced people who conduct surveillance frequently do not use good cover for action or cover for status, and they can be easily detected. An example of bad cover for status would be someone dressed as “a businessman†walking in the woods or at the beach. An example of bad cover for action is someone pretending to be sitting at a bus stop who remains at that bus stop even when several buses have passed. But mostly, malefactors conducting surveillance practice little or no cover for action or cover for status. They just lurk and look totally out of place. There is no apparent reason for them to be where they are and doing what they are doing. In addition to “plain old lurking,†other giveaways include a person moving when the target moves, communicating when the target moves, avoiding eye contact with the target, making sudden turns or stops, or even using hand signals to communicate with other members of a surveillance team or criminal gang. Surveillants also can tip off the person they are watching by entering or leaving a building immediately after the person they are watching or simply by running in street clothes. Sometimes, people who are experiencing the burn syndrome exhibit almost imperceptible behaviors that the target can sense more than observe. It may not be something that can be articulated, but the target just gets the gut feeling that there is something wrong or odd about the way a certain person behaves. Innocent bystanders who are not watching someone usually do not exhibit this behavior or trigger these feelings. The U.S. government often uses the acronym “TEDD†to illustrate the principles that can be used to identify surveillance conducted by counterintelligence agencies, but these same principles also can be used to identify criminal and terrorist surveillance. TEDD stands for time, environment, distance and demeanor. In other words, if a person sees someone repeatedly over time, in different environments and over distance, or someone who displays poor surveillance demeanor, then that person can assume he or she is under surveillance. If a person is being specifically targeted for a planned attack, he or she might be exposed to the time, environment and distance elements of TEDD, but if the subway car the person is riding in or the building where the person works is the target, he or she might only have the demeanor of the attacker to key on because the attacker will not be seen by the observer over time and distance or in different environments. Time, environment and distance are also not applicable in cases involving criminals who behave like ambush predators. Therefore, when we are talking about criminal surveillance, demeanor is the most critical of the four elements. Demeanor will also often work in tandem with the other elements, and poor demeanor will often help the target spot the surveillant at different times and places. In a situation where a building or subway car is targeted for an attack rather than a specific person, there are still a number of demeanor indicators that can be observed just prior to the attack. Such indicators include people wearing unseasonable clothing in warm weather (such as trench coats); people with odd bulges under their clothing or wires sticking out from their clothing; people who are sweating profusely, mumbling or fidgeting; people who appear to be attempting to avoid security personnel; and people who simply appear to be out of place. According to many reports, suicide attackers will often exhibit an intense stare as they approach the final stage of their attack plan. While not every person exhibiting such behavior is a suicide bomber or shooter, avoiding such a person rarely has much of a downside. One technique that can be helpful in looking for people conducting long-term surveillance is to identify places that provide optimal visibility of a critical place the surveillant would want to watch (for example, the front door of a potential target’s residence or office). These optimal observation points are often referred to as “perches†in surveillance jargon. Perches can then be watched for signs of hostile surveillance like people who don’t belong there, people making demeanor mistakes, etc. This principle can also be extended to critical points along frequently and predictably traveled routes. Potential targets can conduct simple pattern and route analyses to determine where along the route they are most predictable and vulnerable. Route analysis looks for vulnerabilities, or choke points, on a particular route of travel. Choke points have two main characteristics: They are places where the potential target must travel and where rapid forward motion is difficult (such as sharp, blind curves). When a choke point provides a place where hostiles can wait with impunity for their victims and have access to a rapid escape route, the choke point becomes a potential attack site. These characteristics are found in attack sites used by highly professional kidnap/assassination teams and by criminal “ambush predators†such as carjackers. While the ideal tactic is to vary routes and times to avoid predictable locations, this is also difficult and disruptive and is warranted only when the threat is high. A more practical alternative is for potential targets to raise their situational awareness a notch as they travel through such areas at predictable times in order to be on the alert for potential hostile surveillance or signs of an impending attack. The fact that operatives conducting surveillance over an extended period of time can change their clothing and wear hats, wigs or other light disguises — and use different vehicles or licence plates — also demonstrates why watching for mistakes in demeanor is critical. Of course, the use of disguises is also an indicator that the surveillants are more advanced and therefore potentially more dangerous. Because of a surveillant’s ability to make superficial changes in appearance, it is important to focus on the things that cannot be changed as easily as clothing or hair, such as a person’s facial features, build, mannerisms and gait. Additionally, while a surveillant can change the licence plate on a car, it is not as easy to alter other aspects of the vehicle such as body damage (scratches and dents). Paying attention to small details can produce significant results over time. As we noted last week — and it is worth repeating here — paying attention to details and practicing situational awareness does not mean being paranoid or obsessively concerned about security. When people live in a state of paranoia, looking for a criminal behind every bush, they become mentally and physically exhausted. Not only is this dangerous to one’s physical and mental health, but security also suffers because it is very hard to be aware of your surroundings when you are exhausted. Therefore, while it is important to watch for the watchers, watching should not involve feelings of fear or paranoia. Knowing what is occurring in the world around them empowers people and gives them a sense of security and well-being, allowing them to spot the good things in life as well as the potential dangers. This report is republished with permission of STRATFOR

MrBlonde

MrBlonde

 

Independant Patrol

Well, it's been a strange couple of weeks. Last week I found myself infront of my PDO (Professional Development Officer) for my final 'knowledge check' before awarded with IP (Independant Patrol). Initially a truely nerve racking experience where I could barely remember my name, let alone the important stuff I have been putting into practice over the past 5 months since leaving Slougham Manor! I probably wittered on so much my PDO was probably glad to get me out of the office, anyways a bit of signature chasing, scanning and emailing, there it was sitting in my email inbox.... confirmation... all signed off. IP! There seems to be a bit of tradition on sections that.... on your birthday/achieving something/doing something silly means you buy cakes for the office. I always wondered why there was a selection of Mr Kiplings (and high calorific items that would probably fare better in the fridge) strewn accross the desk by the kettle. Anyways, good times! Though the very thought of going it alone on the streets is right at the back of my mind, along with giving up smoking, painting the front room and poking myself in the eye with a rusty fork. A shift this week I was filled with restrained excitement of being filmed with my collegue for some background footage by the local news channel. I probably wasnt looking my best considering not long before my collegue and I had spent some time rolling around on the floor with a persistent chappy who had been drinking copious amounts of alcohol. However it didn't stop me from texting my mum with instructions to watch the local news and recording it on the sky+ box, all 18 seconds of it! (oh, you'd have done the same). This weekend is the Brighton Pride, I will be marching in the parade and then on duty til midnight. Really looking forward to it

elloelloello

elloelloello

 

My first real blog.

Okay, as computery type bloke and a person that likes his Internet, has all the gadgets known to the western world, you'd have thought I'd know what blogging is all about, well to be honest, I had shut my eyes and ears to all this blog nonsense until a few evenings ago when my partner was enjoying his stint of late shifts on response I thought I'd have a nose round PoliceSpecials.com (I had heard of it during my specials training). I read a post about gay officers and recruitment so I decided to add my first post about my own personal experience of unintentionally outing myself during day 1 of training (which I used to start this blogg), I received a number of messages in response which were more or less 'Thanks, I've been nervous about what training is going to be like'.... this prompted me to post 'My Survival guide to Specials Police Training at Slougham'.... with all the positive feedback and contact I've had from my posts made me think about this thing that everyone else seems to know all about.... blogging. I thought I'd blog just the usual stuff that I get up to as an average middle aged ho-hum run-of-the mill kinda guy who's a volunteer police officer serving in Sussex, oh and happens to be gay (I haven't ever 'blogged' before so forgive me if I break any 'blogging protocol' if there is such a thing?). As you can image the content of the coming months etc may be limited in detail, after all, I don't want to: * Talk about things that: a) I'm not qualified to. b) Anthing I don't have the experience to formulate an educated comment on. * Discuss what should or shouldn't be with regards to law/policing/funding/policy/(insert endless list of topics everyone seems to have an opinion on) and such like (see point above). Maybe if I had started blogging 6 months ago, it would have contained a blog something like: After my first ever arrest on my second day of PDU, I stood before the custody sergeant eager to demonstrate to everyone my newly learnt search skills, I started systematically searching thoroughly at the top and worked down to the feet. After checking his socks and shoes the custody sergeant passed me a wand like metal detector which beeped as he tested it against his computer monitor. I scanned my compliant subject and his jacket that was laying in front of the desk, not a single beep. I handed the wand back to the custody sergeant to which he replied "that's great, now if you could just do it again, but this time switch the wand on!". I felt so embarrassed and I re-scanned my now smirking arrestee (this time with the 'on' button pressed firmly down). I picked up his jacked and scanned it with the wand which sent it into a beeping frenzy as I waved it over the collar of the jacket, I looked closely, nothing, scanned it with the small area scan, 'beeeeeep', looked again, nothing, scanned again but the beeping wouldn't stop. "perhaps it could be the metal ring on your finger that you are holding the jacket with?" sighed the custody sergeant. You may have guessed, I'm new at being a special and although I have flown the nest of initial training and scuttered off from PDU (the tutor unit) and landed only a few short months ago at my final destination, hopefully this will serve a purpose to anyone that wants to know what being a special is like and the things you may get up to, also for me to reflect back on how my seemingly never ending learning develops during my specials career. I'm on duty later this week and with the fast approaching Brighton Pride gathering momentum there should be something to blog about

elloelloello

elloelloello

 

Taken from my post on : Coming out of the Blue

I came out to everyone when I was 19...... almost 2 decades later I came out to my colleagues on day 1 of my special training. It was not planned. There where exactly 40 of us (students) assembled in the welcome room of Slougham Manor (the residential training venue for Sussex Police) grinning ear-to-ear at just the thought we had made it through all the form filling, tests, medicals and more form filling to day 1 of the course. After a brief welcome we were asked to stand up one by one just to introduce our self briefly with a summary of our name, what division we were posted to and what made us interested in joining the specials. Now, I'm a very out person, never hidden my sexuality from anyone, never needed to and also never felt the need to flaunt the fact I'm gay to anyone, so to stand up and wave a flag saying so was far from my mind. I started with a wobbly voice (public speaking is really not my forte) "hello, my name is MIchael, I'm going to Brighton. I have been interested in the police and thought about it for sometime, my boyf.... er, partner joined the regulars a few years back and hearing about his experiences has really made me want to join". For what felt like an absolute eternity there was 39 students looking at me and also a number of very important looking people with weird symbols and letters attached to their shoulders. Everyone applauded as they did with the previous students and the person next to me stood up to give their introduction.... and so it went on. I didn't really pay attention to the following 5 or so students, I just kept thinking "I've just announced to a room full of strangers that I'm gay. Oh ****." It was never my intention to out myself quite so quickly, but since I have lived with my partner for 10 years and as such he is very much a part of my life. It is very difficult to summarise many aspects of my life without including him in it. This was the first time in many years I had actually considered the consequences of being out in my environment. The following half hour I kept noticing the odd glance at me as I sat listening to my new colleagues speak about themselves. It made me feel a bit uneasy as quite easily three quarters of attendees where young guys. It seemed a very 'laddy' atmosphere amongst the male genre. As we approached the end of the introductions a guy stood up and announced his name and reasons for joining. "great" I thought, at least I'm not alone.... In an instant I could tell he was also gay. After our welcome to Sussex Police chat we had a run down of the course objectives and announced our uniforms will be distributed the next day, everyone looked so excited! On my way back to the accommodation block I was invited to join a small group that where going to the local pub, I threw my bag containing an assortment of newly received handouts and a collection of shiny new pens in to my room and ventured on a very long and dark trek to a (not so) local pub (Slougham Manor, as the name would suggest is an old manor house in the middle of the Sussex countryside). At the pub I supped on my pint of beer (never drank beer from a pint glass before especially in a pub (my usual would be a bottle of something in a trendy gay bar in Brighton) so felt like a fish out of water). As a few hours passed I had chatted and started to feel quite comfortable. Nothing was mentioned about my earlier self-outing. The following day was dedicated to exclusively to 'Diversity Training'. At a few points there did seem there were a few well chosen but probably slightly inaccurate words while on the topic of 'homosexuality'. It made me feel more uncomfortable than perhaps it did our lecturer, only for the fact the mere mention of the word sent heads turning in my direction. That night, most of the people on the course took the same expedition to the 'local', (the landlord was very pleased with his new patrons). There was a buzz in the air as we had only hours previously received our new uniform, tried it on (and sent the obligatory media text message containing photos taken on our mobiles in the mirror sporting our said new kit to our respective partners). There is something special about putting on your uniform for the first time. It makes everything very real. It gave everybody something to chat about enthusiastically. That night chatted to a few people on the course that I would otherwise cross the street on a dark evening to avoid (an example of prior use of my built-in dynamic risk assessment). Actually everyone seemed quite nice. As the weekends went by we all got to know each other better (helped generously by the evenings spent at the pub). At our newly found local pub (for several weeks we had actually been walking in the wrong direction) course-mates started to approach the subject of my sexuality on more personal level and after announcing "you can ask me anything, I won't be offended unless you mean to be offensive" the questions flooded in.... in fact it was quite an entertaining weekend (and genuinely educational for some, including myself!). Halfway through the course I couldn't believe actually how I had felt at the start. I felt very much a part of everything. Don't get me wrong, you can't have a group of 40 people from all walks of life, all different social and demographic groups and expect to get along with everybody as best-buddies. Some people drove me crazy but this had absolutely nothing to do with sexuality. Towards the end of the course a lot of time is dedicated to 'Staff Safety' for those of you that dont know what that is... it includes escorting people, take-downs, floor pinning, hand-cuffing, batons etc and searching. For 5 whole days, you randomly pair-up with a class mate and practice a demonstrated technique a couple of times, swap partners and then practice the next one. It generally makes you ache at the end of the day and your wrists are usually left a deep shade of red for several hours. Searching.... As force guidelines suggest, it is preferable for women to search women and men to search men. The tutor demonstrated a search technique to the class "guys, do a thorough search" when he reached the groin area on his subject "make sure you cover all areas, you know what is meant to be down there as I sure you all know, you need to feel enough to ensure there is nothing there that shouldn't be, don't be shy, be as thorough as you are every other part of the body, it may not be pleasant for you or your subject but it is a favorite place for them to hide things". Again, I started to feel awkward. During the immediate coffee-break the other gay bloke (sorry 'gay bloke' but don't want to mention your name) and I decided to save embarrassment to anyone and pair up to search each other. Upon re-entering the classroom to resume the lesson on searching there was the usual random offers to pair up, nobody seemed at all bothered that it was going to get a bit personal. My worries (and also said other gay bloke) where completely unfounded. The weekends following the completion of the course it felt weird. I really missed it, the people and the social aspect of the residential course. Perhaps joining the specials is one of the best decisions I made. I learnt a lot about myself (and of course some stuff about Conflict Management, First Aid, Staff Safety and some stuff about law). I have stayed in touch with several of guys/girls from the course and often go out in Brighton bar/club-hopping and reminisce on many of the funny antics that we all got up to on the course. After attending PDU (tutor unit) for a couple of months and now out on NPT (Neighborhood Policing Team) in Brighton I'm loving it. I'm a part of a team amongst other specials and hugely experienced regulars that couldn't give a damn about my sexuality (though you could argue that's because gay is fairly main-stream in Brighton). I would like to think that as in any police (and idealistically any) team, your peers look at you on how you perform your role within it. Source: Coming out of the Blue

elloelloello

elloelloello

 

On and off beat

This will be one of my last blogs for a while as its tiring me out just to write them, however I must say that there have been some positive happenings in my life of late which are helping me to cope just a little better.. I know I seem to brandish alot of criticsm for the police but they really have been a life saver for me, the source of alot of my concerns regarding how the organisation is run is not a go at Nottinghamshire Police at all but of the wider forces which make up the UK and some of the loony things which they seem to do. By enlarge Nottinghamshire Police has changed over the years and in my opinion for the better, I know the pressures they have been under from the media and previous government but they have coped marvellously well under what has mostly been unfound criticism and scare stories. In reality there is probably no force in the UK which I would feel more comfortable with than Notts. The new CC in particular has been given a slating for things which have festered long before she came to the helm, I feel that perhaps she has tried to address these issues and bring them into view whilst others have tried to keep them hidden. If any of the CCs in this country can react positively to the change of government, policies, budget cuts and society then I think it will ours - well done! One of the most recent happenings in my life in the Specials lately has been the two duties I have performed last month. Okay, they may have only been 2-3 hours each but its a start and has given me something good to look forward to. I wont say exactly were they were other that a quiet(ish) town in the countryside boardering two forces, they are not what I'm used to either having spent many evenings in my other life (prior ME) dashing around with blue lights and working abridge in town centres, however they offer something of a challenge having been somewhat neglected of a Specials presence for some time. Both have been day shifts and luckily they were rather pleasant days too. One thing that has made itself apparent to me by patroling this village was the closeness of many of the older residents and the equally divisive trench which seperates the youth. Its a story told throughout the land.. Times have changed though and the problems are very much modern as much as they are old, I just hope that I can make a difference. The side affects to these duties have been rather harsh, I will admit. Just a few hours of duty, a couple walking around have taken there toll on me, with a decent amount of aggressive resting and recovery either side I may be able to cope, well at least I hope I can. After my last shift I have needed to take dihydrocodeine for the pain, spent a few days in my pajamas and been as clumsy as heck! It would be comical if it wasnt fustrating, my kitchen shows signs of splattering from unsteady hands where I have catapulted pie everywhere - dont ask! Its strange how ME can cause so many strange occurances and confusion (putting milk away in cupboards and cooking implements in the fridge - how did that get there?). I'll see how things go, but I desperately hope I will be able to continue doing these duties every now and again. As much as I suffer I also gain so much..

Obsidian_Eclipse

Obsidian_Eclipse

 

You're having a Giraffe...

Hey everybody! Well we've had another new starter join my team of SCs at Walton nick, so have been busy on the tutoring front. If I'm honest I don't overly enjoy tutoring, but all of our new SCs on my borough are keen and I get on well with all of them so it's worthwhile. We (myself and my S/Insp, Markdn) took this latest newbie, we'll call him Penguin , out for an induction shift where we gave him a tour of his new station, the borough, custody, and then went to one job (an area search for two youths who'd been seen in somebody's back garden) before knocking it on the head. Penguin's done one shift since then where we went to a few jobs including a twelve year old girl who was throwing apples at her neighbours windows - to say her parent's weren't bovvered is an understatement (I was interrupting their valuable TV time tut tut), and a bloke smoking cannabis in a cemetery. Yesterday I took a day off from my regular work for Specials duties (I get three additional days leave a year to go on duty), at Waterloo station in London. We had a recruiting stand and worked alongside Specials from Hampshire and BTP. The moment we arrived the daft questions started. 'Why won't my Oyster card work through the barriers', and 'Where's Finchley Road SE15' and 'My chihuahua's eating too much, do you think it could be worms?’ We also got a handful of potential new applicants as well, and whilst there I bumped into a couple of mates, my mum, and also Fry, who was off duty (and no they weren't all together at the same time ). I'm working with Penguin again tomorrow at the Hampton Court Regatta, although I don't anticipate it being a challenging shift lol. I still haven't heard back from the City of London Police yet, but I expect I should hear shortly. Whilst I am eager to find out, I still count myself lucky just to have got this far in the short space of time that I have - I only applied in March which compared to the waits other people have is nothing. If I don't get in then I won't take it badly - I really want it but know I have done my best. On the other job front, I unsuccessfully applied to the Prison Service last November (I failed by a small amount at the assessment centre). I got an e-mail a couple of months back advising that they still had vacancies, but when I went to apply I was told that it was still the same recruiting campaign, so couldn't re-apply. I received another e-mail today so am going to check later whether or not I can apply again. Thanks for reading!

Giraffe

Giraffe

 

The Grey Man

I was talking to a couple of (non-CP) guys yesterday about this, following it being raised on another forum; anyone who's looked into CP learns the old analogy that to do it well, you need to be the Grey Man, but what exactly does that mean and are there different shades of grey? :-) To answer the last bit first, yes there are shades of grey. How you provide CP depends on many factors, from the threat analysis of the Principal, to the number of assets you have available to the wishes of the protected person and the environment in which you are working. Fully Overt protection doesn't really count when talking about being grey and blending in, carrying an M4 slung across your chest tends to make security quite visible and that's the whole point of doing it fully overt - it's a show of strength. Shades of Grey apply to Western CP and in particular to Corporate and proper VIP work (see my second post if you can't remember what I mean here). The overall aim is to blend in with the Principal and surroundings and not draw any more attention than is necessary. If someone saw me and my Principal on the street, I'm aiming for them to think "two businessmen off to a meeting/going to get some lunch" and then think nothing more about us, what I don't want is for them to think "that older guy must be important, he's got a Bodyguard with him". You're not trying to become invisible, like a surveillance operative, just non-descript and instantly forgettable, just like the colour grey Overt-low key is the highest level of Grey, if you like - guys often in suits that with a passing glance look like regular guys but if you get chance for a closer look, you'll see curly wire earpieces, their heads are on swivels and never stop scanning and anyone who pays too much attention to the protected person or starts to head in their direction gets 'challenged'. Low profile is the next step down, when the threat level is pretty low and is my prefered method by far. You act and look as 'normal' as possible, communicate with other guys on the team by subtle signals, looks and mobile phone supporting a well planned Op, assuming you're not on your own of course and you keep your head under control - looking like a Meerkat is always a dead giveaway that you're security. It's also very non-confrontational (until you really have to) and gives the protected person the space to live their life, while still receiving a certain level of protection. The final level is Covert, is not really a 'grey classification' either and is generally used in conjunction with one of the above. You dress to blend in with the area in which you're working, like a Surveillance Operative would; often in casual clothes, Tshirt and jeans, hoodie, dressed like a mature student, football fan etc. You operate in a stand-off position and essentially act as a spotter, to let the TL know of trouble ahead or moving in their direction and while you may remain covert, you might also be asked to intercept the threat before they get close to the protected person. The role can also include an element of Surveillance Detection, although that's a separate role if you've got the manpower. It has been known that a VIP can be covered by a covert team without them knowing they have any sort of protection, for example if they've refused official CP but those in charge feel it too risky to have nobody at all on the ground. Obviously, as stated at the top of the post, how you actually do it depends on the job and can be a hybrid of the above, it can even change as a job progresses, when the Principal suddenly changes their plans and you find yourself somewhere you never planned to be at all or an incident or observation causes you to raise your game.

MrBlonde

MrBlonde

 

Tribulations

Getting involved in the specials has become an increasingly important thing in my life. On the days that I am able to focus on what I'm doing I often consider the dismay of my suffering wife when I open my mouth to talk about the police - yet again. In many ways in could be considered an obsession of mine and is the sum of all my most powerful experiences, things which have challenged me and developed character as well as made me address life in all its extremes and diversity. However I must wonder whether or not is it entirely justified to have such an obsession and maybe if it wasnt the fact that I have ME that it wouldnt be as important as it seems. It is you see, the very thing that I leave the house for. One of my first attempts to get on with my life, whilst I was still employed and still coming to terms with ME was to try doing a shift with the police, a 'real' shift instead of my 'recruitment and retention' duties. Rather than jump on response and go overboard I decided to go out with a PCSO on patrol, a few hours around the estates followed by a few more in the station contacting victims of crime and updating them on the progress we were making. I will admit that I did suffer physically later on and the extent of the aches and pains kept me awake for a couple of days afterwards but it was an experiment in managing my illness. Around this time I was called into the office of my paid workplace to speak to HR, apparently they had recieved an annonymous letter (on headed police paper) saying that I was performing regular shifts with the police and so clearly was not ill. WHAT!? This is the moment when everything I had held in such statuesque glory with the police had revealed its feat of clay. I was upset and very angry that someone had being telling tales, in my defence I had been entirely transparent with both the police and my workplace in what I was attempting to do and had recieve their full support. The annonymous letter didnt harm my credibility at all, my workplace were more conserned that another police officer/staff would be so backstabbing and try to cause ruptions. Its a shame that the identity of the mystery mail poster was not officialy uncovered. After that event I felt troubled and as my illness worsened found it harder to keep up and so I decided to admit defeat, reduce my workload and do the bare minimum to get through. Questions had been raised, ones which I would have to address before I could feel confident again about doing any sort of uniformed duty, the letter had stated (in different words I admit) that I was a liability and a hindrence, that it was dangerous for a Special who was ill to perform duties as it may well jeapodise the safety of those he works with. Yes. That is correct in many ways and I would expect that if someone was suffering as I do on my worst days (and majority of days) that I would be a risk to the safety of other officers, how could they know if I wasnt going to collapse on duty or be unable to restrain someone with a knife? The answer is, I live with this illness, I know it inside out and back to front. It is no excuse however to be putting myself or anyone else in danger, particulary members of the public, and so for the next couple of years I kept myself on restricted duties until I could be certain that no risk could be posed. This was not something imposed upon me by anyone else but something I did myself and I suppose I am in retrospect grateful that the annonymous letter writer had raised this issue, but I would have prefered them to say it to my face. I've resigned myself to the fact that I will never be able to do everything I used to do, but I am confident in the things that I can do. Its been two years now since I had imposed the sanction of restricted duties and supervision. Something that I do feel I have needed to do in order to ensure that whatever I do I have thought about with utmost seriousness and diligence. If ever I am to perform a uniformed duty then at those days I must be at my peak and at the slightest sign of difficulty then I must stop - no deluding myself that I'm ok and can manage, no pushing and no peer pressure.

Obsidian_Eclipse

Obsidian_Eclipse

 

All change.

Bit more about ME So, I had been diagnosed with ME a widely missunderstood chronic condition which affects everything I do in life and been forced to give up my job working as a Purchasing Assistant for a multi-utilities company. M.E. has no known cure and the diagnosis is something which takes considerable time to achieve, when I say diagnosis I mean the elimination of everything else it could be. The hardest thing about coming to terms with M.E. is that your always left questioning whether you've got it or if there is something else which hasnt been discovered. From time to time you have to question your own sanity and wonder if its psycho-somatic or in laymans terms 'all in your head'. Now, this is a problem and I've tried hard to grasp the concept, indeed today its something I still question and I do believe it is healthy to question your state of mind but at the same time its something that you dont want to tie yourself into knots about either, so I guess you have to find a healthy balance and push back every now and again. Now, when I say that I mean we have to overcome any reluctance to do an activity because of what we percieve the outcome to be. It would be very easy to resolve oneself to doing nothing because of being scared on the consequences later, for instance going to visit a friend on the bus and spending the day with them and maybe even walk somewhere, there are benefits to doing things such as having fun and overcoming some of the '4 walls syndrom', but I know confidently that maybe in 2 days time I will suffer a physical reaction as a result which may well mean I wont be able to get out of bed, get dressed or shower without help. But, I have to talk myself around to doing it because its important to try. When ME first struck me I was prescribed something called 'Graded Exercise Therapy' (GET) to help keep my body moving, maintain some kind of routine and help increase physical activity over a period of time. Its important when I mention 'exercise' that this doesnt imply that there was any physical unfitness, (significant) weight issues or general motivation. I am not and never have been a fat lazy slob of a person, upto the point where ME took hold I had been holding down a 50 hour week job as well as my Special Constable role 1 or 2 evenings and the work I did at the local community centre/church. By all means, I wasnt a fitness freak or fanatic but I did enjoy having things to do, within the first few months of ME I had nothing at all and could barely manage to sit up straight. Combined with my GET I was given an anti-depressent called amitriptyline in a low dosage to help me sleep (rather than functioning as an anti-depressent) because despite incredible tiredness I was also unable to sleep, this was because of a mixture of physical aches and pains (even sheets felt heavy), headaches, nausia, hot/cold sweats and stomach pains. When I did sleep I'd usually wake after an hour or two and my body would be throbbing to the extent it was almost a buzzing sensation, I would feel weak and numb, it was a though I hadnt had any sleep at all. I eventually gave up with the GET. It seemed to take me 2 steps back for every move forward and prevented me using any saved resources for doing other things which were important, making something to eat for example or receiving a visitor to help cheer me up. It was to me as though I had a finite amount of energy which I would have for the day, as long as I kept within that range of say 10 blocks I wouldnt suffer too greatly, it is odd to quantify your life in that way but I did (and still do - although its more autominous now and I dont think about it as much). Getting up out of bed could be 2 blocks, having a shower 2 blocks, getting dressed 1 block and making breakfast 1 block, I'm already at 6/10 and this its still only the morning! I had to resign myself to the fact I have to make savings and put some blocks aside for other days (much like in a bank), somtimes this means not showering or getting dressed but at least it means I can have a normal(ish) life perhaps 1 or 2 days a week if I'm lucky. Specials? The Special Constabulary were very understanding. I had already worked for them about 2 years and thoroughly enjoyed meeting up with all the friends I had made there. I had been away for a few months because of my ME but decided I would try and attend some of the training sessions, so I could have a good chat more than anything as I really missed them all. It was a struggle to fit my daily life around the once a fortnight session and to start off with I wondered if I'd be better off giving up the Specials as I couldnt see myself being able to contribute anything at all, I had been speaking to my doctor and he said it could take a number of years before I could feel anything like normal again, for me though 'normal' was a totally different concept as I had addapted to a new way at looking at life which very few would see, afterall people would only see me when I was well enough to see them so perhaps they never really saw some of the ordeals of the new-normal life (struggling to get to the bathroom or even get off the loo!). All they saw was a man who hobbled a little bit and got his words muddled up from time to time, other than that a bit worn down maybe and perhaps he was getting over the flu? One of the first things which hit me when coming back to the Specials was all the 'warmth' and friendliness, even my Inspectors and Superintendant (who I had been dreading facing since getting ME) were simply wonderful with the amount of time and patience they showed me. There was no pressure for me to get back to frontline duties, infact they said I could offer them whatever I had to give so long as its beneficial to me and didnt mean I was stretching myself too far. I thought it was fantastic to be welcomed so strongly and given free reign in finding a goal to look forward to. Already hope began to form that maybe I would be able to get back to work in the future and this was just what I needed to spur me on. Then, after 6 months of doing just training once a month I felt ready to commit myself to the Recruitment and Retention team. It was nothing too difficult, we met once every 3 months and came up with ideas for recruiting new Special Constables, I would even be able to wear my uniform again (I was so excited) as we would be performing public 'meet and greets' in supermarkets and shopping centres. By now I was able to function the odd day here and there by what I call 'aggressive resting and recovery', that is keeping at least a week before and after the event to do nothing, not leaving the house, sometimes not getting dressed or showered, absolutely nothing. Even then it was hard work but the most positive thing was I felt usefull again! In my next post I will tell you about how gossip and missunderstandings nearly wrecked everything. PS. Okay, I've talked alot about the symptoms of ME, but what is it? After all these years I'm not certain myself. There is lots of conflicting information, advice and even so called 'cures' but it is often like trying to find a grain of sugar amoungst a heap of salt. My understanding is agreeable to some of the latest research that has taken place in the US (who have done far more research than the UK and have more positive methods of diagnosis and treatment). We all have DNA which tells our bodies cells how to function and even what type of cell they are (skin, blood, eye, nose etc), DNA is incredibly long and is twisted in strands we call 'genes' and these are responsible to each individual aspect of our physical make up. Even though the skin cells on my foot have the same DNA as my heart muscles they grow into different things, this is controled by which of the genes is activated (like a switch) so they are able to be different things even though they share the same base programming. Sometimes, in certain conditions due to either damage from a virus or even chemical reactions some of the switches on certain genes can be wrongly activated or not switched off after they were needed, this can cause cells to work in a inefficient method or even counter productively. With ME it is believed that a virus has caused the immune system to malfunction and maintain an adjitated state wasting valuable resources in a fight against no competitors, this is why most people with ME feel as though they constantly have the flu and are unable to recover. Sometimes the body can recover quickly, sometimes it may take years and sometimes it might not ever recover. None of this means I have a genetic disorder or even bad genes. Its not likely to be something that I could pass down the generations to my offspring. ME is often regarded as a biological version of Gulf War Syndrom, where veterans in Iraq were given drugs to lessen the effects of some of Sadams chemical warfare exploits. It is believed by some that the interaction of these drugs caused some of the same genes as in ME to malfunction, there are even reports that some vaccinations (such as Hepatitis B) may trigger ME - though we often have to consider the effects of not having vaccinations could be far far worse.

Obsidian_Eclipse

Obsidian_Eclipse

 

A long time coming..

Well, this is my first attempt at writing a 'blog' so I hope that its o.k. Early years Over half a decade ago I was working as a security guard in supermarkets and clothing retailers, it was a stop-gap from being at university to deciding what it was that I wanted to do in the future. It was probably the first job I had where I was left alone to do my own thing without being spoon-fed tasks or targets, in some ways I quite enjoyed it but time moved very slowly when you are stood on your feet for 12 hours, the highlight of the day was when a customer would speak to me about 'outside life' or when there was a potential shoplifter to follow. In the following years there must be about 6 pocket books filled with the dealings and descriptions of unruly kids and shoplifters, I am quite surprised by the amount that I'd written down at the time although I would hardly call it entertaining reading. This is probably the first real experiene I'd had with the police. Me or my colleague would catch a thief and then somehow ring 999 whilst avoiding being beaten, spat on or stabbed with a variety of objects from screwdrivers to sharpened credit cards! By some mirracle I managed to get by suffering only a broken finger (I had bought my own stab vest) but what always stuck with me were how quickly the dangerous person would quieten down when the police arrived! I couldn't understand how one minute we were rolling around on the floor and the next a bobby appeared and they'd be nice as pie. The police were always curtious and professional though, if not oblivious to the fracah which had just been taking place, there was always a deep seated worry that perhaps they thought I'd made up the violence just so they'd come quicker - no! It did happen! Getting Direction At this time I decided to investigate getting into the police force, it seemed like a long haul task to even fill in the application form never mind anything else, but my eye was drawn to the Special Constabulary - a volunteer police force which I didnt even know had existed. The only downside was that being a 'security gaurd' was a no no, so as part of my plan to get in I decided to look for work elsewhere - the security guarding held no glory whatsoever with lots of risk but little support, it seemed sad to think my life was on the line over protecting blocks of cheese and hunks of steak. And so, I left. New Beginnings In order to get work quickly I settled on a couple of employment agencies, I wont go into detail about the various jobs that I did as they were mostly dull but at least paid a wage. This is when I applied to the Specials in Notts, it was a difficult and nerve recking experience having to do so many tests and interviews but I hoped it would all be worth while. At the end of the tests we were segregated into two rooms, one room was a 'failure' and the other was a 'pass', I looked around at the people with me and thought well it looks as we've failed, there's only a few of us, the guy in the other room was a bank manager for goodness sake, surely he is in the pass crowd? Out of the 40 or so that took the tests, about 11 made it. I was one of those 11! That was half a decade ago... it seems barely a year and I have enjoyed every minute. However, the biggest hiccup and the one which has decided my fate in terms of becoming a regular officer occured about 2 and a half years ago and spelt the end of my paid job too. Something called M.E. ME Strikes Its hard to say what caused it. I blamed my busy life and the thought occured to me that maybe I was just doing to much, afterall I didnt even believe in the illness! M.E. thats that made up 'yuppy flu' isnt it? I would tell myself. But no. It was real and it began to take everything away from me that I cherished piece by piece until one day I couldnt function at all, it seemed as though I'd lost my soul and was left with a husk. I remembered a year or so previous when I had been very poorly with repeated tonsilitis, larangitis, ear infections and chest infections. I had been to see the doctor. He had mentioned M.E. then.. something about a compromised immune system. Could it really be? Coming to terms with M.E. (or Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrom) has taken many many years. It is something which strikes back with a vengence when your just making a little progress and you realise, despite protest, that every decision made from this day forward will have to factor in 'M.E.' somewhere along the lines. You have to start gradually with little hopes Oh! What joy I managed to have a shower today or I managed to concentrate and make a cup of tea! Doing anything else; leaving the house, meeting up with a friend, doing some work or playing a computer game were mile stones not yet on the horizon. The early days were tough because I didnt know what to expect, sometimes it was like looking through a thick curtain onto a bright sunny day where you were immersed in breathless swelter, every action seemed to have an exagerated consequence which seriously made you consider your existance akin to the circles of hell where you would be tormented forever more. Other times were a sad glimmer of life before M.E. when you could just about manage to do normal sunday morning activities.. There was always a 'but' though. A huge 'but'. It butted in when you least needed it and pillaged everything that you'd built up through the 'glimmer'. Fantastic muscle aches, sleeplessness, nausia and random allergic reactions - it seemed like even the air would trigger asthma or ring your eyes sore. You'd know, right then and there that this was pay-back for a forbidden activity you'd done the days before, but right now, even the passage of an ounce of thought through a neuron was so painful you didnt even try to think about it. I'll let you know next time how the Police has saved me from my hell. It was still a roller-coasting ride and at times I thought I'd never manage, but I did Oh! Why is my first chapter called "A long time coming.."? Well, my tortured wife tried to get me to keep a diary years ago and so in respect I've taken far too long. Without her I wouldnt be here today and so I must mention that and immortalise it on t'internet.

Obsidian_Eclipse

Obsidian_Eclipse

 

A new week, a new uniform...

Well not an awful lot has happened since my last update. I've been on duty a few times, and also (along with Chuckster and others) assessed another group of fresh faced recruits at Mount Browne (Surrey Police's HQ) to see if they have what it takes to be a Special Constable in Surrey. Last Friday I had my final interview to become a regular officer with the City of London Police. There were definitely areas I felt I could have done better on, and I don't think it was down to a lack of preparation, just nerves on the day (it was competency based like in the assessment centre interview). Still, I gave it my best and when all said and done I have passed the assessment centre and know I have what it takes to be a regular officer. Most forces after all don't conduct a final interview, and normally when you pass the assessment centre then you are virtually in. The only stages I have left to go are fitness and medical, both of which I know will not be a problem. On a lighter note I went on duty yesterday afternoon, and when I arrived I found a letter waiting for me from the Superintendent advising that I have been put forward for a Commendation over the incident at the petrol station a few weeks back. Apparently a panel will review it to decide if I've earned it, so we shall see! And finally, Surrey move over to the new national uniform today (black wicking tops and combat trousers). I'm next on duty Wednesday evening, so it will be interesting to see people's reaction to it, but I doubt many people will notice if I'm honest. Thanks for reading!

Giraffe

Giraffe

 

PSNI to use Private armed security?

Private security firms like those operating in Iraq and Afghanistan could soon be in use in Northern Ireland. They could be guarding police stations and providing protection for politicians, judges and other possible terrorist targets in NI. The Northern Ireland Chief Constable, Matt Baggott, is to ask the Policing Board to endorse the plan on Thursday. Police say the plan will save money and free up more officers for fighting crime. Hundreds of former police officers and soldiers from Northern Ireland have been employed by private security firms in Iraq and Afghanistan, protecting individuals and buildings believed to be at risk of terrorist attack. Some of them may soon find work closer to home. The risks won't be anything like those they've encountered in those battlefields, and the pay is likely to be much less, but they could soon have the opportunity to apply some of their skills in Northern Ireland. Mr Baggott has made it clear that getting more officers out on to the streets and into frontline policing roles is one of his key priorities, and he sees this as part of that process. About 400 PSNI officers are currently involved in providing protection for politicians, judges and other potential terrorist targets, and guarding police stations. The police say that is not cost effective. They argue that it would save money, and give them greater flexibility, if those jobs were performed by suitability trained civilian staff, as that would result in more officers being available for frontline duties. Bodyguards Private security firms would be asked to provide trained bodyguards and other staff when needed, rather than having full-time police officers doing the jobs. The chief constable will outline his plans to the Policing Board on Thursday and ask for its endorsement. That backing is essential because the move would require new legislation, and that will only happen if there's cross-party support within the assembly. Basil McCrea, the Ulster Unionist chairman of the board's human rights committee, said mechanisms would have to be put in place to regulate the work of the private firms, but he is firmly behind the idea. "This is the right thing to do," he said. "The chief constable has made his position clear and it's driven by the need to be cost effective. Trained "Clearly we need to ensure that the work is properly regulated, but we don't need fully warranted police officers to do this kind of work, they should be out on the streets. "On that basis we will be supporting him." Sinn Fein takes a very different view. It is concerned that those most likely to meet the criteria for employment will be former members of the security forces who have firearms training, and says the police are best placed to deliver the service. Policing Board member Alex Maskey said the party had fundamental concerns. He said: "We have made the chief constable aware of our concerns." "Even if these people are going to be guarding stations and protecting individuals, they are going to be inter-acting with the community and we want to know how they are going to be held to account for their actions. Source ............................................................... Makes sense, but then I would say that wouldn't I? I'm sure Sinn Fein 'takes a different view', probably crapping themselves that all the ex SAS and DET guys now working in the private sector might like to get their own back

MrBlonde

MrBlonde

 

US airline 'loses Netanyahu bodyguard guns'

US airline 'loses Netanyahu bodyguard guns' The powerful Glock 9mm is used by security services around the world Not even officers from Israeli security service Shin Bet can escape the scourge of lost luggage it seems. A bag belonging to agents travelling with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was mistakenly put on a flight from New York to Los Angeles, not to Washington. Alarmingly the bag contained four 9mm Glock handguns, which are now missing. A Shin Bet spokesman told the AP news agency that it is not known whether the guns went missing before or after the luggage was put on the wrong flight. The Israeli officers were accompanying Mr Netanyahu to Washington for White House talks with President Barack Obama. Checked in NBC News reported that the handguns had, in accordance with security procedures at New York's John F Kennedy airport, been placed inside checked luggage. Mr Netanyahu was en route to Washington to meet Mr Obama The luggage was then supposed to be put on a connecting flight to Washington however, American Airlines workers at the airport instead sent it right across the country to LAX in Los Angeles. By the time the luggage was located and recovered, the guns had disappeared, and are presumed to have been stolen. Port Authority police in New York are currently investigating whether the weapons went missing before or after the suitcase was transferred to LAX, NBC News has reported. One source told NBC that the suitcase was inspected and cleared for shipment by Transportation Security Administration screeners who put a seal over the bag at Kennedy Airport. The Glock 9mm is a powerful semi-automatic used by law enforcement and security organisations around the world. Source

MrBlonde

MrBlonde

 

SAS CP

SAS CP Thought I'd post the link above to a short series from a BBC programme a while back; there is some obvious 'artistic licence' but over all it's actually pretty good. The link takes you to the first 10 minute section and the next is linked at the end of each. It covers planning, doing an advance, foot and vehicle drills with an over-abundance of firearms, but it is entertainment trading on those three magic letters S...A...S There's also some lessons from history which are prety good and overall you get a half-decent idea of the role of a CP team, although you are looking more at high-risk corporate/VIP work than you are SAS CP. For those who want to know a bit more about the CP role of the Regiment, they don't do this sort of thing any more; 'normal' VIP Close Protection of a minister such as this would most likely be handled by SO1. The SAS CP role sits well with the CRW training and is not that different to how they operate in other areas, and revolves mainly around anti-ambush, high aggression counter attack drills. If the VIP found themselves needing to travel through a war zone or were suddenly to find themselves in a hostile location and needed CP involving extraction from a hot zone, such as an embassy in the first days of civil war, then a call would go in to Hereford. It's more like 'rescue and protect' or 'keep safe from certain ambush' than babysitting. A great example of this was the 'extraction' of Lady Jawara of Gambia in '81. While the President was over here attending the wedding of Charles and Diana, a coup was staged in Gambia and his wife and family were taken prisoner. 2 SAS dressed as medical staff 'released' them from the British-run hospital where they were being held and safely spirited them away to safety. They also deploy overseas to train bodyguards of countries who are friendly with the UK, but whose climate requires a more aggressive approach than you might find in the UK or other western country. Tact and diplomacy as befits a ministerial or corporate protection detail don't rate too highly in their SOPs but at the end of the day, being fluffy and sensitive to the wishes of the VIP is not what makes these guys the force they are.

MrBlonde

MrBlonde