VIPs should act now to secure close protection for 2012, says BSIA

Mike ONeill - BSIA Close Protection Chairman
Mike ONeill - BSIA Close Protection Chairman

With less than nine months to go until the UK celebrates several high-profile events including the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, time is fast running out for visiting VIPs and visiting dignitaries to secure Close Protection for their visit to the UK.

As many thousands of individuals prepare for their arrival in London, the British Security Industry Association (BSIA) is expecting significant demand for close protection services, and has launched a campaign to advise VIPs to act now to secure a reputable service provider.

Mike O’Neill, newly-elected Chairman of the BSIA’s Close Protection Section, comments: “There is a commonly-held perception that the Metropolitan Police will provide Close Protection services to visiting dignitaries, but with police close protection resources already allocated, many visitors will need to appoint a private company to provide Close Protection during the summer’s celebrations.

“A good working knowledge of London’s geography, its culture and the impact of the events taking place is an essential requirement for effective close protection.” Mike continues. “Equally important is a close protection officer’s ability to adapt their approach depending on the individuals under protection; for example, an individual travelling with young children or family will have much more complex requirements than a person travelling alone.”

For assurance and safety, the BSIA’s Close Protection section is recommending that VIPs choose a company belonging to the Association, as all of its section members are:

  • Required to meet the ISO 9001:2008 quality standard
  • Licensed by the UK’s Regulator – The Security Industry Authority
  • Holders of the UK’s Close Protection qualification
  • Background checked, including police criminality checks
  • First-Aid trained

To find out more about the Association and its Close Protection section, or to locate a member, visit

BSIA Website