Monday, July 30, 2007


The news of abduction, hostage taking or kidnapping regularly make headlines all over the world. No week seems to pass without news of one kidnapping or the other. Kidnapping has attracted the attention of security experts as well as security administration and resource personnel within and outside some countries. This has also awakened the desire by security experts and the government including multinational corporations to re-examine this phenomenon and seek urgent solutions.
In the past the crime of kidnapping was primarily a method of extorting money. However, kidnapping in recent times has also become one of the most effective political weapons of terrorists. Terrorists have abducted government officials, journalists, diplomats, and corporate executives. Corporate executives have become their favorite targets.
Every major company today operate a security department. The size of such department varies from company to company. Regardless of the size, the responsibilities are the same.- to protect company assets including personnel against a wide range of threats. The safety of executives depends to a great extent on the company’s own protection efforts. Law enforcement agencies can only offer assistance. Surprisingly, resistance in executive protection programmes comes from the executives themselves. Security is a tough product to sell. Convincing top executives to alter their lifestyle and accept certain precautions is a painstaking task. However, current happenings have forced more and more executives to accept and face the issue of their own protection.
The value of a security programme not only depends on the excellence of the resources utilized but it should coincide with the relevance of the resources. Planning is very vital for long-term success. Consequently, security policy must be sufficiently broad, flexible and dynamic to ensure its effectiveness over a period of time. A good executive protection plan must specify what is to be achieved, provide direction; help translate opportunity into selected course of action, enhance personnel morale and reduce crises in the company. Prior to the initiation of planning effort, security objectives should be discussed and established. The company security manager (CSM) and the top executive can then begin to get familiar with both the evolving hardware and to the environment within which the programme will operate. The objectives must be SMART- specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound. There must also be proper assessment of possible threats. Without cogent assessment of risks you are leaving important security decisions to mere speculation. A preliminary risk analysis should answer the following questions- Who are the top executives in the company? Who are the individuals who have access to large amounts of money? Who are the individuals who generate publicity? Empirical research revealed that most individuals kidnapped are linked to a source of money, power or publicity. Security survey is the most valuable management tool in the process of risk analysis which proceeds from threat assessment to threat evaluation to the selection of security countermeasures designed to prevent that risk. As earlier said, an ideal security survey must have its overall objective to determine the existing state of security, locate weakness in the defense, determine the degree of protection required and establish a total security programme