Close Protection: The Softer Skills Paperback – 4 Sep 2006
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"Close Protection - The Softer Skills" by Geoffrey Padgham is the first educational book in a new "Security Series" for Entertainment Technology Press, and it coincides with the launch of the new 'Protective Security Management' Foundation Degree at Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College (BCUC). The author is a former full-career Metropolitan Police Inspector from New Scotland Yard with 27 years' experience of close protection (CP). For 22 of those years, he specialised in operations and senior management duties with the Royalty Protection Department at Buckingham Palace, followed by five years in the private security industry specialising in CP training design and delivery. The Security Industry Authority (SIA) as the regulator for the private security industry is currently working through a programme of sector licensing. As a subject expert, Geoffrey joined the official consultation group, and with others developed the final specification for core competency training and qualifications on which SIA CP licensing is based. This title is very different from most 'bodyguard' publications, which have a tendency to over-hype the job of protection and skim the reality of the role. The book covers many competency areas in the new knowledge and practical skills identified as integral and now mandatory for SIA licence close protection training. Many of these competencies are the softer skills passionately supported by the author such as interpersonal communication techniques, pro-active planning ability, flexibility and a professional relationship with the protected person. There is a chapter providing a basic explanation of 'Threat and Risk, and one on the very new competency area of 'Incidents and Dilemmas' providing suggested management solutions and coping strategies. Geoffrey's wealth of protection experience comes across throughout the text, which incorporates sound advice and exceptional practical guidance, subtly separating fact from fiction. This publication is a 'must' purchase for the CP beginner, and will also be an excellent form of reference material for experienced operatives and students attending the BCUC foundation degree course. As an added bonus, the book is illustrated by Bill Mevin the multi-talented artist, who since 1992 has drawn the world-famous cartoon strip 'The Perishers', which, until recently, was a regular feature in the UK national newspaper the "Daily Mirror". His illustrations perfectly capture the message of each chapter in the book, with an appropriate mix of professionalism and humour.
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Top Customer Reviews
Some have commented on this book NOT giving the full picture can I refer you to the Title 'Close Protection: The Softer Skills' It's NOT about the hard skills, any gym bound guy can learn those, this is about the real work of Protection. The 97 per cent of our job, managing people and situations, managing dilemmas and coping with very complex logistics. Learning flexibility and adaptability, and quick thinking with fast time decision making. Any guy can stand and look heavy next to a Principal, this is about engaging ones' brain to get the job done with some panache and dignity, a colleague of mine refers to it as 'Human WD40' and he's exactly right.
If you want to be a different kind of Close Protection operative(and a more valuable one) Engage the brain and read this book, it will help you on the long long road to be a good Protection operative because the only thing that can actually make you that is EXPERIENCE. I am afraid that reading no end of 'Lost in Hollywood' books will not make you that.
Firstly I feel that the book falls into a category all of its own, comparing the various other titles is slightly unfair in my opinion as the "softer skills" is aimed at a level of interest in exactly those skills. Many of the other titles focus on the harder skills, with copious amounts of information on shooting, driving and unarmed combat. While these skills are more than warranted in Iraq or Afghanistan, they will be rarely used elsewhere.
Mr Padgham's experience falls into the very top tier (US President, Pope, Sultan of Brunei) of Close Protection. His vast experience protecting Prince Andrew and other members of the British Royal family put him in an elite sphere of professionals.
My own opinion is that this is the first book to focus on such skills, and as such it fits nicely into a category all of its own, ultimately making it invaluable.
On a side note I would recommend both of Peter Jenkins books, as excellent and while not specifically on CP the skill sets developed will only aid you in the CP world.
Also of interest are the dozen or so titles by such people as Joe Petro and the many US Secret Service veterans. While not specifically CP manuals, they offer a glimpse into the whole scene and certainly help in your research and industry knowledge.
Below is a list of some of the other titles I've read.Read more ›