Employing the same person to be both driver and bodyguard must be a tempting idea for many clients but can it even work in reality? Andy Dubberley investigates…
There’s a lot of individuals out there with a protection licence in one pocket and a private hire badge in the other, so a perfect scenario at first glance?
Perhaps it is in certain situations, but there’s also a significant amount of time where it can only ever be a half-hearted attempt at keeping the principal safe because there’s simply too much to deal with when wearing both hats.
Before I start exploring the negatives, let me say here and now – it’s better than nothing! It’s not ideal in my opinion, far from it as I’ll explain, but where budgets are limited or the threat is at the lower end of the scale, it’s certainly way better than trusting to luck.
So, why am I so sceptical? In a nutshell because both jobs require so much from even a very capable professional and I don’t believe one person can effectively spread themselves that wide if there is any kind of genuine threat to the boss.
Whether you’re a protection specialist or a chauffeur reading this you will be very aware of how draining the roles can be working for a demanding or busy principal. The constant concentration takes its toll over extended periods, especially in the hustle and bustle of an urban environment where you’ve got to keep your wits about you whichever role you’re doing.
So put these two tough jobs together and your effectiveness has got to dip quite substantially at times. You need eyes in the back of your head as a driver in a busy city, you’re watching for other vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists. You might be in unfamiliar territory so on top of that you’re reading road signs, markings and street names as well as digesting what the sat nav is telling you. You’re watching out for your destination, assessing what the physical layout is for dropping off your passenger and watching a hundred and one things constantly changing in your surroundings. All this and we haven’t got past the driving part of the deal yet.