Principal Risk Causation

What is the Process for Principals Who Increase Their Risk?

Risk mitigation within the sphere of Close Protection operations begins with the compilation of a Threat & Risk Assessment which is intended for the purpose of:

  • Determining the threats posed
  • Determining the risks to those threats
  • Organising those risks and threats into order of priority
  • Mitigation of those threats
  • Mitigation and/ or acceptance of risks to threats

As outlined in our Blog, ‘Threat and Risk Assessments’, during the initial stages of security implementation, whether physical or electronic systems or procedures, one must first assess the threat and the level of risk in accordance to the threat. Close Protection Team Leaders and Individual Bodyguards make informed decisions about security risks that are directly or indirectly under their control as part of their responsibilities. In fact, to a certain extent, any member of a Close Protection Team does. Within the context of CP, threat and risk assessments (TRA’s) identifies those threats present and makes recommendations where to avoid, reduce and ‘accept’ risk, as well as how to diminish the impact of threatening events. In an existing security operation, the TRA further assesses and identifies security measures that are inappropriate or non-existent. Recommendations are then made to add or modify where applicable but also to determine the implementation priorities.

However, one aspect that must also be considered and which is often overlooked – until too late – is that of the risk the Principal poses to themselves. Through their actions that are deliberate, unintentional or indeed, accidental, the risk to any threat(s) can be increased to their lives, the lives of those accompanying (including security personnel) at one extreme and physical injury and reputational damage at the other.

Principal Risk Causation

There are five main aspects that should be considered to what I would uniquely term within Close Protection as ‘Principal Risk Causation’. For additional info, refer to typically the real pokies. The reason why it is termed ‘Risk’ and not ‘Threat’ is because the Threat(s) may already be present but that the Principal is increasing his or her risk to the exposure of them.

They are:

  • No concern for personal security (or safety)
  • No concern for information security
  • Fraternisation
  • Excess Alcohol
  • Drugs

Examples of the above could include the Principal:

  • Crossing a road without observing for traffic
  • Driving a vehicle without a seatbelt and/ or ineffective vision (see Prince Philip Jan 2019)
  • Insistence on no accompanying security present at specific locations or functions
  • Insistence to his or her preferred manner in which security should be provided
  • Travelling without notifying provisioned security
  • Fraternisation with attached persons especially in presence of the third party
  • Questionable social behaviour due to excess alcohol
  • Incorrect use of medicinal drugs and use of illegal substances

The list of possibilities is almost endless but they all encompass the same question –

What is the process for Principals who increase their risk?

The answer to what process to be conducted is dependent on the relationship between the Principal and their security. These relationships are, in the main, usually dictated by the manner in which the security is contractually provided or imposed – which is subsequently usually dictated by the social class/ standing in society or professional position.

There are 3 types of relationship of Close Protection Provision concerning the direction or instruction of that protection. These are via:

  1. Directly Employed
  2. Commercial Company Contract Services Provider
  3. Government Enacted


The Principal states a request detrimental to security provision. He/ she states and insists to the CPTL that they wish to go for a walk alone, without security.

Flow Diagrams of Decision-Making Practises for Close Protection Operations

The following set of flow diagrams outline possible processes for hierarchical decision making as a result of specific requests by a Principal that could detrimentally effect the provision of security based on the nature of the operational provision of that protection; Directly Employed, Company Contract Services Provider, or Government.




Richard J Aitch
Director of Operations & Training

Mobius International Ltd &
Mobius International UK Ltd

Expert in the Provision of Protective Services

Secura Libertate Per Motum®
Secure Freedom of Movement

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