Tracking unexpected visitors
Most protective work is a mixture of facilitation, preventing accidents from happening, and dealing with normal crises. Sometimes, however, bad people really do present a risk that must be managed. The risk can range from annoyance on the low end to physical risk on the high end.
In order to manage the risk it must first be identified, and then evaluated. In some cases the risk is identified through the gathering of intelligence, and in other cases it comes through tracking unwanted contacts. These contacts can be written, by email, by fax, by telephone, or in person. In this issue we are particularly concerned with contacts in person.
The people whom we protect can generally be found in any number of known places. They can be at home, they can be in their office, they can be in transit, they can be at public events. When unexpected (and we don’t mean one’s nephew dropping in) visitors show up, it is prudent to interview them briefly and find out who they are and why they are there. In some cases the people who show up have some valid reason for being there. In some cases they are a possible future annoyance or threat, but if you don’t speak with them you will never know who they are.
If possible, they should be discreetly photographed and videotaped so that they can be recognized in the future, and a face put to the name, and vice versa.
By the same token, it often turns out that people causing problems have cased out their target, and should have been noticed. For this reason, it is a good practice to take videos of events where the person you are protecting is appearing. This allows you to identify unknown people who are turning up with unexpected frequency for no apparent valid reason. Their presence can then be anticipated, and they can be given special attention, or even discreetly interviewed, if only through casual conversation.
As always, the more aware you are of your environment, the more likely it is that you will be able to identify potential risks in time to manage them.