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  • Writer's pictureAscalon Protection Group

The Overt vs. Covert Approach to Close Protection

Updated: Jul 14, 2023

overt covert close protection

When considering Close Protection there are several aspects to consider, such as the Overt vs. Covert approach. This refers to how clients wish for their protection teams to operate.

In the world of Close Protection, an overt approach can quite simply be described as openly or obviously having an element of private security. Think of Musicians or Actors being moved out of venues by a large team of Bodyguards, or a President being driven down a road with a huge convoy of Police vehicles. These are both examples of overt Close Protection.

By contrast, the objective of a covert approach is for the security team (and also the client) to keep a low-profile, or to even go completely unnoticed. A client could be walking down the street and appear to be on their own, however they may be being tracked by a team of Operatives in a nearby vehicle, or by a single Operative walking down the other side of the road; far enough away to go unnoticed, but close enough to intervene if required. This approach can also be as simple as having Operatives accompany the client who could easily pass as a friend or colleague, due to their age or the way in which they are dressed.

The overt vs. covert approach is not a hard and fast rule, and sometimes the client will opt for a blend of the two. For example, being accompanied by two obvious Bodyguards, but with additional team members blending into the surrounding area. Clients may also change their preferences depending on the activities they are doing. For example, if attending a busy red carpet event they might prefer a more overt approach to their Close Protection. However if walking through the park with their family they may wish for their Operatives to adopt a more covert approach.

Both methods will have their pros and cons, and it will be down to the client (coupled with the advice of the security team) to decide which approach is best suited.



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