My family and I have had death threats, says Chelsea’s Graham Potter

Philip Grindell
Written by Philip Grindell
my family and i have had death threats says chelsea's graham potter

Another day, another public figure talking about getting ‘death threats.

How do you know if the threats are genuine?

For the security manage tasked with dealing with such a threat it can be a complex issue to do with, especially when the pressure from the top is to ‘sort it’.

When anyone receives a threat, it is at best alarming and at worst terrifying compounded when the threats are directed at their family. That is the purpose of the threat.

Many people in public life receive what they and the media refer to as a death threat, often repeatedly.

It is the unknown that causes the fear. Who is it from? Are they dangerous? Are they going to really attack me? Do I know them?

The fear and anxiety can often cause the recipient to become paranoid and hypervigilant.

The problem is that they then begin to see threats everywhere and they mind takes over, causing sleepless nights which increases their anxiety and detracts them from carrying on as normal and performing at their best.

Their decision making becomes flawed as they struggle to focus and their mental health impacted.

The truth is that police officers and security professionals are rarely taught how to tell the difference between a threat that is made, and one that is posed. ‍♂️

Because of this is, threats are very often assumed to be and treated as if they are real and an overcautious or risk averse approach is taken, often deploying additional assets at increased cost.

This can increase the anxiety with the recipient who now believes that they are in genuine danger. Equally, it can be very stressful for those tasked with dealing with the threats, because in many ways they are frankly, guessing!

This can be a complete over reaction and is often unnecessary.

It also does the job of the person making the threat for them. They want the recipient to be frightened, alarmed, or intimidated and now they are!

But there is a solution!

There is a well-researched science behind the interpretation of threats which can quickly eliminate the noise enabling the professionals to focus on the genuine threats, identifying persons of concern without increased anxiety and wasting assets.

A proper understanding of the proximal  & linguistic indicators that genuine persons of concern reveal, eliminates those who are termed howlers.

There is absolutely no reason to take the overcautious or risk averse approach when such proven processes are available.

The key is to seek expert help as soon as the threat is received. ‍♂️ The sooner it is analysed, the sooner it is resolved, and you can return to business as usual, and performance of those involved increases.

Defuse are the UK specialists in the management of communicated threats and the protective intelligence of such threats.

It is because of this that we received a telephone call from the owner of a Premiership football club who had received a threat. The police were involved and investigating, but rather than wait for weeks, he wanted to know whether the threat was genuine NOW!

I met with him and his team and was able to assure him that the threat was ‘noise’ rather than genuine….which was supported by the police, 3 weeks later!

There are key indicators that can help identify whether a threat is genuine or just ‘noise’ intended to cause fear. That impacts on the response. If the intent is identified as being genuine a rapid escalation of protective security is needed.

Miscalculating that can be catastrophic…and can destroy any confidence with the security team…a proper analysis helps to not just reassure the person threatened, but improve their performance and the reputation of the security professionals.

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