What can footballers learn from the protection politicians receive?

Philip Grindell
Written by Philip Grindell
what footballers learn from the protection politicians receive

There are distinct similarities between the threats that both elite footballers and politicians receive. The politicians have a plan…the footballers don’t.

One of my roles when running the dedicated team tasked with protecting UK politicians was being the operational lead of Operation Bridger, the protective security plan for all MPs.

This operation provided a standard of protective security for all MPs at up to three locations. It was reviewed annually and took advice from the experts on what the latest research was, was worked and provided the required security in line with the level of threat.

It was based on what they needed, not what they wanted.

There were the measures that were available to all, and then additional measures which I authorised when a threat increased.

There are some distinct similarities between MPs and elite level footballers.

  • They both have a public profile.
  • They both are targeted for abuse, threats, and abuse.
  • They both feel vulnerable.
  • Their homes and their activities are often published and broadcast by the media with no concerns for the security implications.
  • The level of threat was based on the attacker not the the victim.
  • Neither group have any security expertise.

Since 2000, two MPs and one assistant have been murdered with another MP seriously injured and another plot to kidnap and kill a further MP and a police officer foiled.

So far, no footballers in the UK have been killed, albeit some violent attacks have taken place.

This may be explained by the fact that the physical attacks are intended to kill, whereas the attacks on footballers are motivated by theft.

At the height of the threat against MPs the protective security bill more all 650 MPS was in the region of £4.5 million.

The focus was on providing a package of measures designed to delay any attack, preventing access to the properties protected and alerting law enforcement of the attack.

I conducted a detailed analysis of how MPs were targeted, which enabled to 2017 planned attack on Rosie Cooper to be identified, but also enabled us to ensure the measures available were appropriate to the threat, the location, and the typology of attacker.

Properly researched and specialist advice was made available to the MPs, their staff, and their families, together with bespoke policies with the CPS and social media platforms.

The methodology for MPs is tried and tested and when applied, it worked.

Football doesn’t need to reinvent the wheel with regards the elite player security.

For further details of the security measures provided or any other issues discussed, please contact Defuse® at [email protected].

Call us today +44 (0)207 293 0932 Have us call you back

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use the site, you are acknowledging the terms of our Privacy Policy.