Vehicle Security and Searching
While working as a Close Protection Officer you should carry out a search of all vehicles prior to using them. This search will be carried out whether or not the vehicle has been left unattended; however, if the vehicle has been left unattended then the search will be much more cautiously and thoroughly carried out. Essentially, there are two types of search – cursory and full systematic.
The cursory search should be carried out EVERY TIME you enter the vehicle. This is nothing more than a scan of the vehicle’s surrounding area. You should examine the underside (which is best viewed from a distance), the wheel arches (which must be searched close protection bodyguard from a close point), along with the locks and windows to look for any evidence of tampering. Cursory searches are quick once you are experienced and can often be done with such a casual low profile hardly anyone will notice what you are doing.
The full systematic search is a completely different matter: this is a thorough and methodical search that takes time and manpower. It is normally carried out only when the vehicle has been out of our care and control, e.g. away for servicing, or if it’s a new car.
What are we searching for?
We are searching for any signs of tampering such as brake or fuel lines cut. The result of faulty brakes is obvious. A cut fuel line would make us break down as part of some kind of attack or robbery. A small amount of explosives could kill all of the occupants, a bug could transmit all of the occupant’s conversations, and a small transmitter could give away the exact location of the vehicle at all times. Your full systematic search should take all of this into account.
The search must be broken down into stages and each stage completed in order.
This might be, for example, the car park or garage, the immediate area around the car, drains, freshly cultivated areas, hedges, culverts or dustbins. You are looking for wires, anything unusual at all. A bomb does not have to be in the car to kill or injure the vehicle’s occupants.
Pay attention to the paintwork, chrome, mirrors, bumpers, hubcaps, windows, filler cap and number plates. You are looking for any signs of tampering, forced entry, fingerprints and smudge marks, etc.
Wheels and Arches
Check for cuts in tyres and brake pipes and ensure that no sharp objects have been inserted into the tyre. Make sure that wheel nuts have not been loosened. Also, check inside the whole of the wheel arch. (While doing so, make sure you look but don’t touch because if a device was placed on the wheel, you could easily knock it off while feeling for it.) Remember that bombs don’t kill you but explosives do so don’t cause an explosion!