About the author

Protection as a Passion

With 30 years continual management and provision of Close Protection throughout EU, Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office, Military and permanently employed private sector operations, Richard Aitch has spent a lifetime honing a craft, a widely renowned subject matter expert and has been permanently employed in CP, without break since 1996 specialising in low-profile/ protective surveillance and counter surveillance operations.

Richard served in both the Parachute Regiment and the Close Protection Unit, Royal Military Police before taking the natural career transition in to the private sector. He has personally provided Close Protection to British Ambassadors and UK Special Envoy’s, several members of the British and Saudi Royal families, Members of Parliament, personal bodyguard to two General Officers Commanding British Forces in Northern Ireland, A-list celebrities, CEO’s, owners of world leading companies and one of the most powerful and influential former Forbes Top 10 business leaders in the world today. The addition of operating within the private sector for over 20 years enabled him to be experienced in all matters concerning the protection of persons specifically at risk and the physical security of major corporations, governmental and military buildings, compounds and private estates. He has managed and led protective security operations in over 60 countries across 6 continents in all threat environments in addition to managing covert surveillance operations worldwide. Often sought after by various media outlets, he has been interviewed several times live on Sky News and LBC Radio, with coverage in ITV News, CBS News, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, The Daily Express, US Weekly, Cosmopolitan and all media linked to the Associated Press regarding Close Protection, Counter Terrorism, security incidents and protection operations provision concerning the UK Prime Minister, The British Royal Family including the Queen’s Funeral, Meghan and Harry, the Pope, and the accuracy concerning acting performance as to the provision of Close Protection and Bodyguards for theatre, film and television productions. He was head hunted to be global head of security for a prominent business figure for 20 years, and continues to remain operational throughout the provision and management throughout all aspects of protective security.

Since the introduction of the United Kingdom’s government licensing apparatus for commercial Close Protection in the UK in 2006 he has been infuriated and widely outspoken regarding the core competency framework of the National Occupational Standards, (NOS), and Recognition of Prior Learning, as set out by the British Government’s Security Industry Authority, (SIA).  Soon after the imposition of SIA training and licensing, he subsequently authored a research report – An Examination of the Required Operational Skills and Training Standards for a Close Protection Operative in the United Kingdom and for the following 16 years, persistently lobbied for changes directly to the Home Office, The Home Secretary, The Cabinet Office Better Regulation Executive, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Minister for Safeguarding, ‘Skills For Security’ and the SIA themselves.

In 2008 and 2011, he was twice selected as a member of the Expert Consultation Group for reviewing the NOS. After the first meeting he was further furious at the disjointed organisation of the criteria process for reviewing the standards, the bureaucracy involved to implement change to the core competency framework and the overall disinterest by organisations that should be involved in rectifying omissions and the wrongs with the NOS, the SIA selected list of core competencies and the RPL.  He then authored the Close Protection National Occupational Standards Review Report 2008, a review with strong recommendations for change and submitted the report to all those government and commercial organisations as before. He then removed himself from the Expert Consultation Group in protest.

Richard remains an untiring advocate for raising standards in Close Protection training and operational performance and adopts a zero tolerance approach to the standards that should be imposed, a government lobbyist and campaigner, and probably, the global industry’s most vocal critique and thought leader on all things concerning ‘Close Protection’.

Available for presentations, speeches and Q&As/ interviews on Counter Terrorism and Government and private sector Close Protection for television, radio and auditorium. Also available as an independent consultant having recently been tactical advisor for a latest film on the portrayal accuracy of bodyguards, Close Protection Teams and Government security and intelligence agencies.

Contact direct via: richardaitch@outlook.com