The world is becoming far more widely travelled and with wider travel, perhaps to emerging markets, there comes greater risk. Crossing wide cultural divides and socio economic diversity has its own particular set of pitfalls. Something as simple as lacking the knowledge of the culture which one is visiting, can impact upon Business Travel proceedings, is perhaps seen as arrogant and be damaging to your reputation.
Even if the business side of the travel goes well, there still remains the personal security aspect outside of those meetings, where employee’s safety remains a duty of care while they are away ‘on business’.
However, not all travel is business related, Adventure Tourism and Gap Year Travel are all the rage these days. In those situations, where the focus is more on adventure and having fun, the risks are no less real. Even Family Holidays can suddenly become a nightmare situation with terrorism and lone wolf attacks becoming more prevalent (Egypt and Tunisia immediately spring to mind).
Whether there for business or pleasure there is a duty of care that we owe ourselves for our own safety. The following topics should be considered:
- Planning – What specific planning should take place prior to any business trip?
- What not to take and why
- How does what you carry give away vital information about your security and preparedness
- What information to leave behind for use in the event of an incident occurring
- Health – What Primary Health concerns need addressing and planning for
- Communication – Non Verbal Communication and reading the hidden messages
- Social Interaction – How does social interaction affect your trip
- In the business world, where professional espionage may be rife, ‘honey traps’ may be employed to elicit proprietary information – How do you spot and deal with them?
- National intelligence agencies may have an interest in your visit; can you spot the signs and know how to limit their impact?
- Physical Security – Hotel security and how that impacts upon you
- Vehicle Safety – Use of Taxis and public transport
- Driving on the other side of the road
- Standard driving conventions
- Automatic cars and driving them for the first time
- Motorbikes and Mopeds
- Crime – Victim of fraud and safeguarding personal documents such as credit card details and passport
- Express Kidnapping – You are taken from a mugging to the ATM to empty your account or perhaps taken whilst using the ATM
- Virtual Kidnappings – These provide short opportunities to extort monies from friends and colleagues to secure your ‘release’ but you are actually fine but known to be in a communication black spot, such as in a theatre for several hours
- Tiger Kidnapping – These are much more complex and well prepared but rely on victims setting up routines and well established patterns
- Self Protection – Where to sit in public places such as restaurants (creating space)
- Are you likely to spend some time sightseeing between meetings?
- Safe Action – What should your Immediate actions be on signs of trouble
- Have you updated your plans to keep them current?
- Local Law Enforcement – How do you interact with local police
- How credible are the police?
- Are they likely to help you or hinder (Cases of raped women reporting the crime being prosecuted for adultery in some countries)
- Decision Making – How do you process information and how quickly – Do you update that information or stick with your Plan ‘A’?
- Case Studies – Worst case scenarios
- Learning from historic examples
- Crisis – What natural disasters may beset you, how may they affect you and how prepared for them are you:
- Tsunamis/Earthquake/Volcanic eruption
- Unrest – What manmade disasters and security threats may beset you:
- Political unrest/Social unrest/Rioting
- Fire at hotel/accommodation
- Being arrested/wrong place — wrong time
- Victim of crime
- Political Coup
- Psychology of Survival – What do you do if it all goes wrong?
- What are your unconscious responses to events
- How do you deal with the paralysis of fear
In the western world where gender equality is the norm, we have a different view to many cultures. How difficult is it for females in many parts of the world to go about their business unhampered by unwanted attention? What can you do to prevent and limit such attention?
- Gender – What threats and risks are gender specific (male and female):
- Group dynamics
- Victim of crime (or perceived perpetrators of crime – Public displays of affection/simply holding hands)
- Sexual Assault (India is well known for serious sexual assaults on lone women travellers but also those accompanied by their partners)
- Dealing with arrest and detention
Training and travel advisory packages supplied through Eden Security resources can help to ensure that you, your employees and family are not the unlucky victim of traumatic crime whilst overseas. If you would like to talk to us about your travel plans, please email Rick Mounfield, Head of Security at firstname.lastname@example.org