Last week in Milan; we saw an attack on the supermodel Gigi Hadid as she left a fashion show by the stage door. The attack, which thankfully turned out to be prank by Vitalii Sediuk saw the model having to resort to defending herself. After being picked up off the ground from behind the model deliverers an elbow to the head of her attacker which forces him to release her and run from the scene.
This attack happened in the presence of her security (more of that coming up), which has highlighted a number of failures which continue to blight the close protection industry and security industry in general
Over the last few years there has been a call for 'Raising Standards' within the close protection industry and this latest attack shows us why you, cannot work above the level which you are either trained for, currently work at and in some cases are not mentally, intellectually or physically capable of undertaking.
So lets take a look at the attack and look at the glaring mistakes that could have led to possible harm; if the attack was of a more serious nature.
Gigi Leaves the stage door entrance/exit with her sister and 1 x security who is leading from the front as they head for their vehicle.
MISTAKE #1 An IBG (Individual Bodyguard) in these situations does not lead from the front, he is the bodyguard, at least one member of the door staff team should have been leading the way.
A member of the door staff team stands by the stage doorway and does not follow.
MISTAKE #2 Nobody is covering the rear, so Gigi and her sister are exposed and open to attack from this area.
As they leave the entranceway and walk a couple of steps they actually walk past the attacker.
MISTAKE #3 Observation! I would like to think a location like this would have some sort of CCTV and at the least a small operations room with someone watching the monitors. If so, the guy doing this was not monitoring the street prior to the model leaving a secure area.
Intelligence and Communication! The attacker is a well known celebrity prankster, any security worth their salt should do at least a little intelligence gathering prior to the venue going live to possibly highlight these situations. If the ops room had seen the attacker, he could have been moved away or questioned by any LE on site and at the very least the model could have left by a different entrance, if one was available. Communication between the security on the ground and the ops room or other personnel was none existent.
The door staff at the doorway entrance should also have been watching the party leave and should have noticed the attacker move in behind the them.
Normal and Abnormal! We look for the absence of the normal and the presence of the abnormal. Everyone around Gigi was either taking photographs of her or selfies with her (NORMAL), the attacker, wearing a hat, dark glasses and unshaven (Disguise) and standing still doing absolutely nothing (ABNORMAL) should have been spotted and if not recognised, then at least he would have been brought to the bodyguards attention.
As the party continue walking; the Bodyguard moves behind Gigi and her sister with the attacker directly behind them, he has still not been noticed! At this stage you can hear the guy in the black shirt ask "Where is the car?" At which point the vehicle sounds its horn as its trying to get through the crowd of fans.
MISTAKE #4 Distraction! No vehicle is called forward as the model prepares to leave a secure area. The area was crowded with fans and as the vehicle sounds its horn; the bodyguard leaves the side of Gigi and her sister to help it through the cluster of fans.
The attack happens, as above.
MISTAKE #5 While the bodyguard is helping with the vehicle he is too far away from Gigi and he reacts very slowly as you can see in the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IjsPmjqmcvs He only gets to Gigi as she starts to give chase to her attacker. I say reacts here because he is not responding, a response is a cognitive action, this was an "OH SHIT" no thought REACTION!
Maybe we should also add in there a bit about fitness!
Gigi and her sister get into the vehicle, at this stage the doors are still unlocked and there is no security on her door. The guy in the black shirt gets into the vehicle on the opposite side near to the fans.
MISTAKE #6 Once Gigi is in the car; the bodyguard moves away, at this point the doors are not locked and are insecure. The bodyguard takes a position by the passenger front seat and does not take any notice of the open rear passenger door where fans are keeping it open and are still taking photographs. the door is closed (not by the bodyguard) and then the bodyguard gets into his own seat. The car still does not move for a number of seconds, if the doors lock on driving off then it is still insecure, unless the bodyguard manually locks them, which here I don't think he would.
As we know, em-bus and de-bus procedures at the pick-up and drop-off points are part of our vulnerable point study and are places where attacks are likely to happen. Here we see in about ten paces from leaving the building to getting into a vehicle how not to protect your Principal.
A pretty shoddy affair all round and if this is a teams best practice it is possibly a life endangering one too.