Amulet’s Head of Close Protection & Luxury Retail, Kat Hart, was one of four security professionals featured in City Security‘s ‘Exploring different routes into security’ article. Her segment is featured below, to read the article in its entirety please click here.
I spent fifteen years in the adventure travel industry, working overseas, initially as an expedition leader, and then as a consultant in Operations Management and Logistics in remote and often hostile environments – setting up operations in countries where there was little to no tourist infrastructure (DRC, Papua New Guinea, Mali, Togo, Tajikistan, Eritrea). I would be the person leading the first trip with paying guests in order to perfect it in real time.
I then chose a career in the security sector because being able to put my incredibly compatible skill set (essentially real time risk assessment and management) to use in a different industry interests me and has a lot of different applications.
Initially drawn to the Close Protection sector, I spent four years on the freelance CP circuit, gaining experience in all aspects – Personal Protection (working with royalty, celebrities, and High Net Worth individuals in a wide range of environments, UK and overseas), Asset Protection for the luxury market (in both a covert and high-profile capacity) and also heading up large-scale events. A wider security consultancy role now suits my skill set and experience.
It is difficult for traditional security companies to bridge the gaps between standard man guarding and close protection, and standard man guarding and events and I think my background and experience, being from a non-standard route to the industry, brings a different dynamic to the table.
My day-to-day role depends on the time of year. It is currently the events season in London and I’m planning every aspect of operations for large-scale event security for a wide range of clients, such as the Royal Opera House and London Zoo, and heading up the event.
The three best aspects of my role are working with interesting and varied clients, developing bespoke security operations, and building teams and working with people. The most challenging are working with interesting and varied clients, and building teams! Educating clients about security matters in what is a too-often overlooked area of concern.
Professional qualifications and training
Close Protection training absolutely steered me and gave me a great grounding in a new industry. Although I had no intention of working in a role that would require me to carry firearms, I did my firearms competency training as an addition to the basic CP course, as I felt that not coming from the standard military/police background, this was a show of commitment I could make to an industry I was new to. (And it was also a fantastic experience!)
Networking and finding support
The CP industry is all about who you know, and a crucial part of making a success of the role is keeping your contacts and relationships going. You are only as good as your last job, and it can be a very cut-throat industry. It’s definitely good to keep a small and strong network of trusted people around you.
Ways of coping with stress and getting a work / life balance
It is very difficult to achieve a good work/life balance during the events season, which involves unsociable hours and long days, but it’s all about planning around it, and ensuring you have a good close team around you when it comes to the operation helps immensely. I don’t live in London, I live on a boat on the coast, and my free time is spent very differently to my working life, which helps to maintain the balance.
Tips for success
Security skills have such a wide range of applications – things you’d never have thought were important for a security role may actually be the key thing you are hired specifically because of… the languages you can speak, sports or activities you love. These may be the key thing that lands you your best job. I have my skipper’s licence and have been approached for a number of jobs on superyachts specifically because of this.
Also, I don’t have the usual profile for security, which is actually what I’ve found to be my biggest strength. I’ve been hired specifically because of my ability not to be picked out as the obvious security presence and in many contexts, this is worth more than you can imagine!
Visit our careers page to see what opportunities we have on offer for budding security professionals.