Even elite close protection officers find themselves under scrutiny from time to time.
The elite armed police officers, (those that are trained to protect the Royal Family) are being investigated over the way they have conducted security checks at Buckingham Place, and the resulting mismanagement of items confiscated from visitors.
Four trained close protection operatives from the SO14 Protection Command, (a branch of the police force) are facing inquiry, with one sergeant placed on restrictive duties.
Close Protection Duties
As part of their close protection duties for the royal family, the officers confiscated items belonging to tourists, where they were then placed in ‘weapons disposal bins’.
The Sunday Mirror has released the scandal, with the newspaper claiming that these items went missing from the bins before appearing on eBay.
I don’t think that was in the close protection training handbook do you? What’s more, surely these officers earn enough money as high ranking close protection operatives, with out the need to sell second hand items online…
A Scotland Yard spokesman has released a statement saying: “Four officers, three sergeants and one Pc, are the subject of the Directorate of Professional Standards investigations.”
At this point in time, no one has been arrested or suspended in connection with the investigation.
Close Protection Security Checks
Security checks are an important aspect of any major tourist attraction these days, none more so than anything with proximity to the Royal Family. This incident comes as a bit of an embarrassment to the highly regarded close protection team in charge of protecting the Royals.
We have covered the SO14’s expertise elsewhere on the HUB. The skills developed by the team back in the 70’s form part of the close protection training that goes on all over the world. One would not think they would stoop as low as pawning small knives and scissors, (a large portion of which are confiscated) to make an extra buck.
Further embarrassment took place earlier this year when the Duke of York was wandering the palace grounds only to be accosted by members of the elite close protection team who thought he was an intruder.
In typical style of the Duke, he was reported as saying “Do you know who I am?” A cool response to heavily armed close protection officers that had just ordered him to put his hands above his head.
Twenty members of the Royal family are guarded by SO14’s “close protection team”, let’s hope there are not anymore mistakes to follow.