Personal Protection Specialists and Celebrity Stalking
Celebrity stalking has become the way for the socially inept to; A. "normality" or B. stardom. They may have no friends, they may never have had a date or spouse, but when stalking someone perceived as significant to the public, the stalkers feel in control and may feel that they have a "normal" relationship.
No two cases are alike. Some will stalk from the shadows, never bothering their victim and subsequently they are seldom discovered. Others will write a dozen letters a day and mail gifts or other items to their victim, thereby inducing fear in the victim and the victim's surroundings. Celebrity stalking differs from other categories of stalking (i.e. former spouse stalking) because the perpetrator, conscious or subconscious, is seeking to elevate not only his self-esteem but also his social status by the victims fame.
No matter the type of stalker, it is a crime in most countries to follow and harass people and therefore the law will be called upon. As a personal protection specialist there are a few things to consider before contacting law enforcement officers.
1. Is your client interested in reporting the stalker to the police?
2. Do you have enough evidence?
3. How will you handle the press?
4. Do you have adequate security back-up?
Besides from all of the above mentioned, the general rules of stalking countermeasures apply, and you should as a minimum instruct your client to:
? Say no once and then avoid all communication with the stalker, unless a life or death situation occurs
? Vary routes and routines
? Do not discuss the matter in public, unless it serves a clear/legal purpose i.e. letting neighbors know, so that they can report suspicious actions to the police
? Seek refuge in police stations or places with armed security guards and video surveillance if followed by the stalker without a personal protection agent being present
? Confronted by the stalker; always run if possible and only fight in self defense if absolutely necessary
Though there is a lack of books on celebrity stalking, the Personal protection specialist should consider buying literature on the subject of stalking in general, not only to himself, but also to the client being stalked, as most victims will benefit greatly from reading about the illness it is. I suggest the following books: The gift of fear, by Gavin De Becker, The psychology of stalking, edited by J. Reid Meloy, How to stop a stalker, by Mike Proctor and Surviving a stalker, by Linden Gross. All four are great informational sources on stalking.
Celebrity stalking is actually quite rare. It is the media focusing on the few existing cases, which makes it "common" and makes the lives of the stalkers as well as the victims miserable. When dealing with stalking cases, even though it sometimes can be difficult to foster sympathy towards them, try to remember that the perpetrators are mentally ill. I don't mean to imply that it should cloud your judgment, when protecting your client. When a criminal gets in your way, you deal with it! ? But use reason before power.
Henrik Bramsborg is the managing director of Bramsborg Security & safety, a security company based in Denmark. Henrik is a stalking- and surveillance detection specialist and the author of several Danish books and materials on security. Latest is the "Simple Risk Assessment Model" for Personal Protection Specialists. Henrik is also an experienced instructor in personal protection, having trained NATO S-FOR forces, police officers, correctional facility officers and private bodyguards. He holds a management degree and is furthermore a certified motivation instructor.
Bramsborg Security & Safety, http://www.bramsborg.com, have been quoted and profiled in several Danish media as the "Danish stalking experts".
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