I once had an interesting assignment which involved accompanying a world famous retired politician on a four week tour of European engagements.
It’s important to remember that a Close Protection Officer is not just a bullet catcher. Other forms of disruption can befall your client, not just physical violence.
Anyway, getting back to the case in question, I always liaise with the chauffeur or security driver on an assignment. It’s important to know what sort of experience they have had in a security role, and a general background into their experiences -- not just wheel spins and smoke, but in safe and ethical driving.
This starts with actually checking their driving licence. I can telephone DVLA now and ask them if the driver in question has the legal right to drive. This is done with the consent of the driver. It also flags up any endorsements or bans. It’s all done in a few minutes, and it assures me of the driver's identity and qualifications.
A vehicle in the wrong hands becomes a lethal weapon, threatening my client and myself.
Another important area to watch: has the driver had sufficient sleep? With the demands of some clients, it’s often easy to fall into a dangerous trap of not having enough time off between shifts, or working very long shifts. Alcohol is another potential problem, especially in a hospitality environment where fine food and drink is always on offer. Having a breathalyser handy is a good idea.
I will then brief the driver on how I would like him to behave. Adopting a safe and defensive approach to driving is as important as a bullet-proof vest. If a vehicle containing my client is involved in an accident, and a third party is injured or their property damaged, then this could have consequences for my client's reputation.
Road rage is another situation that needs to be avoided, as this brings unwanted attention to my client and our vehicle. Preventing such things falls to me, and with the right driver, this is always achieved.
A wise and very experienced Bodyguard once told me to remember that I would be no good to anyone with a face full of airbag. He is right of course. And I have never forgotten that.