Risk assessment

By Daniel de la Cruz
Chief Learner @ Polymensa

When it comes to my personal risk assessment of threats, I tend to be quite lax, because I have nothing to take. I am not celebrity level famous and I trained as a boxer - so feel pretty confident in my ability to physically protect myself.

Not going to lie, it feels a little weird researching this, especially looking at the LinkedIn profiles of key people involved. But as ‘risk’ is the recurring theme of our “never hire ahead of the curve” aphorism dissection this week, I found myself researching risk assessment.

In particular the risk analysis processes the Royal Family must have gone through since the passing of The Queen. 

What I discovered went way beyond my current awareness of what a “threat” means to me…

In 2006 The Fixated Threat Assessment Centre (FTAC) was set up, mainly funded by the Home Office.

It’s an organisation that handles all referrals of “fixated” people - in layman's terms “stalkers” - who engaged in repeated harassing communication or threatening behaviour towards politicians and in particular the Royal Family (the main remit of FTAC).

The organisation manages about 1,000 cases a year.

These cases are handled and analysed by a team of police detectives and forensic psychiatrists. Most commonly a team will visit the “fixated” person and conduct a detailed risk assessment to evaluate whether a person is just communicating a threat or posing a real threat. If they are posing a threat they are categorised into one of these categories (at least according to what’s publicly available - you can find out more info here):

  • Intimacy Seekers
  • The Resentful
  • Incompetent Suitors
  • The Predatory
  • Help Seekers
  • Attention Seekers
  • The Chaotic

Another categorisation often used by the police force is (
you can see more details about each category in this report on page 15):

  • Rejected stalker
  • Resentful Stalker
  • Intimacy seeking stalker
  • Incompetent suitor
  • Predatory stalker

“The Rejected stalker category is the largest single category in terms of numbers, and the most likely to end in homicide. The predatory category is very high risk but there are fewer cases. The intimacy seeking category sees near equal numbers of male and female perpetrators. These kinds of assumptions can aid in a fuller risk assessment process.”

At this point I don’t know whether this is a Rabbit Hole topic or a Blindspot…

As I continued my research I found that family offices also take a significant precaution to avoid threats to their existence.

These were some of the questions in a quiz I took on the Defuse website:

  • Do the family have a known safe location to go to should they feel unsafe or think they are being followed?
  • Are all the family's Social Media passwords changed on a monthly basis?
  • Do you continue to monitor all staff after their initial vetting?
  • Are you and the family aware of what others post online about the family?
  • Do you conduct deep-dives on all historic mentions of the family and their associates?
  • Is anyone in the family on the Open Electoral Roll?
  • Do you have a relationship with the family's Local Policing Team where they live?
  • Are your client's personal vehicles registered to their home address?
  • Do you book the family into hotels and venues under their own names?
  • Do you have agreed security protocols with the family when they are at social or pre-booked functions?
  • Are the family's 'Location Services' on their Social Media accounts turned on?

And finally the bodyguard safety test included this…
Can you describe the difference between threat, risk and vulnerability?

Do you know these 10 non-verbal signs and are able to use them to recognise and interpret a potential imminent attack on you?

More on this in “
the book that could save a police officer’s life

The moral of this week’s blindspot:
Never willingly become a celebrity!


The Rabbit Hole

This week I've been inspired by charts.
But not just any Word Doc clip art charts.
These are charts will tickle you in all the right places.

Peak down the rabbit hole