Security Services and Door Supervisors (Bouncers)
Security sees Operatives working in a wide range of environments as part of numerous professions. These will all have vastly different requirements depending on the context of the situation, but protection is necessary for all of them. Proper preparation is the most important tool for a Security Operative (SOs), and this extends to deciding what type of armour is most suitable.
Many in the Security industry may be required to work in a public-facing role as a door supervisor. This is not the ‘thuggish’ profession it is often perceived to be, yet it is one where protection is of the utmost importance. Whether dealing with drunk and aggressive individuals, or working at a high-profile event, the threat of attack is one the Door Supervisor is there specifically to counter. With this in mind, some form of body armour is a necessity.
For door supervisors covert armour is the only option. In a role where dealing with the public is so important, remaining discrete yet protected is important, and a vest that can be worn comfortably underneath a uniform is ideal. Covert vests are lightweight and thin, allowing them to be worn comfortably for long periods, ensuring the door supervisor can perform their duties to the best of their ability.
The decision does remain however as to what type of vest is most appropriate. Working in the UK it is unlikely that protection against firearms in the form of a bullet proof vest will be necessary, but attacks involving edged weapons can be just as deadly. All too often a broken bottle can be wielded against a doo supervisor, and a stab proof vest that utilises chainmail or laminate will help keep you safe by stopping the edged weapon. However, spiked weapons can be just as deadly, and a stab proof vest may not offer protection against these. It is therefore important that a door supervisor makes sure their vest is tested and graded accordingly.
High Risk Security
Some SOs will be required to work in extremely high risk environments, where the threat of attack is not only very high, but the threat of high calibre weaponry and explosives is also high. It is especially important that these individuals are protected, and this can only mean the highest level of body armour.
A bullet proof vest is of course the only option, and yet many may not realise that ‘soft’ body armour using Kevlar or Dyneema for example will only protect against lower calibre ammunition. For stronger protection a vest at level III or IV is necessary, which utilises harder plates for increased protection. These vests, usually using Ceramics or Polyethylene, are heavier than their ‘soft’ counterparts, but will also help protect against explosives and fragmentation.
While it is possible to augment covert armour with hard plates to increase its protection, the majority of ‘hard’ armour will be worn in an overt style. This will likely be of no concern for SOs in high risk environments, who have no need to remain discrete or disguise their armour. Furthermore, most overt vests are available with additional auxiliary protection for the upper arms, throat and neck for example. This ensures that SOs can have complete protection.