The specialized role of close protection (cp) is carried out by a number of UK military and Police forces.
Special Air Service (SAS)
The Counter Revolutionary War (CRW) wing of 22 SAS developed its close protection role in the late 60s/early 70s, as part of its emerging counter terrorist remit. The SAS have guarded high-ranking British politicians, including Prime Ministers, members of the Royal Family and foreign VIPs. In 1970 they protected Sultan Qaboos of Oman when his father was deposed. Many of the other units described in this section have, at some stage in their development, received advice and training from SAS instructors. Both 22 SAS, and the two reserves regiments, 21 and 23 SAS, are trained in close protection.
read more about : SAS close protection
Special Boat Service (SBS)
SBS Marines have been known to have provided bodyguards for high-ranking military personnel. An example of this, described in Damien Lewis' book, Bloody Heroes, is when an SBS team provided security for a US General who was visited Mazar Sharif, a city in Northern Afghanistan in 2001. A UPI story from 2002 indicates that the SBS were, for a period of time, responsible for protecting Afghanistan's Interim Administration Chairman Hamid Karzai, who would later become President.
Quote : "Lacking any adequately trained national security service, Karzai relies on the British Royal Marines counter-terrorist unit, the so-called Special Boat Service, for his personal protection. The SBS team, which stays close to Karzai around the clock, arrived in Kabul at the time of the interim government's swearing in ceremony last December."
UPI story quoted above
Close Protection Unit Royal Military Police (CPU RMP)
These special Royal Military Police (RMP) teams provide close protection for military and government VIPs, such as Generals and high ranking Ministers abroad.
more info : Close Protection Unit Royal Military Police
Royal Marines Police Troop (RM PoliceTroop)
Royal Marines Police Troop is a unit of the Royal Marines Police. It operates as an element of Surveillance & Reconnaissance Squadron, 30 Commando IX, 3 Commando Brigade.
Apart from fulfilling other military police roles, RM Police Troop provides a close protection team for the Brigade Commander.
RM Police Troop bodyguards are Royal Marines Commandos who have undergone close protection training by RMP instructors. In addition to standard UK military weapons, RMP Troop use carbines such as C8 CQBs when on CP duties.
RAF Tactical Provost Wing (TPW)
This RAF Police unit's roles include close protection for senior RAF Officers and other VIPs. TPW reportedly has 2 7-man CP teams.
Royalty and Diplomatic Protection Department (RDPD)
A branch of the London Metropolitan Police, the RDPD comprises of:
- Royal Protection Group (S014)
- Specialist Protection (S01)
- Diplomatic Protection Group (C06)
- Palace of Westminster Division (CO7)
read more about : Royalty and Diplomatic Protection Department
Operational Support Unit (OSU)
A unit of the Ministry of Defence Police (MDP) which carried out a range of duties including VIP protection.
(UK forum for close protection professionals)