Leadership Competencies

An Executive’s Guide to Personal Safety and Security

Worried about terrorism when you travel abroad?  Perhaps political instability in the country you are visiting?  You’d be right to be concerned, but you may be surprised to learn that the biggest threat to your personal safety while travelling comes from garden-variety street crime.  That’s right – street crime.

Personal Safety and SecurityWith thousands and thousands of people travelling for business and pleasure every day, threats to your personal safety await you in all corners of the globe.  Many destinations are economically less-developed than the United States and struggling economies, as you may expect, often generate increased street crime.  While some perpetrators are, of course, hard-core criminals or drug addicts looking to finance their next fix, far more street criminals are simply otherwise ordinary people attempting to survive. The streets of capital cities and tourist destinations in less-developed parts of the world are often teeming with petty criminals–everything from con artists, pick-pockets, and bag snatchers to armed muggers. Just as the infamous bank robber, Willie Sutton did, these street criminals go “where the money is.”   Street criminals know that travelers carry cash and other valuable articles, so they frequent locations most often visited by tourists and travelling business people –financial districts, affluent hotel districts, popular night spots and local tourist destinations.  Unfortunately, as a tourist or business traveler, this is exactly where you are likely to be.

Fortunately, you are not defenseless.  There are many common-sense measures that can be taken to mitigate the risks, such as:

  • Educating yourself before traveling as to the nature of the risks to be confronted,
  • Understanding the importance of maintaining anonymity with a low-profile approach to dress and behavior,
  • Navigating safely through the crowds at third-world airports (which are among the highest petty crime venues in the world),
  • Using safe ground transportation options for movement from airport to hotel,
  • Steps to further secure your hotel room with portable door locks and alarms,
  • The use of concealment moneybelts to thwart the pick-pocket, and
  • What to do and how to respond appropriately when confronted by an armed mugger.

With knowledge and preparation, you can more safely conduct business trips and enjoy leisure travel.  To learn more about personal safety while travelling, in addition to a broad overview of the “hot spots” around the world that require extra attention and preparation before traveling, and basic security guidelines for physical and procedural security measures at one’s residence, you may register for an upcoming webinar titled, “An Executive’s Guide to Personal Safety and Security.” This webinar will be held on Tuesday, October 7, at 10 a.m. Pacific.

Sponsored by the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies, this webinar will be given by H. Wesley Odom, Jr., Executive Vice President of Operations at The Ackerman Group LLC, an international security firm widely recognized for its extraordinary experience and expertise in handling kidnappings and extortions.  Wes will share expertise gained from his time with the CIA, as well as decades in crisis management and traveling abroad.

Category: Leadership Competencies

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About the Author: Wesley Odom

H. Wesley Odom, Jr., is Executive Vice President of Operations at The Ackerman Group LLC. He joined The Ackerman Group in 1990, following a 15-year career in the CIA's Clandestine Services. At the CIA, he specialized in foreign intelligence…

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