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Old September 8 2013, 02:04 PM   #1
FPAlpha
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Location: Mannheim, Germany
How far are bodyguards allowed to go?

So i recently saw the movie Bodyguard again (with Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston, big movie in the early 90s) and it got me thinking.

How far are Bodyguards allowed to go in the course of their job? I'm talking private bodyguards, not government ones who take care of politicians.

In the movie we see Costner's bodyguard repeatedly hit people to get his client out of a tight spot when a PR party gets out of hand (he even punches a guy who just had the misfortune to stand in the way when they try to leave the club).

Additionally he teaches the limo driver high speed evasive and aggressive driving (i wouldn't want to be a driver in the way of such a car when it cuts corners at the highest possible speed).

How are bodyguards protected legally when they do this? Are they even allowed to attack/at least subdue people for the sake of their client?

Judging from several reports i've seen most of the professional bodyguards just try to quickly get their client into a waiting car and escape but what if, for some reason, the exit gets blocked in a crucial moment? Would they use force?
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Old September 8 2013, 02:32 PM   #2
JoeZhang
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Re: How far are bodyguards allowed to go?

A private bodyguard has no more rights than any other citizen (at least where I live in the UK).
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Old September 8 2013, 03:58 PM   #3
rhubarbodendron
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Re: How far are bodyguards allowed to go?

The same goes for Germany.

Fortunately, I didn't have to hire a bodyguard yet, but part of my work is at court and I've often talked with the guards there. I also asked the security team of my block (I live in a penthouse on top of a mall with a rather tight security for German standards) and the airport security. They told me this:

Contrary to the hollywood type of bodyguard, a responsible guard avoids trouble rather than getting into it. In a tight situation the best tactic is to get your client back into the building again since narrow doors and corridors can be controlled easier than open spaces. Then you either use the rear exit or wait till the crownd dissolves.
If you are part of a team, you can send one or several members out the front exit to distract people (they'll assume your client will follow them any moment) while you sneak your client out behind the crowd.

By no means are you to use any force. You'll always be in the minority, you'll inevitably lose control over the situation and you will risk losing your client.

(and you're also not supposed to sleep with your client )
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Old September 8 2013, 04:09 PM   #4
Avon
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Re: How far are bodyguards allowed to go?

hollywood films and reality very rarely intersect
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Old September 8 2013, 04:59 PM   #5
Locutus of Bored
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Re: How far are bodyguards allowed to go?

FPAlpha wrote: View Post
How far are Bodyguards allowed to go in the course of their job?
Well, going by the movie, you can kiss the client, maybe even get to second base offscreen, but after that you have to go back to working for the Secret Service because it's a conflict of interest. And sheee ee ee will always love you.

Oh, you were talking about something else.
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Old September 8 2013, 05:34 PM   #6
lvsxy808
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Re: How far are bodyguards allowed to go?

A friend of mine often bodyguards for celebrities - in fact I think he worked on the Twilight movies - and he always told me something similar to what Rhubarb said. If it comes to violence, then he's already failed his job, because he should have been able to take care of the situation before it got to that point.

As to the legality of his actions if it should get to that point, I don't know, because I don't think anyone ever chose to take him on. Fucker's mean-lookin'.

.
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Old September 8 2013, 07:13 PM   #7
rhubarbodendron
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Re: How far are bodyguards allowed to go?

Moderating boards and being a bodyguard seem to have a lot in common when it comes to avoiding or de-fusing situations that might lead to aggressions.

I hardly ever get attacked either, though I don't look all that mean I can defend myself (and those people in my company), though, and therefore move with self-confidence. In my experience the importance of body language is generally underrated. Usually, only those people get attacked who appear to be easy victims. If you appear to be capable of fighting (even if you aren't), you are rather safe.
I think for a body guard it's vital to look as if attacking him/her would be a bad idea. However, he/she must not look like a threat because that might provoke an attack.
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Old September 8 2013, 08:56 PM   #8
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Re: How far are bodyguards allowed to go?

I don't think Costner character was a private bodyguard, he was still on the payroll and was assigned to protect her by someone high up.
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Old September 8 2013, 09:18 PM   #9
Trekker4747
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Re: How far are bodyguards allowed to go?

I would think any actions would fall under the same restrictions as it is for anyone else. Defend, don't engage.
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