Reality Training, for Reality! by Simon Rogers

TPSO’s editor, Rollo was lucky enough to catch up with one of the smartest physical security minds in the UK, Simon Rogers, in a real life pub! (Before the Tier 4 thing was imposed……)

SIA “conflict management” training is, well, a bit ‘meh’, but in the real world, in an increasingly violent society, with no Police to rely on anymore, THIS is training that could genuinely SAVE YOUR LIFE!

To engage an adversary whose mindset is focused on violence and nothing else requires a great deal of self control and clear decision making. If Security Officers together with the UK police service are to uphold the European Conventions on Human rights – articles 2 and 5 (The convention is separate from the UK Brexit process and is still legally binding ) then as trainers do we not owe it to Officers to give them the right training to cope with such incidents?

To ensure his or her own safety during a violent encounter a police officer would look for a number of moderators to include emotionally and mentally distressed factors. Also known as impact factors, previous knowledge of the “subject” is a great help but difficult to establish without the previous knowledge of the offender. Subject actions, officer responses together with impact factors both situational and environmental, all play a part. Such information and Intelligence on the subject is always useful but what happens when the Security officer is surprised by a violent action?

What if the Security Officer fears more than he/she can manage?

I was running Officer Safety training courses (Now known as Control and restraint) from 1992 when the UK Police brought Rigid Handcuff training 1992 and Monadnock PR 24 Side Handle batons in 1993 onto the streets of the UK. Conflict resolutions courses for the UK Police Service were innovative but lacked depth in dealing with serious violent encounters.

What is overlooked is the “Gut reaction“…. We need to look at our intuition, our own survival system. Gavin de Becker who wrote “Gift of Fear” writes about fear management. He talks about False Expectations Appearing Real together with the Dan Milman quote make for interesting reading. “If you face just one opponent, and you doubt yourself, you’re outnumbered”

As a former member of the American Society of Law Enforcement Trainers, I attended a number of training conventions across the USA and Canada and had the pleasure of attending one of Gavins conferences as a keynote speaker. It was during this time I met Tony BLAUER. Tony Blauers Tactical Confrontation Management systems stood out amongst many self defence courses or Defensive Tactics programs. He coined the acronym S.P.E.A.R.

Tony is considered one of the world’s foremost authorities on personal protection to date. Tony developed many fear management programmes over the years and his world standing is testament to his credibility as one of the revolutionaries within the self defence training industry. His systems look into the emotional and psychological aspects along with the physical element of a violent encounter.

I had the pleasure of training under Tony for a few years during my Police career and was able to introduce many elements of his training to the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) and eventually into the Police Officer Safety training manuals in 2006/2007.

So, Spontaneous Protection Enabling Accelerated Response or SPEAR is based on your startle flinch mechanism when a stimulus is introduced to quickly. The body responds into a Startle/Flinch action. And the training programmes seek to evolve the reaction from a primal to a protective response. But running alongside this physical aspect of the SPEAR courses are the psychological and emotional training to manage precursor activity. And that is where these training programmes stand out.

Fear management training is often overlooked when dealing with a violent encounter. Few Control and Restraint training courses touch on the subject or really develop this area currently. Security and Police personnel are under considerable stress during these incidents and are called upon to respond in a progressive and justifiable manner. If there Use of Force is deemed excessive then further Police investigations will take place and equally a civil case could be brought against the individual and Security Company. Their conduct and that of the company they represent together with the Business they are protecting , will always be accountable and therefore such training elements should be included and run concurrently through scenario based learning.

In 2001 I began integrating the SPEAR systems into the tactical phase of physical skills , control and restraint and firearms training. Using terms like Be a good bad guy or Mental Blueprinting started becoming common practise within Police UK training. And it now forms part of the National Police Officer safety training manual. The programmes allowed Police personnel to experience the drills rather than “ win “ the drills. Attending Control and restraint courses shouldn’t be just a tick box criteria. It should meet the professional expectations of the industry and not the minimum standard. If your course trainers settle for mediocrity and poor standards then that’s all you’ll get and those individuals will leave you open to your third fight –

Your first one:

The Security industry should build on the professional standards being enhanced and directed by the SIA along with many other professional security companies. The Security Industry has become a mitigating factor in the nation’s pandemic response. Training companies should be delivering a professional response , to deliver a training course that isn’t the minimum standard or ticks the box but enhances, develops , innovates and meets with the individual and the security companies standards of distinction. How many delegates have attended courses and thought the techniques taught were useless. Were they techniques that were gross motor orientated or fine complex skills? The training courses my company delivers are Lawfully, Medically and Tactically sound. Proven many times in the streets and Criminal courts of the UK.

1. You v You. – It takes a lot of courage and training to manage the fear loop you experience when dealing with the potential violent encounter. You may already have emotional baggage that will hinder your decision making and cause hesitation. Something that can get you seriously injured or killed.

2. You v The Subject. – dealing with the escalating violence and all the behavioural traits of emotional and mental distress. The impact factors present may be factors you cannot control. You act instinctively but in line with your training curriculum.

3. You v System. – Use of Force, Criminal Law giving evidence and writing statements of evidence specifically about Use of Force requires experience and Experience is something you get, shortly after you need it! It can take many years to bring a prosecution against the individual. Do you record EVERY violent encounter? What’s the HSE definition of violence in the workplace?

We are, after all , in the business of security and with that comes the inherent dangers we all know and face. Turret Training Ltd provides a number of specialist courses including SPEAR/PDR level One together with Standard/Enhanced FAW Certificated Trauma training. Recognised by The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and HSE.

Simon Rogers

Simon has recently retired from the Police after 30 distinguished years service. A highly qualified firearms specialist attaining competencies which include: National Firearms Instructor, National Tactical Firearms advisor, Rifle Sniper, Specialist Weapons Control and Retention Trainer / SPEAR PDR Lvl 2 Instructor, he has worked in both Canada and the U.S. on behalf of the UK Police.

Simon is also trained and qualified in a multitude of advanced specialist medical skills including D13 Casualty Care for Police Officers, and he became an Advanced Provider of the Faculty of Pre-Hospital Care RCSEd having passed numerous medical courses. He attended and passed the U.K. Special Forces Patrol Medics re-accreditation course at Hereford and further courses such as:  FPOSi, PHTC, CeeR, MIRA, FREC 3, FREC 4 Cadaver IO training and Penthrox.

Simon is now owner of the outstanding Turret Medical Training, an enthusiastic and engaged member of the Security Institute and a friend of The Professional Security Officer magazine.

Contact Simon on: 07976 904534