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Time is running out for security services in 2012

VIPs and dignitaries visiting the UK in 2012 are been warned by the British Security Industry Association (BSIA) that time is running out for them to secure their private security services.

With less than nine months to go until the UK hosts two of the world's biggest ceremonial events - the London 2012 Olympics and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee - foreign officials should be aware that resources for their personal safety or cash and valuables in transit are quickly diminishing.

The BSIA announced on that it is launching an awareness campaign to ensure VIPs hire a "reputable service provider".

"There's a commonly-held perception that the Metropolitan Police Service will provide close protection services to visiting dignitaries, but with police close protection resources already allocated, many visitors will need to appoint a private company to provide such solutions during the summer's celebrations," commented Mike O'Neill, chairman of the BSIA's Close Protection Section.

O'Neill added that such qualities that should be sought include a "good working knowledge" of London's geography; as well as an awareness of all the events and potential problems that may arise during occasions such as the Games.

He also said it's important that a provider has the flexibility to adapt protection approaches, depending on the individual's need - for example, dignitaries travelling with significant amounts of money or valuables may have more complex needs than another person.

On, the body says all members of its highly recommended Close Protection Section comply to ISO and BSI industry standards for protection quality or services.