World holds its breath as David Beckham is kidnapped

David Beckham – infamously nicknamed ‘golden balls’ by wife Victoria – will take a fall when he is a victim of a kidnapping attempt at a seminar at the UK’s leading aviation, maritime and rail security annual industry event, Transport Security.

But football and underwear fans everywhere need not fear, because the beloved national icon is only a ‘celebrity look-a-like’, although the value of this educational initiative will be all too real on stage at the first-ever Live Demonstration Theatre at Transport Security Expo ( on 2-3 December at Olympia, London.

An enhanced conference programme includes day sessions on Major Events Transport Security, Secure Transportation, Maritime, Rail and Aviation Security. The event will also include a Security Vehicle Zone showcasing the very latest in armoured vehicles for protection of VIPs, celebrities, high net-worth people and cash in transit. Last year – the event’s biggest to date – saw almost 4,000 senior industry figures from 88 different countries attend, with those figures expected to be exceeded in 2014 as ensuring the safe movement of people and goods rises on the agenda on a global basis.

The Beckham role-play, courtesy of CrisisCast (; a company which simulates real life scenarios to help train the police, Armed Forces and security personnel; and CJL Armoured Protection, will demonstrate how close protection techniques keep celebrities out of jeopardy and, in Beckham’s case, safely in their Calvin Klein Y-fronts.

Close protection officers including ex-SO14 armed police will be taking part in the demonstration and should the kidnap be successful there’s a plan for that too, with experts on hand to take over with their top negotiations skills.

The decision to choose former England skipper as the target of the scenario is no coincidence as the national icon fits perfectly with the event’s theme of the UK as a global hub for rail, maritime, air and major events transportation security. CEO of Transport Security Expo organiser Nineteen Events ( Peter Jones said:

“Every year our event welcomes more and more overseas delegations and exhibitors looking to learn from both the UK transport security community and each other, in order to improve measures and share expertise – which is also why we’ve made the attendance free for the first time in its history. The message is clear that Britain is a global hub for expertise and what better way to demonstrate that than through showcasing the protection of one of our own national treasures, David Beckham?”

The ‘David Beckham’ kidnap attempt will take place alongside other real-time security scenarios presented by CrisisCast including Riot Control, Mob Management and Suicide Jumper Prevention cases. This section will also highlight the importance of role-playing as a highly effective technique for embedding behaviours with stakeholders, aiding insights and ensuring recall in the field.

CrisisCast Managing Director Brian Mitchell says:

“Understanding the psychology involved in negotiating a positive, speedy result if protection fails is a skill rapidly emerging as a real requirement. Rehearsing that scenario with an authentic simulation that shows authentic criminal and victim behaviour is the only real way of embedding that skill. This kind of fully immersive, reality based simulation exercise using a blend of real world and actor led characters can dramatically improve learners’ insights and bring security entities into alignment.”

While the response to the Beckham kidnapping scenario will be very accurate, the setting of this particular performance will have a tongue-in-cheek quality as experts agree that celebrity kidnappings are rare. World-leading consultancy NYA International ( specialise in helping reduce exposure and manage incidents of kidnap for ransom, abduction, extortion, marine piracy and other crises are holding their internal briefing at Transport Security Expo. NYA Director Tess Baker explains:

“In reality, celebrity and VIP kidnappings are rare because of the sheer weight of security around them. Typically you are dealing with hostage taking of employees in regards to extorting money from corporations and you can get ideological- related hostage taking as well of course but in the end this is often about monetary gain as well as we have seen recently.”

While the subject of security is naturally a very serious one, the free-to-attend conference aims to not just be informative but also enjoyable for visitors, which include representatives from the Military, MI5 and international country delegations from all corners of the world.

Transport Security Expo is free to attend and takes place 2-3 December 2014 at Olympia, London. for details on how to attend and exhibit.

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