Spearfish are proud to be an official sponsor of ADMEI, The Association for Destination Management Executives

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Duty of Care is fast becoming more about effective staff security awareness rather than just insurance and compliance.

Spearfish are proud to become official sponsors of ADMEI and look forward to continuing their work together. Last week our Managing Director, Dan Hooton led a One Day Emergency Preparedness Course in Florida and will be leading this course again in Barcelona and Puerto Rico later this year.

Throughout an Emergency Preparedness course, attendees participate in group exercises encouraging problem solving from different industry perspectives. 

This course, focused on global strategies, helps develop emergency & risk management specialists within your company. We will deliver a series of presentations aimed at equipping the attendees with enough skills and experience to empower them to take responsibility for their team’s security and their personal security.

For more information about this courses or any of our training and crisis management consultancy please contact danhooton@spear-fish.com


INGOs in Borno State, Nigeria and their relationship with Nigerian Military


For some years there has been friction between the Nigerian military and INGOs due to military anger at what it sees as interference in its methods


Military Operations.

The conflict in North Eastern Nigeria has continued for the past ten years. Despite repeated reassurances by both the President and military commanders that Boko Haram has been defeated, fighting goes on. The stalemate is attributed to corruption and black-market profiteering by many stakeholders.

 In response to a series of tactical reversals, the Nigerian military has made changes to its strategy. They are currently consolidating their forces into both existing and soon to be created ‘super camps’. The military logic is that super camps will provide the required force levels to properly defend the sites from enemy assault, whilst also sustaining a mobile and potent attack force which can rest and re-equip safely between conduct of focused, intelligence led strikes against the enemy. In the meantime, there is an operational vacuum across much of Borno which is being heavily exploited, in the north predominantly by the Islamic State of West Africa Province faction (ISWAP) and in the south by Boko Haram (BH).

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Military & INGO Relationship

For some years there has been friction between the Nigerian military and INGOs due to military anger at what it sees as interference in its methods. . In December 2018 the Army stated that Amnesty International was 'determined to destabilise' the nation via the 'fictitious allegations of alleged human rights abuses' and called for both Amnesty International and UNICEF to be thrown out of the country.

INGOs can only offer neutral, impartial, and independent humanitarian aid to the most vulnerable by being able to operate in an atmosphere of stakeholder acceptance. However, these parameters only serve to enhance the suspicions of the Nigerian military that INGOs are being too liberal and even criminal in their impartiality.

This simmering tension has again erupted into direct action. Two aid agencies have had offices closed (Action Against Hunger & Mercy Corps) by the military in the past few weeks and there are fears in the charity sector that Nigeria is targeting as many as 10 independent humanitarian organisations for possible closure. 

Impact on Internally Displaced Persons

There is already an identified lack of financing - the UN has declared that it has failed to achieve totals requested from donors in 2018 to deal with the impending food crisis. There is also both stakeholder fatigue and irritation. This has manifested itself not only in the military’s recent actions against INGOs but also in recent IDP protests in several north eastern locations and in continuing poor management of resource distribution. The lack of application of the national strategic recovery plan also frustrates many. *

Given the inconsistency and frictions, there is risk that IDP returnees to communities will again lose faith in the Government’s stabilisation efforts and move themselves back to places of perceived safety – Cameroon, Maiduguri or Damaturu, negating the efforts of the past eighteen months and only exacerbating the humanitarian crisis in the north east.


Recent adjustments, such as ‘Operation Positive Identification’, for which citizens are compulsorily required to carry identification are signs of a changing security climate in NE Nigeria.

 Other government agencies, such as the Department of State Security (DSS), The Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and certain politicians, are already looking to increase regulatory oversight on NGOs. Politicians are seeking to reactivate into law a previously stalled Civil Society bill, originally tabled in 2017. The draft law would regulate NGOs’ funding, activities and foreign affiliation in the name of national security and would apply controls to NGOs’ assets. The bill would also create an NGO Regulatory Commission, with which civil society bodies would need to register or be in breach of the law. The commission would have discretion over which groups can register, and all must re-register every two years.

 The military would clearly like to see certain INGOs declared ‘persona non grata’ and expelled from the country. The Nigerian Government is unlikely to go this far as this would greatly constrain the funds coming in to address the North Eastern problem, attract criticism from other countries and world bodies and probably only serve to exacerbate the problems in the NE. Nonetheless, the government may well be sympathetic to selected additional constraints being applied to INGO operational freedom.

Spearfish Recommendations

  • Limit operational activities in NE Nigeria until situation becomes clear.

  • Minimise direct association with resource delivering partners to minimise perception of involvement.

  • Communicate developments to your organisation’s management.

  • Inform your security risk management team of identified or developing risks, whether security or reputational.

  • Carry an approved form of identification on you at all times when travelling on roads, in accordance with with ‘Operation Positive Identifcation’

For more information about this report or how Spearfish can support your team please contact;

Jacob Akinola

Security Manager


+234 (0)809 854 0000

Neal Peckham

Senior Security Manager


+234 (0)816 865 4309

*[1] https://kujenga-amani.ssrc.org/2019/09/27/rethinking-responses-to-displacement-in-northeast-nigeria/ 

Spearfish Security opens new office to provide duty of care and security support across South Asia


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The Spearfish South Asia base is located in New Delhi and will serve both new and existing clients across this fast-growing regional security market.

The Spearfish South Asia base is located in New Delhi and will serve both new and existing clients across this fast-growing regional security market.

Following the launch of its West Africa office last year, Spearfish is continuing its global expansion, this time in South Asia with the opening of its latest facility in New Delhi, India. The new location is a wholly-owned subsidiary of UK parent Spearfish Security and will provide localised consultancy and support to clients, managing risks and threats to personnel and facilities.

The company specialises in security support to those working and travelling in high, extreme and complex countries and environments, and its South Asia office will service the entire region.

Our main areas of expertise fall into the following services;

  • Strategic Consultancy : We design and deliver security policies and procedures specific to our clients’ needs including SDE & Crisis Management Training

  • Overwatch: Remote mission oversight and assistance from the UK matched with “on the ground support”

  • Training: In country courses which include, HEAT, First Aid and Driver Training .

  • Regional Security Advisors: General consultancy services across South Asia provided by a network of local experts

Dan Hooton, managing director of Spearfish Security, said:

"We are excited to open this office having worked extensively in the region for the past six years, delivering full time Security & Risk Managers to organisations operating across South Asia. Our clients and contacts reach across the whole of this region, including Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and India. Having a permanent presence in South Asia reinforces our commitment to clients in this part of the world. It also ensures we can meet the needs of smaller organisations who may require support on an ‘as need’ basis, as well as larger clients looking to benefit from shared services.” 

The company’s UK head office adds capacity to its Regional Security Advisors, leveraging both Spearfish’s international experience and bringing a deeper pool of knowledge to supplement the solutions provided to clients. Spearfish can bring the highest international standards to its customers, delivered by local experts.

Spearfish's vast risk and commercial management experience enables us to deliver practical strategy and execution to organisations on a retained or per-project basis. Clients often engage the company to provide hands-on guidance for accommodation or trip management options for employees; or to craft security strategies for offices or transportation programs.

 “Our two principal consultants to the region, Grant White and Amit Darshan, possess a wealth of experience from advising clients in the hospitality sector as well as businesses in other more remote or high-risk states,” continues Dan. “Together, they are extremely well-placed to grow our new local subsidiary and provide more comprehensive packages and services to our client base.”

South East Asia has seen significant economic growth in recent years, but these increases have not been spread evenly. In particular, cross-border regions have seen challenges with growth, stability and development which has led to increased risks of radicalism, conflict and unrest.

Having a permanent team across South Asia permits a continual and stable presence across the Region. This means we can provide our clients with a more direct level of support for strategic consultancy, travel overwatch and training.

For more information about what we can offer and how we can help please contact


tel. +91 99580 45555



Overwatch gives you a scaleable and flexible package to support travellers in complex environments. It allows organisations to meet their Duty of Care to their staff

Spearfish Overwatch is becoming one of the fastest growing areas of our business. We understand that when you plan a trip for yourself or your team you may require more than one service. At its core Overwatch provides peace of mind to the traveller before and during their visit in a scalable and flexible manner. This way we are on stand by ready to give you access to the tools and on the ground expertise and knowledge if and when you require it.  

When you are planning your visit Overwatch can provide you with a Trip Risk Assessment. before you fly. To ensure that assessments are as accurate, reliable and timely as possible, the Spearfish team draw upon a network of vetted local contacts, and employ social media scanning software and commercial intelligence sources. In addition, pre-travel briefs are then delivered to help prepare travellers for their trip. These assessments also provide approved hotel, personal security tips tailored to each location, and airport arrival guidance.  

On the day of your departure you will be introduced to one of our Regional Security Advisors, usually via a messaging app which is also monitored by our UK team in Winchester. This keeps travellers informed of security incidents in their vicinity, allowing them to access immediate advice. We scan thousands of live social media reports, monitor local media and liaise with a network of local contacts, alerting travellers as and when necessary. 

In emergencies, Spearfish Overwatch can quickly locate the traveller, and respond accordingly. Our Senior Security Advisors and RSA’s provide initial crisis response until the client team is ready to join the proceedings. We are on stand-by, ready to support any welfare or logistical issues you may have. 


Whilst in country a client contacted our UK Overwatch team to assist in resolving some urgent logistical issues. The Regional Security Advisor was immediately informed and within the hour had been in contact with the client and was able to book her a vetted hotel and driver.


During a client’s recent visit to Abuja Islamic Movement of Nigeria ( IMN) protests broke out. Our local team’s expertise meant they were able to inform our client in real time and ramp up support to make sure that their welfare and duty of care was met.

Our pricing structure for our Overwatch is as follows;  


  • OVERWATCH £50 per day per group 

  • SECURITY PLANNING/ PROTECTIVE SERVICES - quoted on a per mission basis. 

To discuss Overwatch or any of our services please contact us at andymunro@spear-fish.com or here. 

Spearfish Implement Induction training in Sokoto, Nigeria

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An Induction/Orientation indoor training anchored by SSO Sokoto. The training was more of discussion with just about 12 staff in attendance.

Where the Spearfish West Africa Security Risk Management Team was introduced to staff and how far we intend to go in managing/mitigating the risk associated with the context they work in. At present, Sokoto is bedeviled with threats of armed banditry, abduction/kidnap, herdsmen attack etc.

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