The Charity Commission’s (CC) inquiry into Oxfam GB was published on 10 June 2019, and having analysed the report, whilst many of our clients are not in the charitable sector, many of the findings have common read across to international development sector companies given their activities.  The CC described Oxfam as “operating internationally, across multiple legal jurisdictions and cultural contexts and in the midst of humanitarian crisis”, and the same descriptions can be applied to most businesses in our sector.  This will no doubt give clear implications as to how the development sector should conduct itself.  The wider points from the inquiry are as follows:


• Protecting people and safeguarding responsibilities should be a governance priority for all charities.

• Protecting people from harm is not an overhead to be minimised.

• Failure to take reasonable steps to protect people cannot be excused by the difficult context a charity is working in, nor can incidents of harm be justified in relation to the importance of the cause.

• An effective culture of keeping people safe identifies, deters and tackles behaviours which minimise or ignore harm to people.


By embracing a comprehensive security risk management program, you can clearly demonstrate you are more than ready to fulfil the expectations set out in the above report, that will no doubt be cascaded down from the foreign aid donor community to their suppliers in the coming months.


To read a copy of the full report, click here.

Dan Hooton

Managing Director

Spearfish Security

+44 7976 438042/+441962 869813/


Spearfish HEAT Courses Summer 2019

This summer we have HEAT courses taking place in the UK, US, Nigeria and Kenya. Our courses are about empowering the individual. Our classes are built around the students requirements and experiences. We all react differently under pressure or even just out of our comfort zone, we teach you how to best used that reaction to help yourself and those around you.

For more information contact us at

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Spearfish Friday Field Notes: Indian General Election May 2019

Following the BJP party’s ‘landslide’ victory in India’s general election, emotions are likely to be heightened in the immediate term. Spearfish advise the following basic risk management steps:

  • Consider where you discuss your political views in public. If amongst strangers, this could cause arguments or unwanted attention

• Be mindful that celebrations, or even protests, are possible in the immediate term. It is advisable to avoid crowds

• Closely monitor local media sources for any further developments

Boat show beginnings - 10 YEARS OF SPEARFISH

Spearfish Founding team in 2010, Quentin Brook, Grant White & Dan Hooton

Spearfish Founding team in 2010, Quentin Brook, Grant White & Dan Hooton

Spearfish started business in April 2009, initially specialising in maritime security with a particular focus on super yachts. But the days of attending the Monaco Yacht Show are all but over for the company and today its maritime work consists of onboard training courses, and surveys and hardening plans for specialist units in high risk areas.  Spearfish is also involved in other nautical work such as marine investigations and providing expert witness services to past hijacks.

From its modest beginnings, Spearfish has grown consistently and now conducts the majority of its work outside the maritime sector. The company’s team now stands at over 30 people across the globe, from Environment Awareness Trainers to Regional Security Advisors, primarily delivering risk advisory and consultancy services to businesses operating in high risk environments.

Spearfish UK 2019 Team

Spearfish UK 2019 Team

Spearfish West Africa 2019 Team

Spearfish West Africa 2019 Team

In the last year a subsidiary, Spearfish West Africa, has opened in Abuja, Nigeria, with a team of 10 while a Spearfish South Asia office in New Delhi, India is set to open in the near future. The company aims to expand its global footprint further with other partnerships and subsidiaries.

 At the UK head office in Winchester, Hampshire, the team continues to develop, exploring new ways to support clients efficiently while ensuring their duty of care to them remains a top priority. Global Analyst, Andy Munro, has been developing the company’s Overwatch platform, while Mat Schraeder, Head of Training and Partnerships, has rebuilt the Spearfish training program over the past 6 months, making it more flexible and easier to tailor to clients’ needs. Lisa Ifould, Finance Manager, will gain her ACCA accountancy qualifications in the near term while Senior Security Advisor, Darren Kelly, has been increasing company relationships with project managers and client teams, both overseas and in the UK.

The Board of Directors remains a huge asset for Spearfish, with Chairman Lord West of Spithead, and Non-Executive Directors John Smith and Grant White supporting the company’s ongoing growth and development.

Dan Hooton, Spearfish Managing Director Speaks at ADMEI Emergency Preparedness Conference in Frankfurt


This week Dan Hooton, Our MD was invited by ADMEI to lead a 1 Day Course on Emergency Preparedness Certificate Program, with guest speaker Adrain Powell, Solicitor/Partner with Proelium Law, will discuss Liability and Duty of Care.   This course was followed by IIMEX, The worldwide exhibition for incentive travel meetings and events.

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The Emergency Preparedness Certificate Program (EPCP) is developed by ADMEI in collaboration with global leaders in security, intelligence, training, and investigative services .

The one day course covered many facets of emergency preparedness including:

  • Emergency Planning Mission with a focus on prevention, mitigation, and recovery

  • Basics of Emergency Operations Planning

  • Comprehensive, team approach to assist in building or revising an Emergency Operations Plan

  • Extensive scenarios to explore emergency situations and appropriate responses

  • Liability and Risk Management issues that can occur

  • Additional planning considerations and risk assessments tools

  • Current events and trends impacting the event and travel industry

Throughout the course, attendees participate in group exercises encouraging problem-solving from different industry perspectives.  In addition, attendees receive a variety of tools/handouts to customise for their use.

This course, focused on global strategies, is designed to develop emergency & risk management specialists within your company.