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The damage: Fiona McClymont discovers the cost of professional protection

Only when VIPs attend public events do you get a glimpse of the shadowy world of the protection industry. And for every bodyguard you can spot - those figures scanning the crowds for potential assasins - there will be many more you miss. Bodyguards can find their tasks ranging from holing themselves up in a "safe-cell" under a bomb- blanket with a terrified diplomat to protecting the public from a particularly lairy pop star (it works out cheaper for the record company than costly lawsuits). The former might happen in what's known as a category one, a case in which a death threat has been made. We're not talking vague recriminations from disgruntled ex-lovers here; in these cases there is good reason to believe that the person's life is in danger, hence their industry nickname of "Salman Rushdies". With instances of threats, stalkings and blackmailings rising by approximately 25 per cent each year, it's never been more important for the well-heeled to protect themselves. Security on this level, from an experienced team is expensive. According to bodyguard, Kenny Green, a single male, with a price on his head, would expect to pay the following for one week's peace of mind ...

Security in numbers Four bodyguards working on rotation 24 hours a day, seven days a week, (employed to be by VIP's side at all times) pounds 5,200; two drivers, pounds 1,800 each; six operatives (also trained as bodyguards, but not working so closely with VIP) for the VIP's home (three men per 12-hour shift), pounds 4,200

On the move Armoured car for bodyguards and VIP, pounds 380; standard vehicle to transport rest of team, pounds 250; Body armour, pounds 425

Safe as houses Installation of CCTV with night-vision, perimeter alarms and a control room for VIP's home, pounds 1,900; 7ft security fence, if required, pounds 900 (razor wire extra); safe room - fully armoured with communications, bomb blanket, first-aid kit and toilet, food and water, pounds 2,500; explosives detector for screening all incoming mail, pounds 495; phone-tapping equipment to help police identify different voices, pounds 110

Total pounds 18,160