TSCM and reconnaissance – don’t forget the outbuildings

TSCM and reconnaissance – don't forget the outbuildings
TSCM and reconnaissance – don't forget the outbuildings

The TSCM team were on a task a couple of weeks ago. As per all our jobs, getting accurate information from the client is critical in understanding where the search is to be carried out. Sometimes clients ask us to sweep their offices or residential home without thinking too much about where the critical and priority areas are. We try to scope this beforehand with floor plans. However, getting this information is sometimes difficult; therefore, reconnaissance is needed.

Before starting a task, the reconnaissance team will walk around the property to confirm areas for inspection and their priority. On this task walk-round we noticed a small summerhouse in the garden. The team asked the client if this was in scope, to which he replied, ‘oh, I forgot about that; yes, it is for sure. I have all my private calls with business partners outside here (weather permitting) as it can get loud in the house, and it allows me to think.’

The hut was not included in the floor the plans we reviewed in advance of the sweep. However, we were able to pick up on it and include it in the sweep after conducting a walk round and speaking with the client – it was a critical area that could have been missed.

The hut presented additional vulnerabilities due to it being located near to the contractor’s entrance and also by a fence which connects to another residential property. It was also in close proximity and overlooked by the next door property, as our reconnaissance team discovered.

The hut was a good reminder to always conduct a walk round prior to the task and confirm priority areas to inspect, they might not always be where you expect. As the military say, ‘time on a reconnaissance is seldom wasted…’

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