EXCLUSIVE: Elite former military personnel to patrol at north-east windfarm site, report suggests

SEA VISION: A photo montage of how windfarm developers Vattenfall believe the turbines would look from the shore at Balmedie
SEA VISION: A photo montage of how windfarm developers Vattenfall believe the turbines would look from the shore at Balmedie

A firm staffed by elite SAS, special forces and intelligence service veterans is believed to have been enlisted to look at security for a controversial Aberdeenshire windfarm site.

A confidential report seen by the Press and Journal appears to show that global outfit DS-48 was in discussions with Vattenfall to provide support at its Aberdeen Offshore Windfarm substation at Blackdog.

In its report to the Swedish energy company, it describes itself as a provider of “comprehensive risk management” in an “increasingly hostile” world.

The “service offerings” document, prepared by DS-48 last November, lists the main aims of the company’s relationship as protecting employee safety, ensuring the project is on track, safeguarding Vattenfall’s reputation and assistance with an “ongoing legal dispute”.

Among the services the company says it can offer at the site is video surveillance, including drones, security both on site and on computer systems and “discreet close protection”.

The report details the first phase of a package, which would cost at least £45,000, would involve “human intelligence gathering” and a full-risk site assessment.
Also included in the package would be a mobile phone app called Overwatch, a 24/7 service which purports to provide emergency responses to crisis situations as severe as hostage-taking and kidnapping at the touch of a button.

The report claims it can track users to within 26ft to establish whether an emergency response team is needed.

Among the firm’s 17 staff is chief executive and former Scots Guard officer Charles Andrews, and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry’s former principal private secretary, Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, as well as a hostage negotiatior.

The revelation comes just a week after an employment tribunal at which the Swedish state-owned company was accused of dismissing a former site manager for whistleblowing.

Last week, it emerged during a three-day employment tribunal that the firm had failed to properly investigate claims that staff were on drugs. Former site manager Roger Hammond alleges he was dismissed for alerting senior management to a problem with illegal substance misuse among the workforce.

He also claims the company got rid of him after he reported that an 11-year-old girl had been allowed to drive a digger. However, the company has argued that he was sacked from his role as site manager because of his fractured relationship with his colleagues, one of whom accused him of sexual harassment.

A ruling on the unfair dismissal claims is expected to be made known in the next month.

DS-48 declined to comment.

Vattenfall said: “The safety of our people and the public in and around our projects is paramount. Therefore, it is not our company policy to discuss security arrangements.”

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