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Our Team

These are the regular players in Big5protection. Others have stepped into the breech to give their time, and will do so again when called for. We have others assisting in the background to support us wherever we are, their services and continued support are vital to our operations.

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Simon Leak

Simon spent 24 years in the military, serving in the highest tiers of the British Army. Throughout a long and varied career, he trained and operated on every continent in harsh climates and in testing circumstances where creative thinking and unconventional practices were often required to achieve successful aims. Since retiring from the army in 2006 he has continued this approach along with the same strict and proven ethos to focus on current wildlife and environmental conflicts.

He has been fully immersed in Anti-Poaching since 2014, training British and foreign military as well as rangers throughout Africa. He has designed and delivered courses which include Selection & Training, Tracking, Navigation and Long Range Patrolling and has an ongoing program to train and qualify rangers to instructor level.

He is the lead advisor and trainer for the new British Army Counter-Poaching Operators Unit in Africa and continues to design and develop techniques and procedures with his team to meet and counter the increasing threat to both wildlife and habitat worldwide.

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Paul Tombs

Paul served 12 years with the Parachute Regiment, specialising in sniping, reconnaissance and small team tactics before joining the Metropolitan Police Service where he volunteered and was selected to join SO19, the force specialist firearms department. Initially on overt armed response but subsequently on covert specialist firearms teams, he deployed extensively on counter terrorism and organised crime operations throughout the UK and abroad.

He has been employed as a specialist firearms instructor with more than 30 years experience, responsible for the design and delivery of advanced tactical and firearms training, to police firearms officers in the UK, Central America and Africa.

Paul now works alongside Simon to deliver advanced counter poaching training to the British Army and rangers throughout Africa

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Thomas Fleetwood

South African, Tom, gained a degree in Horticulture, before joining the South African Defence Force where he specialised in reconnaissance & small team tactics and intelligence. He left with the rank of Major in 2004.

In 1998, he joined the North West Parks as an Honorary Officer in the counter-poaching unit where he gained a wealth of experience in survival, tracking and anti-poaching operations and went on to co-author the training manual, Advanced Counter-Poaching for Game Rangers, a publication widely referred to throughout Africa.

Simon and Tom have worked together for many years, to deliver advanced ranger training throughout Africa. In particular, Tom’s superb knowledge of bush-craft and dangerous game has been invaluable in helping prepare the British Army for their counter-poaching role.

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Chris North

Law Enforcement Specialist, Christopher, served 10 years in the Parachute Regiment before joining the UK based Police Service.

He was quickly recruited into front-line Covert Police Operations and deployed both Nationally and Internationally as an Undercover Police Officer (HUMINT).

Chris has also acted as a Strategic Advisor and Subject Specialist to Senior Law Enforcement advisors throughout the UK, America and Africa and designed/delivered nationally accredited Test Purchase and Level One (Deep Infiltration) Covert Intelligence and Operational Deployment courses. He is highly experienced and skilled in all aspects of Undercover Law Enforcement and also is a fully accredited Police Trainer, having instructed police recruits and serving officers in General/Overt Policing and Community Engagement skills.

As front-line Detective, he has also worked in Murder Squads, Field Intelligence, Vice, Serious and Organised Crime Unit and Counter Terrorism Branch. He is an Illicit Drugs Expert, Trained Hostage Negotiator and recently qualified as a Security Risk Management Consultant. Chris is extremeny effective in identifying local key contacts and potential assets that assist in our work and is also our diversity champion. When not deployed training Bush Rangers in Africa, he teaches Gang and Counter Terrorism Awareness to Law Enforcement and Education Staff across the UK. Prior to his retirement, having served 26 years front-line with the police, he was and remains one of the highest decorated Detectives in the UK.

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Jenny Brannigan

Senior Leader Advisor and Senior Investigating Officer, Female Empowerment Specialist. Recently retired from law enforcement, Jenny Brannigan served 30 years in UK based Police Service, involved as both an operational Detective and later a supervisor, being posted to units involved in Covert Operations, Serious Crime Investigation and as a Senior Investigating Officer in one of the busiest Counter Terrorism Units in the UK. With numerous Police and Judges commendations, degrees in Law, Psychology and Post graduate qualifications in Management and Complex Safeguarding - Jenny brings a wealth of both academic knowledge and front-line application of Senior Management, Investigative and Safeguarding skills. She is passionate in working with organisations that wish to develop their own Strategies and Protocols and has championed female empowerment causes throughout her career. 

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Drew Thompson

With over 30 years of experience in serious criminal investigations, Drew Thompson is a decorated law enforcement expert, specialising in covert operations, intelligence collection and management. He has also been responsible for identifying, mentoring and developing officers from diverse law enforcement settings across the world, responding to their organisational operational and training needs. He has researched, planned and delivered bespoke instructional / mentoring curriculums and 'train the trainer development’ programmes, guiding delegates and international organisations to conduct successful overt and covert law enforcement missions. He has also designed robust and effective training, to assist agencies to identify, recruit and deploy Covert Human Intelligence Sources - (CHIS) in numerous urban and rural theatres of operation. Drew has a proven track record of successfully operating as a CHIS handler and Controller in hostile environments such as Africa, Middle East, Afghanistan and Colombia, supporting investigations into drug trafficking and terrorism activity. Robust, an effective communicator, Drew gets the 'job done'.

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Paul Martin Wilson

Paul grew up in Kadoma, a rural area of Zimbabwe and on completion of schooling in 1979 chose a military career path with 28 years’ service, mostly with the UK Royal Marine Commandos. From a reconnaissance operator background he subsequently qualified as a Sniper and then as a specialist Tactical Firearms Instructor. He has a wealth of knowledge and practical operational leadership experience as well as mentorship, training design, delivery, and skills development; regularly instructing high readiness elements of foreign law enforcement and military formations across the globe. More recently, Paul spent over 8 years in the commercial private security sector as an operator and instructor in “Hi-Risk Environment” management and also training “local national” security and law enforcement units both on sea and land. An enthusiastic fan of “the outdoors” his passion for wildlife conservation started off in the UK Defence Deer Management Program in 2003.

On returning to Zimbabwe permanently in 2016, Paul became involved in Wildlife Conservation Law Enforcement in Zimbabwe. Initially working alongside the Zimbabwe Parks & Wildlife Management Authority, and latterly in support of other stakeholders in training design and management, and in a mentoring capacity. This then progressed to specialising in the training and empowerment of marginalised members of remote rural communities. Collaborating with them at capacity building in order to encourage personal development in understanding the value in protecting their local fauna and flora and developing personal investment in community environments.

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