AN SAS veteran and his daughter share a passion for keeping young people safe wherever they are.

Mick Hawkes and his daughter Keely would like to see their security and situational awareness training become an integral part of the school curriculum.

The catalyst for the venture, Hawkes & Co, was the series of rapes reported in Hereford last year, as Mick explains: "I thought 'we need to be teaching the kids'. Initially it was just going to be me doing the teaching with a bit of help from Keely, but she is now solely in charge of the confrontation elements. I do the speaking and Keely does the physical stuff.

"We teach kids how to 'break away' from unwanted, unsolicited contact. And the reason we are getting Keely to do that is because the kids relate to her. She'll pick one of the biggest kids in a class and shows how to get out of an unwanted hug, for example, easily. We call it 'breakaway' – it's not self-defence as such," he says, adding that Keely has been training with Richard 'Ginge' Johnson, who has been involved in personal security for over 25 years since leaving the SAS.


Mick Hawkes spent 24 years in the military, including 14 years in Hereford as part of the SAS, followed by 22 years in corporate security in war-torn countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Sudan, but decided last May to retire from corporate security.

Mick and Keely Hawkes enjoy some down time at the rugby

Mick and Keely Hawkes enjoy some down time at the rugby

Keely Hawkes, meanwhile, who climbed Ben Nevis when she was just seven, went through situational awareness training herself at the age of 11. "She is quite a determined individual," says Mr Hawkes.


The father and daughter team have already started at NMITE in Hereford and would like to introduce their training to students in every school, college and university to reduce the number of security incidents in the county and beyond.

Mr Hawkes said: "The primary objective is always to avoid violence. There is no silver bullet for dealing with violent crimes on our streets. Prevention is far superior approach to dealing with the fallout of the increasing levels of violence on our streets."

The training programme is offered free of charge to vulnerable groups. To find out more, email