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Many who watched Mr Bigley's impassioned plea for mercy on oversized television screens last week say that it would not have happened to them. There are an estimated 1, contractors and civilian security officers working in the British-controlled southern area of Iraq. The camps have been built and are maintained by contractors.
The communications infrastructure - such as internet services for soldiers - is operated by civilians. Then there are those that work in reconstruction: engineers, experts in sewerage, electricity and oil. Those who have no military experience hardly ever travel outside the camps of the military zone designated Multi-National Division South East without an escort.
The majority are accompanied by soldiers in "snatch wagons" - armoured Land Rovers - providing cover with heavy machine guns and SA80 rifles. Ex-military types, armed to the teeth, also provide escorts. None of the contractors are allowed to talk to the media because of companies' policy that speaking about the situation on the ground puts their lives at risk. Some spoke to the Guardian on condition of anonymity, others point-blank refused.
Sitting in a rest area in Allenby Lines, one of the camps in the enormous, secure coalition compound known as the A Pod, around the old Basra airport, one contractor said: "It's an unfortunate situation that chap's in, but I don't know the security measures he had in place.
We live on camp and travel with green fleet [the British army]. There's no ifs, buts and ands about it. It's company policy, we don't travel without the army. If the army say you don't move, you don't move. What has happened to him wouldn't put me off what I am doing at the moment. Travelling unescorted is what would put me off. One close-protection worker said: "Where we fall down as British people is the arrogance that 'we will be safe because we are British'.