The issue of Hostile vehicle Mitigation in Melbourne’s CBD and high traffic pedestrian areas has been brought into sharp focus with 2 tragic incidents and one potentially tragic ‘copycat’ incident where harm was thankfully averted by quick thinking Police officers. The City of Melbourne is now moving to install permanent fixed planter units and is investigating hydraulic sensor operated metal bollards, both to be used to protect the city’s pedestrians.
From 1999 until 2008, the City of Melbourne featured themed floral and horticultural displays in the Bourke St Mall. The installations were mostly immovable and provided effective protection to pedestrian walkways. The central tramways still allowed vehicle access with delivery vehicles permitted in early mornings.
The concrete bollards and in other areas the water filled plastic roadworks barriers placed strategically are in reality simply deterrents to would be attackers. A motor vehicle can relatively easily push these units aside, especially if the vehicle is a larger truck or pickup unit.
The planter units to be installed in areas such as the Bourke St Mall, the Queen Victoria Market and Flinders St provide permanent protection being firmly fixed to the ground and anchored beneath the pavement.
Here is the full article from the Age Newspaper dated 12th of June.
From ugly concrete blocks to street furniture: Anti-terror bollards to be replaced
The temporary concrete blocks that have been used across the city as anti-terror bollards will finally be replaced with permanent, reinforced street furniture to protect Melburnians from vehicle attacks.
The blocks which have dotted the city’s landscape for almost a year will be replaced with planter boxes and metal seating when a rollout begins in July, with the bollards on Flinders Street and Bourke Street the first to go.
Concrete blocks outside Southern Cross Station on Spencer Street, the State Library, Federation Square, Princes Bridge, Southbank Promenade, Queen Victoria Market, and Olympic Park will eventually be replaced.
Flowerbeds that serve as bollards are already a feature of the Bourke Street Mall.
News of the rollout follows revelations an Islamic State extremist discussed bombing landmarks including Queen Victoria Marke and St Paul’s Cathedral earlier this year.
The state’s counter-terrorism boss Assistant Commissioner Ross Guenther said Melbourne was a “very attractive target” to extremists, with police keeping a close eye on about 200 persons of interest.
Mr Guenther said more than 2500 terror-related reports were received and investigated in Victoria last year alone. He added that more than 100 Australians currently living in and near conflict zones were at risk of associating with IS supporters.
The new bollards will be a combination of planter boxes, flag poles, seating, and “other design solutions”, a Melbourne City Council spokesman said.
“The measures are being designed in accordance with national and international security standards to provide high levels of protection while maintaining the amenity and use of our premier public spaces,” he said.
“This represents the largest investment in Australia for protective measures against hostile vehicles.”
The council installed 206 temporary bollards in 10 central Melbourne locations in July last year as an urgent anti-terror measure to prevent vehicles ploughing into pedestrians.
But concerns were raised about the effectiveness of blocks, with one mechanical engineer telling The Age they could slide for 30 metres if they were hit by a car.
On Tuesday, Mr Guenther confirmed a family of amateur “jihadi hunters” in the UK had been in contact with an IS supporter who discussed bombing Queen Victoria Market, as well as Chadstone shopping centre.
The extremist, who is based in Pakistan, discussed planting a “sequence of bombs” in the market and then driving a car, fitted with another bomb, into a crowded area before blowing up the vehicle.
“The information was ultimately shared with our law enforcement security parties who assessed that information and concluded it posed no credible threat to Victoria,” Mr Guenther said.
Mr Guenther stressed that despite the reports, there was no current threats to any locations across Melbourne or Victoria.
“Such instructional material is not uncommon,” he said. “I stress though people should not be unnecessarily concerned.”
Lord mayor Sally Capp said police had increased their presence around Queen Victoria Market “just to give people confidence”.
“But [police have] satisfied themselves and assured us that there is no current threat,” she said.
UK newspaper The Sun reported in March that a “jihadi hunter” family living in the Midlands was using encrypted apps and social media to engage with fighters, and gather information about their activities.
Their efforts reportedly helped foil a suicide bomb attack on an Armed Forces parade, and an attack on the Queen during a commemorative ceremony in 2015.
Mr Guenther said it was very unlikely any Australians were imitating the UK jihadi hunters but said if that changed he would likely know about it.
“We wouldn’t recommend that members of the public do that. It’s a very unsafe practice,” Mr Guenther said.
Police Minister Lisa Neville said the security of pedestrians in Melbourne was “paramount”.
“We’re investing in more CCTV and bollards in the CBD, to ensure the safety of those who live, work and visit in our city is a priority,” she said.
The key issue in preventing any form of vehicular attack is a ‘hard perimeter’. There must be no access points available to hostile parties. Permanent street furniture and hydraulic bollards are effective for normal everyday crowds and are currently being installed to prevent further opportunistic attacks.
However there are many events that see large crowds for one off occasions. New Year’s Eve Fireworks, the Moomba Parade and Fireworks Displays, White nights, the Melbourne Cup and AFL parades, not to mention political rallies and marches or events like Chinese New Year both in the Melbourne CBD as well as Box Hill, Southbank and Docklands.
It is at these locations that temporary effective and portable Crash Barrier systems must be considered and deployed to prevent such vehicular attacks and protect all event participants.
The Archer 1200 System, a Meridian Rapid Defence Group product supplied exclusively by AML Risk Management here in Australia fulfils such a need.
The Archer 1200 Barriers can be easily deployed by 1 or 2 persons and as easily removed. The units have been universally tested both in the US and Europe at the highest level and deemed well above the standards required. A one and a half tonne vehicle travelling at 50km/h will be stopped dead in its tracks by the Meridian Crash Barrier system.
The Meridian Archer 1200 is invaluable for Sports Precincts, Public Gatherings, Street Events – anywhere where large mobile crowds gather. The units do not need to be monitored or adjusted and will continue to function after being hit by a vehicle. There are no electronics, no hydraulics and no moving components.
For further information on the Archer 1200 please view the AML webpage here or call 9326 2244 and ask for Security Supervisor, M/s Emerald Forrest who can assist you further with more information on the Archer 1200. Or leave your contact details here to arrange a free no-obligation consultation.
AML Risk Management – Plan, Prevent and Protect.