Hostile Vehicle Mitigation – The Real Issue is Protection

The Australian Government has created guidelines for organisations, Councils and other entities with a vested interest in preventing Hostile Vehicle Attacks. AML Risk Management is a forerunner in presenting Hostile Vehicle Mitigation practices. It utilises the Meridian Crash Barrier systems and has provided fast turnaround deployment and installation in key locations to date.

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The Federal Government through its National Security website provides the following analysis. This week we publish Section 1 so that people may aquire a better more fulsome understanding of the risks involved.

Key hot spots

Commercial hubs, shopping centres, special events, stadiums, hotels, CBDs

About this publication – When and where vehicles collide with pedestrians

Protecting people in crowded places requires attention to the vehicle management, urban design and architectural features of a space. This document addresses the ways in which vehicles are being used as weapons to harm people in public spaces, and how these threats can be mitigated.

Section 1 defines hostile vehicles and the nature of the threats they may pose to people in crowded places.

Section 2 provides guidelines on how to prevent hostile vehicles from injuring people. It provides examples of physical barriers and traffic management solutions to prevent hostile vehicles entering crowded places.

The Conclusion outlines the advantages of early implementation in relation to cost and overall protection when designing an effective mitigation strategy, and provides contact details for further information.

1.01 Threat Context

What is the threat context?

The use of a vehicle as a weapon in a terrorist attack is not new. For some time, this tactic has been considered and used by violent extremists – including in Western countries.

Recent terrorist incidents and violent extremist propaganda demonstrate that hostile vehicle attacks continue to be of interest to violent extremists globally.

Attacks of this nature require minimal capability, but can have a devastating impact if targeted towards crowded places.

The terrorist attack on the Bastille Day parade in Nice in July 2016 and subsequent vehicle attacks in Germany and the United Kingdom have attracted global attention. Terrorist propaganda has glorified these attacks, including the methods and tactics used, and called for emulation around the
world.

The potential for hostile vehicle attacks is not limited to Islamist extremists – any violence-prone group or individual could use a vehicle as a weapon should it suit their objectives.

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1.02 Hostile Vehicles

What is a hostile vehicle?

A hostile vehicle is generally one whose driver is determined to access a restricted or unauthorised area or location in order to cause injury/death to people, disrupt business or effect publicity for a cause. A hostile vehicle may be used to carry an explosive device or the vehicle itself, travelling at speed, may present the primary danger.

The most likely targets of hostile vehicles are spaces occupied by a critical mass of people at a particular time, where the aim of an attack is to cause death/injury to large numbers of people.

The driver of a hostile vehicle may not necessarily obey traffic road rules. There is an inherent danger in not taking this into account when conducting a site assessment. All too often, security measures have been installed under the assumption that a vehicle will not, for example, travel the wrong way down a one-way street.

This document focuses on preventing vehicular access to crowded places to help mitigate the risk of a terrorist attack. The suggested counter-measures may also be valuable in other situations, such as protecting pedestrians on footpaths from dangerous or drunk drivers.

The methods of hostile vehicle attack may include:

  • Parked (containing material to cause harm ie explosives)
  • Encroachment;oExploiting gaps in site defences (no impact)
    – Tailgating through an active barrier system; and
    – Tampering with vehicle barriers to later provide unlawful access.
  • Penetrative Impact (ramming people & structures)
  • Entry by deception to access restricted areas (trojan vehicle)
  • Duress (against a security guard or employee to open a barrier)

1.03 Hostile Vehicle Mitigation

What is a crowded place?

Crowded places are locations or environments which are easily accessible by large numbers of people on a predictable basis. Crowded places include, but are not limited to, sports stadia, transport hubs, shopping centres, hotels, clubs, places of worship, tourist attractions, movie theatres, and civic spaces. Crowded places do not have to be buildings and can include open spaces such as parks and pedestrian malls. A crowded place will not necessarily be crowded at all times: crowd densities may vary between day and night, by season, and may be temporary, as in the case
of sporting events, open air festivals, or one-off events.

Security should be proportionate to threat

Security measures can be resource intensive, costly and, if not correctly managed and communicated, can alienate staff and the public and significantly disrupt the day -to-day operations of a crowded place. This is why expert specialist advice is essential and why careful consideration and planning is required before implementing any protective security measures.

It is important to take a holistic approach to security consistent with the foreseeable risks to your venue or asset. Applying security measures to counter the vehicle risk in isolation can inadvertently create a vulnerability to another risk, such as crowd crush.

Understanding the hostile vehicle risk is crucial to ensure your security measures are not over or under engineered.

Source: https://www.nationalsecurity.gov.au/Media-and-publications/Publications/Documents/hostile-vehicle-guidelines-crowded-places.pdf

Next week we will republish Section 2: ‘How to separate hostile vehicles from Pedestrians – Hot Spots’, such as Outdoor Markets, Parades, Festivals and Sporting Events.

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We will then discuss the deployment of the Meridian Crash Barriers and just how effective these units really are

Til next week remember Planning, Prevention and Protection.

Be safe, be sure with AML Risk Management.

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