Hostile Vehicle Mitigation – The Canadian Tragedy

It is becoming increasingly obvious that those likely to attempt vehicular manslaughter and murder are in the first instance delusional. The idea that these incidents are all terrorist inspired (politically motivated) is naïve. The incidents in London, Nice and Berlin have inspired a rather terrifying copycat response from those who suffer mental health issues. Crash Barriers – (permanent and temporary) simply save innocent lives, and must now be installed widely or deployed where required for major events.

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It is becoming clear that disturbed persons consider a vehicle a suitable weapon with which to take human lives. In Nice, it was a festive crowd, targeted by dissident terrorists. In Melbourne, both incidents involved persons suffering from severe mental health problems. It would appear the Canadian driver also fits this profile. The decision to mow down pedestrians is a split second sociopathic response. The public safety response is to apply permanent vehicle crash barriers where necessary and to ensure temporary crash barriers where large events or gatherings attendees are vulnerable to hostile vehicle attack.

Read here the report from The Sydney Morning Herald:

Toronto police cautious about details of van’s path of carnage

Ottawa, Ontario: A white rental van plowed through pedestrians on a footpath along a busy commercial street in Toronto on Monday, killing at least 10 and injuring 15, and leaving one of the world’s safest big cities with a path of carnage that spread over a kilometre.

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Toronto police officers stand near a damaged van after it mounted a sidewalk crashing into pedestrians in Toronto

Though officials did not say whether the incident was terrorism-related, it marked the latest grim reminder of how a vehicle could be turned into a weapon – in this case, speeding through a crowd at lunch hour on a sunny day, sending people and mailboxes and baby strollers flying, in what eyewitnesses described as a deliberate act.

Toronto Police arrested the driver at the scene, and Chief Mark Saunders identified him as Alek Minassian, a 25-year-old from Richmond Hill, Ontario. Saunders said Minassian was not known to police, and that he did not have a weapon. Police said they did not yet know of a motive.

“We are looking very strongly to what the exact motivation was for this particular incident to take place,” Saunders told a press conference. “At the end of the day, we will have a fulsome answer.”

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A man confronts police in Toronto after a van ran into pedestrians, killing several

The driver was taken into custody after a showdown, captured on video, in which he told officers that he had a weapon and said, “Shoot me in the head”. He gestured at police with an object and then tossed it onto the ground.

A CBC News Canada report suggested Minassian might have been angry over being rebuffed by women and that a LinkedIn profile under the same name appeared to commend a “Supreme Gentleman Elliot Rodger,” who killed six people in a rampage in Isla Vista, California, in 2014.

But Canadian officials were cautious in the aftermath of the incident, saying that they would need a long investigation into one of the country’s bloodiest mass killings. Canada’s public safety minister, Ralph Goodale, said he saw no reason to raise the national terror threat level. A police photo of the suspect and the names of the victims were not immediately released.

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How the tragedy unfolded

Police said the suspect was scheduled to appear in court at 10am on Tuesday local time (midnight AEST), and that information on the charges against him would be released then.

The incident had echoes of vehicle attacks in the French city of Nice, as well as in London and New York City. It’s a method the Islamic State militant group encouraged followers to use to cause terror.

But mentally ill people with no terrorism connections have also carried out such assaults, including in Melbourne’s Swanston Street.

“We lost a little bit of our innocence,” John Filion, a city councillor who represents the area where the incident occurred, said in a phone interview.

“We often think of ourselves as being somewhat excluded from the violence and craziness that goes on in other parts of the world. You just kind of don’t think of Toronto as a place where that kind of violence will come to.”

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Two people comfort each other after a rented van plowed down a crowded sidewalk, killing multiple people in Toronto

Peter Yuen, Toronto police services deputy chief, told reporters: “I can assure the public all our available resources have been brought in to investigate this tragic situation,” according to the Associated Press.

Save for a police helicopter circling overhead, the incident brought an eerie silence to one of the city’s busiest streets, which had been filled on Monday afternoon with people enjoying one of the first warm and sunny days of the year after a long winter.

The attack took place in the centre of North York, a part of Toronto that has grown over the past two decades into a secondary downtown.

The area, dotted with shops, apartment towers and many Korean restaurants, is so heavily trafficked that Toronto’s city council debated widening the foothpaths and reducing lanes of traffic to make it more pedestrian-friendly earlier this year.

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People light candles at a makeshift memorial to the victims in Toronto

“He started going down on the sidewalk and crumbling down people one by one,” Ali Shaker, who was in the vicinity of the incident, told CTV News. “He just destroyed so many people’s lives.” He said the driver was travelling at an estimated 50 to 70 kilometres per hour.

Teresa Nolan, who lives nearby, walked out of the Sheppard subway station – near where the van came to a stop – shortly after the incident occurred, to “a scary scene”. She watched as police officers apprehended the suspect and heard onlookers describing how they performed CPR on the injured.

“I watched it all happen, but didn’t really take it all in until after it ended,” she said.

Nolan has lived in the area for almost two years and “just loves its whole multicultural feel.”

She lives on her own and said she finds the community safe.

“I would never let this deter me,” she said.

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Officials carry a body into a vehicle after the incident police said “definitely looked deliberate”

Late on Monday evening, Irene Lan, who said she had not been following the news all day, arrived in the area, hoping to pick up dinner from her favourite Korean restaurant.

She was bewildered to find what is usually a bustling street transformed into something resembling a ghost town.

“It’s absolutely shocking,” she said.

Late on Monday evening, Irene Lan, who said she had not been following the news all day, arrived in the area, hoping to pick up dinner from her favourite Korean restaurant.

She was bewildered to find what is usually a bustling street transformed into something resembling a ghost town.

“It’s absolutely shocking,” she said.

Source: smh.com.au

There are numerous occasions when the public are exposed to vehicular attack. Street Festivals, Public Events, Demonstrations and Protests, Sporting Events, Outdoor Markets, Music Events or Outdoor Theatre all provide a major element of risk.

AML Risk Management provide sensible Hostile Vehicle Mitigation Systems that are easily installed and dismantled. Highly effective, the Meridian Crash Barrier Systems are designed to stop moving vehicles and are proven to do so – having been tested at stopping a vehicle travelling at 50km/h – successfully.

When planning major events such as street festivals, commemorative events such as Anzac Day, Sporting Events such as Cycling Events, Marathons, or Stadium Events where large crowds gather, call AML Risk Management on 03 9326 2244 for a free, no obligation quotation, or for more information on the Meridian Crash Barrier Systems. Or leave your details here and one of our experienced staff members will get back to you ASAP.

AML Risk Management – Planning, Protection Prevention.

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