The Risk of Hostile Vehicle Attacks on Melbourne’s Major Sporting Events.

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Melbourne is recognised as the ‘Sporting Capital’ of Australia. its reputation is that of a sports mad population. Major events such as the AFL Final series, the Spring Racing Carnival and the Australian Tennis Open draw huge crowds of up to and over 100,000 people per day regularly. Add to these events such as the International Rugby, State of Origin Rugby League, Boxing Day Test Cricket, Day/night and Big Bash Cricket, there are continual events over Spring and Summer attracting huge crowds. With the pre-event parades included, such as the Grand Final Parade and Melbourne Cup Parade, and there are staggering numbers of people ‘on the streets’ connected with major Sporting Events.

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Sporting Events have previously been targeted in both Europe and the USA by militant terrorist groups. Both al Queda’s propaganda publication – Inspire, and the IS online magazine ‘Rumiyah’ suggest and recommend attacks on major sporting events.

The al Queda publication’s call to action (released four years ago) called for bombing attacks against targets such as the US Tennis Open, the UK FA Cup, the English Premiere League and the League Cup in France.

In a more sinister move, more recently the Islamic State’s magazine ‘Rumiyah’ called for Truck and Knife attacks on events where crowds gather.

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Quite simply, Australian sporting events represent very soft targets. In Europe, these events are heavily guarded by armed police and security forces. Heavily armed police with exposed ‘carried’ automatic weapons in substantial numbers protect such events. Obviously this is based on both previous assaults and recent intelligence.

As of August 2017 over 600 people world-wide had been killed or injured by vehicle rammings. It is time to recognise Australia is not immune.

For anyone who has attended a major Sporting Event in Melbourne, the vulnerability is obvious. At Caulfield Racecourse on Cup Day there are roadside crowds of up to 2-3000 people prior to the gates opening. At the MCG the roadway around the ground and entrances hold up to 10,000 people just prior to major games. The Australian Tennis Open Tournament regularly sees similar crowds roadside prior to major matches.

There are police in attendance and there are concrete bollards and water filled barriers in place. But the reality is that these will provide little protection in the event of a concerted, well planned vehicle attack.

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Water filled barriers and concrete bollards are easily pushed aside. Police are armed with sidearm weapons. There needs to be a far stronger and more practical barrier to such types of attack.

The Meridian Defence Group’s Archer 1200 Crash Barrier system is designed for precisely this purpose. The unit has been thoroughly tested to the most rigorous safety standards in both Europe and in North America. A vehicle of 1.5 tonne will be completely stopped by this unit when travelling at a speed of 50km/h. The units are portable, requiring either one or two persons to deploy and demount. The Archer 1200 has been successfully used in fields of war (Kandahar Airport in Afghanistan) and around fuel depots and refineries in the US.

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Here it has been successfully deployed at venues such as the South Melbourne Market (The Mussels and Jazz Festival) and at Anzac Day ceremonies this year.

For further information on the Meridian Barriers please click here

For a free no-obligation consultation and quotation please call 9326 2244 and speak with M/s Emerald Forrest, AML Risk Management’s Hostile Vehicle Mitigation Systems Co-ordinator or her associate M/s Irene Rentifis.

The Meridian Defence Group’s Crash Barrier Systems are available exclusively through AML Risk Management here in Australia.

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Ensure your next major sporting event provides real protection for patrons attending. Create a genuine hard perimeter that is planned, prevents vehicle intrusions and protects all venue participants.

AML Risk Management – Planning, Prevention and Protection

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