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.

Crash Barriers Save Lives

Recently in Melbourne there have been two serious incidents involving vehicular homicide. The first, in January 2017, resulted in an appalling toll of dead and injured. The second in Flinders St on the 21st of December also resulted in multiple injuries and a death.

Such acts – in both cases perpetrated by drug affected mentally ill drivers – demonstrate the need for the City of Melbourne to upgrade its access mechanisms to areas used heavily by predominantly Pedestrian traffic. Hydraulic Bollards, Boom Gates and in the case of large event crowd gatherings, Portable Crash Barriers, must be considered, installed and operated here on in. Worldwide other cities have had such devices in use now for over 10 years.

Hydraulic Bollards can be raised and lowered using sensors. These will ensure non-authorised vehicles cannot enter restricted areas such as the Bourke St Mall. These are also suitable for major Pedestrian crossings. Alternatively Boom Gates, again sensor operated, can allow access to trams or emergency vehicles, with the use of approved sensors.

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With major events AML thoroughly recommend the use of Portable Crash Barriers – see here

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With events like ‘White Night’, the ‘Chinese New Year’ and the range of Events staged throughout the year in the CBD and nearby, Crash Barriers deployed by one or two people make good sense in preventing such tragedies as experienced here, in Nice, London, New York and Berlin. Crash Barriers can stop a vehicle travelling at 50km/h completely.

Be prepared, plan and action sensible strategies as required. Much of Melbourne’s CBD Grid still operated on the same principles as were implemented in the 1960s. It’s time to update and save lines.

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cropped-profile-pic.pngFor further information about Crash Barriers please call AML on 03-9326-2244 or leave your contact details here to be contacted by one of our staff.

Planning, Prevention, Protection with AML Risk Management

A Strategic Plan will prevent another Bourke St Rampage

 

The Bourke St rampage of Jan 2017 had its first anniversary this year. With the pain and loss still raw for the families of the victims, this was a time for remembrance and healing.’

Bourke St is Melbourne’s only retail ‘main street’ Mall. The Mall, located between Elizabeth and Swanston St is banned to vehicular traffic from 6am until midnight. It can however be easily breached as the Trams have access at all times.

AML have a good knowledge of the precinct through an associate who managed portable displays in the Mall for over 10 years. The Mall can easily be locked down with sensor operated bollards or boom gates for Trams and strategically deployed florals. For major events mobile crash barriers can be situated effectively to ensure minimal risk.

We pay our respects to the victims and their families and pray that such an event doesn’t occur again. Here is the report from the ABC on the memorial ceremony and those participating.

Bourke Street car attack anniversary marked at memorial service in Melbourne

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Kurt and Emily Mudie paid tribute to their sister Jess, who died after the attack.

Family members of victims of the Bourke Street car attack have spoken of how they miss their loved ones and thanked the public for their care and support at a memorial service in Melbourne.

Six people were killed and many more injured when a car drove through the busy Bourke Street mall and along the footpath for several blocks on January 20, 2017.

Three-month-old Zachary Bryant, Thalia Hakin, 10, Matthew Si, 33, Yosuke Kanno, 25 and Jess Mudie, 22, were all killed after being hit along Bourke St.

Emily and Kurt Mudie delivered a tribute to their sister Jess, who was Emily’s twin.
“She was the most amazing person that I know, she would never ever fail to put a smile on my face, and I loved doing anything with her,” Ms Mudie said.

Ms Mudie said her sister would never leave her and continued to motivate her, as she had in life.

Mr Mudie said he had always tried to be there for his sister, but she had always been there for him.

The siblings sent love to their families and friends, to those who had been on Bourke Street on that day, and others who had lost loved ones.

“We know that this is a super-crap time, but I’m told time is a great healer and we will always be there for you if you ever need it,” Ms Mudie said.

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Matthew Si, 33, was a loving husband and father, his wife Melinda Tan said.

The wife of Matthew Si, Melinda Tan, said she had been supported by many through the heartbreak of losing her husband.

“The pain of losing Matt will never disappear,” she said.

“His time with us was cut short, he was only 33 years old and he was always rushing home to our daughter Aria.

“That day he dropped her off at childcare and never came back. I’ve had to adjust to a new life that will always be missing a loving husband and father.”

Ms Tan said she was comforted that emergency crews did their best to save her husband and that he did not suffer alone.

Melbourne Symphony Orchestra’s Sophie Rowell performed a violin solo for Mr Si, who was himself an accomplished violinist.

Matthew Bryant, the father of three-month-old Zachary Bryant, fought back tears as he spoke about his son.

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Zara (left) with her brother Zachary Bryant (right). Their father said he had looked at the two of them on Christmas morning in 2016 and thought life was perfect.

“Our connection with Zachy started long before he was born — we named him a couple of months into the pregnancy and couldn’t have been more excited to welcome that little man into our family.

“From the first time I held him, it was pure love.”

Mr Bryant said he would always be grateful and blessed to be Zachary’s father.
The couple had a third child, Zayne, last month, joining their older daughter Zara, who was with Zachary when he died.

“While he unfortunately will never have the chance to meet his older brother, we endeavour to always keep the memory of Zachy strong and alive,” Mr Bryant said.
Victorian Governor Linda Dessau honoured those who had been injured, the first responders and families who had lost loved ones.

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The families of victims and Victoria’s leaders paid tribute to emergency service workers at the memorial.

“To show that we have not forgotten your loss, and to offer you whatever support and comfort that we can.”

She also paid tribute to civilians who helped on the day.

“Those who responded when they found themselves in the midst of something for which they could not possibly have been prepared … who did all they could do to humanly help and provided us with a much appreciated beacon of hope by their goodness.”

The accused driver, James Gargasoulas, 27, has pleaded not guilty to murder and attempted murder charges.

‘Tragedy will not define us’

Premier Daniel Andrews said Victorians had responded to “one act of evil with countless acts of empathy, compassion and, most importantly, love”.

“No words will ever be enough, nothing can ever undo the damage, but I hope that there is some small measure of comfort in knowing that you are not alone,” he said.

On Saturday, which was exactly one year since the incident, a private ceremony involving family and friends of those who died, as well as those who were injured, was held at the Parliament Gardens Reserve.

Two plaques were also unveiled — one in the pavement and one on a park chair.

“In memory of those whose lives were lost in Bourke Street on 20 January 2017 and in recognition of others who were injured or affected by this tragedy,” they read.

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Flowers, toys and notes were left along Bourke Street in the days after the attack last year.

While some left flowers and notes at the reserve and also at different places along Bourke St, there was no official service on Saturday.

Source: abc.net.au

 

Isis Inspired Vehicular Attack – Can it be prevented?

Again, another madman takes to a pedestrian and bike thoroughfare, mowing down innocent civilians, in this case sadly school children, who were celebrating graduation from High School. This is a perfect example of the need for High Tech retractable bollards with crash barriers being placed after the carnage. Often the first action is a distraction to mount an even bigger assault. This happened in Bali at Paddy’s Bar when a small device distracted the security only to be followed by a massive explosion.

It is becoming clear that this type of ‘lone wolf’ attack using a vehicle is being copy-catted worldwide. The technology is already available to prevent such ruthless and mindless attacks on civilian populations. Please review our two previous blogs here and here. In Britain such Bollards are already deployed in a number of locations.

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Permanent hydraulic Bollards simply lower to surface level to allow vehicles to pass if that vehicle has been set up with the sensor code. Emergency vehicles, maintenance vehicles and some delivery vehicles are permitted, with strict protocols.

The issue becomes difficult when crowds gather in spaces for individual events and activities. Protests, sporting events and festivals all ensure large crowds gather in relatively unprotected precincts – where such bollards cannot normally be deployed.

AML Risk Management utilise portable Crash Barriers from Meridian of the USA. You can read here about these very portable, very effective crash barriers and view videos demonstrating their effectiveness against vehicular attack.

Here is a full reprint of the report in Wednesday’s Age Newspaper on the attacks minus the politicians statements. Consider carefully – would bollards (hydraulic) have protected the pedestrians killed and injured? The attacker was deemed a ‘lone wolf’. What if he was a diversionary tactic? Did the authorities have the equipment to prevent further vehicular attack?

Eight people dead in New York City bike path ‘terror attack’

New York: Eight people were killed when a man drove a utility vehicle down a bike path next to the Hudson River in Lower Manhattan on Tuesday afternoon, before he jumped out with two fake guns and was shot by police officers.

Federal authorities were treating the incident as a terrorist attack, a senior law enforcement official said.

Sayfullo Saipov, the 29-year-old New York attack suspect, is seen running down the street after he allegedly ran over cyclists and pedestrians in a utility vehicle.

Two law enforcement officials said that after the attacker got out of the truck, he was heard yelling, “Allahu Akbar,” Arabic for “God is great”.

The attacker, in a rented Home Depot ute, hit numerous pedestrians and cyclists as he drove as many as 20 blocks south on the bike path, officials said.

The suspect has been identified as 29-year-old Sayfullo Saipov by two law enforcement officials, Associated Press reports.

Saipov is reportedly an Uzbek national who has been in the US since 2010. He lived in Tampa, Florida and Ohio at different times and has a history of minor traffic violations.

Two law enforcement officials said that investigators discovered handwritten notes in Arabic inside the truck that indicated allegiance to Islamic State.

Saipov is expected to survive, meaning investigators will likely have a chance to question him about his motive for the attack, but so far, they said, he appeared to have been a “lone wolf” suspect – someone who acted alone after being inspired, but not directly instructed, by the Islamic State.

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The suspect has been identified as Sayfullo Saipov by two law enforcement officials, Associated Press reports. Photo: St Charles Missouri Dept of Corrections

He had been living in Paterson, New Jersey, before the attack, and rented the vehicle in that state before driving it into Manhattan, officials said.

Five friends from Argentina are among those killed in the attack.

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The damaged Home Depot truck came to rest in the bike lane in New York City.  Photo: AP

The compatriots, from the city of Rosario in central Argentina, were celebrating the 30th anniversary of their graduation.

A statement from the ministry says it passed on its deepest condolences following the deaths of Hernan Diego Mendoza, Diego Enrique Angelini, Alejandro Damian Pagnucco, Ariel Erlij and Hernan Ferruchi.

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Some people were being treated for injuries near a mangled school bus. Photo: AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews

A sixth Argentinian man with the group named as Martin Ludovico Marro is being treated at the Presbyterian hospital in Manhattan, the ministry added.

A Belgian woman was also killed when a driver ploughed into pedestrians and cyclists in New York.

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Initial reports said a van on the bike path had run down several people. Photo: Bebeto Matthews

Three more Belgians were also injured – a mother, father and child from the same family and are undergoing surgery, Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders told news agency Belga.

The suspect in the attack, identified as Sayfullo Saipov has come out of surgery after being shot by police and is expected to survive, CNN reports.

Eight people dead in New York City bike path ‘terror attack’

Eleven people were transported to hospital with serious, but not life-threatening injuries.

The ute eventually collided with a school bus, injuring two adults and two children. After the collision, the driver of the ute got out of the vehicle brandishing what appeared to be two guns.

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An image of the incident. Photo: Alex Cruz/IllmaticNYC

A local uniformed police officer confronted the subject and shot him in the abdomen, police said.

The subject was wounded and transported to hospital, where he remained in critical condition on Tuesday night. A paintball gun and pellet gun were recovered at the scene.

It was the greatest loss of life from a suspected terrorist attack in New York since suicide hijackers crashed jetliners into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, killing more than 2,600 people.

Governor Andrew Cuomo said the suspect appeared to have acted alone.

“There’s no evidence to suggest a wider plot or a wider scheme. These are the actions of one individual meant to cause pain and harm and probably death,” Cuomo said at a news conference.

New York City mayor Bill de Blasio said that, based on the information they had, “this was an act of terror around a particularly cowardly act of terror, aimed at innocent civilians”.

Commissioner O’Neill said the motivation of the attack will form part of the investigation, which will be jointly conducted by the New York Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

“Look at the [modus operandi] of the attack, and he made a statement when he exited vehicle which suggests it was a terror attack,” he said.

Witnesses described gunshots ringing out, people scrambling for cover and a street strewn with bodies and crumpled bicycles.

A large section of the West Side Highway was closed for the investigation as hundreds of officers, including the bomb squad, responded to the scene. The truck came to a rest near Chambers and West Streets.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said President Donald Trump had been briefed by White House chief of staff John Kelly and “will be continually updated as more details are known”.

The motorist hit numerous people as nearby Stuyvesant High School was letting out for the day, officials said.

Students at the high school, one of the city’s elite public schools, reported that they saw a man shooting from a ute, and then saw the vehicle turn and strike a school bus.

Ramon Cruz, 27, said he saw a man crash his white ute and emerge from the vehicle at Chambers and West Streets.

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Mr. Cruz said the front of the ute was smashed and the driver appeared injured. Then Mr. Cruz said he heard someone yell, “he’s got a gun, run, run!”

Police officers, including the bomb squad, responded to the scene and several nearby buildings, including Stuyvesant, were placed on lockdown, with those inside told to take shelter.

The Fire Department said officials responded just after 3pm, local time, to reports of a mass casualty at Chambers and West Streets.

Source: theage.com.au

For further information on the Meridian Crash Barrier System please contact us at AML Risk Management on 03 9326 2244 or leave your details on our contact page on the AML website.

AML – Planning, Protection, Prevention