Emily Thompson, Marketing Manager of BFT Automation, shares her thoughts and looks at mitigating terrorism through the introduction of physical, technical, and procedural protective measures.

General security, such as vehicular access, landscaping, fire evacuation procedure and adaptation of the original building design should be at the forefront of building protection.

UK terror threat

The UK terror threat has been at severe since August 29th 2014. At the time the Metropolitan Police issued a statement to say they recognise that the threat level is at 'severe', meaning an attack is highly likely, and have considered a range of threats, including the use of large vehicles.

Since then, Europe has seen some atrocious attacks, including two in Brussels, several in Paris, Nice, Berlin, Dijon, Nantes, Copenhagen, Zvornik, Diyarbak?r, Lyon, Ankara, Sarajevo, Magnanville, Istanbul, Wurzburg, Munich, Ansbach, and Rouen.

On the 14th July 2016, a 19-tonne cargo truck was deliberately driven into crowds of people celebrating Bastille Day on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, France, resulting in the deaths of 86 people and injuring 434. This was the fourth time a vehicle has been used as a weapon in France; this is also known as vehicle ramming.

There’s no doubting that the world has changed due to the threat of terrorism and it will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

Types of targets

From history, we can see that high value and political buildings; embassies and government buildings are a large target. However, crowded places seem to be the biggest target for terrorists as they cause maximum injury and loss of life, as seen in the 2016 Nice attack.

Depending on the site, there are a range of physical counter terror measures that can work to protect life, businesses, and buildings from terror attacks

These places could be permanent places of assembly; transport hubs, sports stadiums, shopping centres, pubs/bars, shopping centres, highstreets, visitor attractions, cinemas, theatres, and commercial centres. Temporary places of assembly such as festivals, protests, outdoor worship, road races and parades, are also prime targets.

Preventive measures

Depending on the site, there are a range of physical counter terror measures that can work to protect life, businesses, and buildings from terror attacks. These include:

Traffic management systems

  • Traffic barriers
  • Fixed, manual, and automated rising bollards
  • Parking systems
  • ANPR cameras
  • Perimeter fencing

Access control

  • Electronic locks
  • Commercial access entry systems
  • Intercom systems
  • Body scanners
  • Stop and search staff/sniffer dogs.
  • Metal detectors

It’s also worth considering CCTV. Although not a prevention tool, CCTV can be a deterrent and is important for post incident investigations too.

One measure that BFT Automation have vast experience in, is helping a range of businesses, banks, government buildings, and so on, to counter Hostile Vehicle Mitigation (HVM).

Bollards can protect vulnerable sites and crowded areas from parked, penetrative and encroachment attacks

Types of terrorist attack

As already discussed in this article, one of the most effective ways that terrorists have for delivery of a large quantity of bombs or weapons are vehicles such as cars, vans, and lorries. Typically, there are five styles of attack adopted:

  • Entry by duress - Against the operator of an entry barrier system or against the vehicle driver who has legitimate access to the site.
  • Encroachment – An attack which exploits any gap in the perimeter defences or by tailgating a legitimate vehicle through a barrier system.
  • Entry by deception – Either human deception or using a Trojan vehicle.
  • Parked – Stationary vehicles turned into improvised explosive devices (IODs).
  • Penetrative – Otherwise known as ‘vehicle ramming’ or ‘ram raiding’.

Anti-terror hydraulic rising bollards

One solution to help address some of these methods is to use anti-terror hydraulic rising bollards. We are finding that with the growing threat of global terrorism, more and more businesses and local authorities feel the need for anti-terrorist crash rated automatic rising bollards, as a means of perimeter protection, but what exactly does crash rated mean?

The difference between crash tested and non-crash tested bollards is certification by an agency such as the Department of State, or Department of Defence. There are some cases of products being described as crash tested without being tested by an independent agency. If in doubt, ask to see a copy of the certificate from the certifying agency.

Anti-terrorist, or crash rated, bollards are able to withstand a higher impact than standard bollards, and still remain functional thus maintaining the integrity of the perimeter protection.

Hydraulic rising bollards are a key piece of anti-terror equipment. There are varying sizes and levels of automated bollards which must meet international standards.

Bollards can protect vulnerable sites and crowded areas from parked, penetrative and encroachment attacks.

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