Countering the threats of retail ­terrorist vehicle attacks

March 2019 Editor's Choice, Access Control & Identity Management, Security Services & Risk Management, Retail (Industry)

On December 19, 2016, the news exploded with information about a vehicle attack on a Christmas market in Berlin that killed at least 12 and injured more than 50. Less than a month before, the US State Department had warned about such attacks in public places, saying that extremist groups, including the Islamic State and Al Qaeda, were planning to focus on such locales during the holiday season.

Indeed, both terrorist groups have called on followers to use trucks in particular to attack crowds. On July 14, a truck ploughed into Bastille Day vacationers in Nice, France, killing 86 people. Then, an intoxicated driver injured at least 28 people when smashing into the Krewe of Endymion parade, the largest at Mardi Gras in New Orleans, at a yet unprotected intersection. Finally, four people were killed in Stockholm by a terrorist who had stolen a truck to run them down.

To stop such attacks, security professionals need to be cognisant of two different types of vehicle access points for such massive, cowardly incidents to occur. The first would be in a location where the primary use is pedestrian, but, frequently, vehicles need to pass through. An example could be a square in which the maintenance truck comes through to clean the square periodically.

Other areas could be those locations with restricted parking. At a hospital, it may be the entrance to the emergency unit. Such access points are well served by bollards, some moveable, that go up and down to let vehicles through and others fixed or stationary.

The other access points are those that are temporary. At an event, traffic may need rerouting. A store might be having an open house. In either case, sections normally open to traffic will be closed to create pedestrian paths and gathering points. However, these areas still have a need for delivery trucks and certain other authorised vehicles to enter. These locations are best protected with crash-rated portable barriers that erect in 15 minutes and are then removed once the event is over.

Bollards, the most used permanent solutions

Bollards are aesthetically pleasing and let pedestrians move between them in non-roadway applications. Bollard systems operate individually or in groups. They are used for intermediate level security applications. Individual bollards are up to 32 cm in diameter, up to 88,9 cm high and are usually mounted on 0,9–1,5 m centres. They are tested to stop and destroy an attacking vehicle weighing 4536 kg moving at 104 kmph, or a 9072 kg vehicle moving at 74 kmph. Typically kept in the ‘up’ position to stop traffic, moveable bollards lower to allow vehicles through.

Ranging from faceted, fluted, tapered, rings and ripples, colours, pillars, to shields, emblems and logos, bollards look nice and are versatile. Buyers can specify ornamental steel trim attached directly to the bollard, or select cast aluminium sleeves, which slip right over the crash tube. Bollards can be galvanised for corrosion resistance, fitted with an internal warning light for increased visibility and engineered to suit high traffic volume. If damaged, simply slip off the old and slip on the new.

Fixed post bollards are available to secure the sides of roadways with the same crash rating and appearance as their moveable cousins. Versus cement barriers such as posts and pots, many campuses prefer fixed post bollards for several reasons. First of all, when hit, cement posts and pots can explode, literally spreading shrapnel throughout the crowd, potentially creating numerous injuries. Shallow foundation bollards can be installed within sidewalks or on top of concrete deck truss bridges as well as conform to the inclines and turns of a locale. Think of the attack in London. They would be a perfect solution for such sites.

Temporary barriers are especially popular

By their very nature, terrorist attacks are unpredictable and predicated on surprise. Staying one step ahead by identifying vulnerable areas, and securing them, is critical to staving off vehicular attacks. That means being able to deploy security equipment in tough conditions, at a moment’s notice. Such equipment has existed for several years in the forms of portable temporary barriers.

Terrorists typically don’t go where they see barricades, so placing them wherever possible attacks can happen reduces security risks dramatically. Temporary barriers are often used to protect facilities while permanent ones are being built. Plus, they’ve even been effective for the long-term where physical conditions preclude permanent solutions.

Moveable self-contained barricades can be towed into position to control vehicle access within 15 minutes to answer the need of organisations that quickly require a temporary barricade system to address a specific threat or secure a facility during special events. These mobile deployable vehicle crash barriers carry a M40 rating, stopping 13 608 kg vehicles travelling at 64 kmph. No excavation or sub-surface preparation is required. Once towed into position, the portable barricade uses DC-powered hydraulic pumps to unpack and raise and lower itself off its wheels. There is no hand cranking. Wheels are stored along the sides and the vehicle ramps fold out, completing the implementation. To move the barrier from that spot to another, the procedures are just reversed.

Differing from the ‘hard stop,’ wanted with anti-terrorist barricades, the Soft Stop technology of the portable barrier decelerates and stops the vehicle over a short distance. This is important because, in many cases, the tragedies that the portables negate are accidents. Authorities want the vehicle stopped but they also want to minimise injury to the driver.

No application too large or small

Protecting people from vehicle attack is no small responsibility; it’s becoming mandatory. Knowing that you’ve got the right equipment in place to secure the campus from vehicle threat and prevent what is becoming all too common human tragedy brings a peace of mind that no amount of money can buy. Carefully researching available options and consulting with experts will ultimately lead to the right solution in helping you protect your campus from vehicle-based terrorism.

For more information go to www.deltascientific.com




Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page



Further reading:

Social media and intelligence-led surveillance
July 2019, Leaderware , Editor's Choice, Integrated Solutions, Security Services & Risk Management
Social media has become a major feature of most people’s lives in the last few years and they can be invaluable as a source of information for companies and security organisations.

Read more...
The 4th Industrial Revolution
July 2019, Wolfpack Information Risk , Editor's Choice, Cyber Security, Security Services & Risk Management, Industrial (Industry)
Most major industries have turned to and are reliant on technology to run their operations. This is a time of great promise, but also one of frightening peril.

Read more...
Data protection more challenging
July 2019 , Editor's Choice, IT infrastructure
The number of businesses unable to recover data after an incident nearly doubled from 2016, according to the Global Data Protection Index surveying 2 200 IT decision makers from 18 countries.

Read more...
Cyber-attacks target operational technology
July 2019 , Editor's Choice, Cyber Security, Industrial (Industry)
Focus on operational technology security increasing as around 74% of OT organisations come under attack in the past year, finds a new Fortinet report.

Read more...
Fear of the unknown
July 2019, Kaspersky Lab , Cyber Security, Security Services & Risk Management
Fear of the unknown: while there’s still interest in cryptocurrencies, just 19% locally understand how they work.

Read more...
Ingo Mutinelli moves to IDEMIA
July 2019, Technews Publishing, IDEMIA , Editor's Choice, News
IDEMIA, the security and identity management company has announced that Ingo Mutinelli will be taking on the post of regional sales director for the southern Africa region.

Read more...
Residential Estate Security Conference 2019: Integrating man and machine for effective security and operations
July 2019, Technews Publishing , Editor's Choice, News, Residential Estate (Industry), Conferences & Events
The Residential Estate Security Conference 2019 will delve into how estates and their service providers can better integrate man and machine for more effective security and operations.

Read more...
Milestone appoints new VP for research and development
July 2019, Milestone Systems , Editor's Choice, CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring, News
Milestone Systems has appointed Tom Bjerre as its new VP for research and development. He will oversee planning, development, testing and release of Milestone Systems’ video management software.

Read more...
Child fingerprint identification solution
July 2019 , News, Access Control & Identity Management
Gavi, NEC, and Simprints to deploy world’s first scalable child fingerprint identification solution to boost immunisation in developing countries.

Read more...
Johnson Controls launches Technology Contracting in Africa
July 2019, Johnson Controls , Editor's Choice, News, Security Services & Risk Management
To address the growing challenge of planning, integrating and maintaining a multitude of different, highly connected systems, Johnson Controls is launching Technology Contracting in Africa.

Read more...