The terrible events in Christchurch in March this year have drawn attention to the potential of lone wolf attacks on innocent people by deranged individuals.
Not only are guns the weapon of choice, but also vehicles can be lethal in the hands of attackers seeking to cause maximum damage to crowds or buildings, says Mr Noel Maharaj, Managing Director, HTS Group Ltd, which is expanding its operations in New Zealand to supply world leading anti-terrorism solutions to protect the public from possible attacks.
Incidents of hostile vehicle attacks directed at crowded public spaces, both in New Zealand and internationally, have begun to draw focus on the ability to protect pedestrians and the general public.
Government authorities are focusing on hostile vehicle mitigation technology to stop offending vehicles before they reach pedestrians. The Australia-New Zealand Counter Terrorism Committee’s document Australia’s Strategy for Protecting Crowded Places from Terrorism emphasises the need to focus on pedestrian safety, particularly in high traffic public areas.
“Enquiries for safety and security technologies have trebled worldwide in recent years, as companies and organisations are becoming more aware of security risks evident globally, and how to mitigate against them,” said Mr Maharaj.
Ranging from simple barrier and boom gates for carparks, right through to advanced speed gates with integrated controls, HTS Group’s technologies are designed to protect spaces from unauthorised personnel that may intend to cause harm. The latest technologies include independently tested crash-rated bollards, gates and speed stiles, designed to protect people from threats inside buildings and out in the open.
The Rising Concerns for Pedestrian Safety
From local attacks on busy metropolitan streets, to incidents occurring across the world, pedestrians and the general public have increasingly become the victims. As concerns for public safety rise, Government departments, councils and sports venues across the world are implementing safety barriers, gates and removable bollards designed to enhance safety and minimise the possibility of hostile vehicle threats and attacks.
“It is no longer good enough to think ‘it won’t happen to us’ because hostile vehicles are being used in an increasing number of attacks on the public worldwide. Unfortunately, it only takes one,” said Mr Maharaj.
In addition to pedestrian safety, the security and protection of businesses and core utility assets is a major focus for security professionals. Establishments are always a good target for vehicle-borne threats, which can come in the form of vandalism or even through aggressive attacks from a determined terrorist or criminal.
“Facility security should be one of the primary issues that businesses should have deeply embedded within their management processes and systems. The mobility of a vehicle means it can be conveniently used as a weapon for malicious individuals and even as a delivery mechanism for explosives,” says Mr Maharaj.
“This is where Hostile Vehicle Mitigation (HVM) comes in. HVM’s primary goal is to prevent hostile individuals from breaching a perimeter successfully or completing a criminal act and accomplishing their purpose. This type of system is ideal for use in establishments, crowded public spaces and even in utility plants,” he said.
Security Measures for Hostile Vehicle Mitigation
Selecting the right equipment is vital to mitigate against vehicle-borne threats. The right equipment, targeted to a particular area and application, can help prevent or minimise casualties and injuries that result from malicious activities. HTS Group specialises in providing top quality HVM equipment, including:
Street Furniture, which ensures pedestrian safety without discouraging movement through the area. Security technologies that blend in with architectural layouts – such as planters, seats and bollards – provide an elegant, secure and functional solution.
Bollards, which are a cost-effective, versatile and easily installed security measure to protect crowded spaces and businesses situated near roads. They can be ground- or surface-mounted and static or automatic, depending on the application and what type of vehicles they are preventing.
HTS Group Ltd and Ezi Security’s wide range of security bollards are designed to provide heavy-duty maximum security against ram raids and other hostile vehicle situations, while maintaining aesthetic separation for pedestrian safety.
Wedges, which offer an optimal high security solution to protect buildings such as embassies, government buildings, airports, military sites and other highly sensitive areas such as data centres, power stations and telecommunications facilities.
Whilst maintaining an unobtrusive presence, rising wedge products can tear through the chassis of an approaching hostile vehicle travelling at considerable speed.
Barriers are one of the toughest HVM technologies available. These machines are capable of fully stopping a 7-tonne truck driving at up to 70kmph.
HTS Group Ltd, through its long-term relationship with Ezi Security Systems, supplies barriers with lower arms, to ensure that the initial impact on small passenger vehicles occurs at the front of the vehicle, slowing or stopping the vehicle before the upper barrier arm impacts the passenger compartment. Most other designs, without a lower arm, would hit at windshield level sheering off the top half of a smaller vehicle, which is more likely to be driven by a non-threatening innocent motorist.
Fencing, which is a standard component at most sites, industrial, commercial and public spaces. Steel posts and barbed wire are enough to stop most trespassers, however, some key locations require greater security and protection, especially from vehicular assaults.
The new generation of crash fences are designed to protect perimeters from accidental, terrorist or criminal attacks from malicious individuals. These crash fences can form a second barrier behind the existing decorative fencing around the facility providing the required level of protection.
Vehicle Security Gates, which have evolved in response to greater security requirements internationally, changing from standard gate products to impact-rated vehicle gates designed to withstand impact from vehicles weighing as much as 7,500 kilograms running at 48 kph to 80kph.
The requirement for a shallow footing in many locations excludes many products. However, the patented arrestor system featured in HTS Group’s Truck Stopper range of gates can provide the lowest penetration classification for its class with a shallow foundation, making it an ideal engineering solution for protection against hostile vehicles. What potential Vehicle borne threat are you facing?
“The security industry is rapidly changing, both in response to global threats, and in a pre-emptive nature, to safeguard against new threats that haven’t yet been realised. We’re seeing a strong trend towards advanced technologies such as perimeter security enhancements while maintaining the open space feel,” said Mr Maharaj.
“Determining the kind of vehicle-borne threat that your establishment may be faced with is the most important first step in Hostile Vehicle Mitigation. It means the technology can target the most likely threats and provide the best countermeasures,” he said.
For further information, please contact: Noel Maharaj, Managing Director | T: +64 (9) 634 7128 | E: firstname.lastname@example.org | W: www.htsgroup.co.nz | Office contact numbers: Auckland: +64-9-634-7128; Wellington: +64-4-939-1010; Melbourne: +61-3-9338-1077.