Hostile Vehicle Mitigation (HVM) is the process of minimising the threat of vehicles used as weapons to target people, facilities and infrastructure. The type of threat can range from vehicle-based improvised explosive devices, as well as vehicles being used as a weapon themselves.
There are a range of HVM products to deter or delay these types of attacks. HVM products, including static and automated bollards, blockers, barriers and static street furniture, are tested to BSI PAS 68/69 (IWA 14.1) and PAS170.
Places where HVM should be considered
In 2017 the Westminster, London Bridge and Finsbury Park attacks, highlighted not only the very real threat to places of interest, such as the Houses of Parliament but the threat to ordinary pedestrians too within crowded areas.
Unfortunately, HVM attacks rise each year thus proving it is vital to get measures in place. According to the MOD, every year since 2015, the number of attacks has risen by 25%.
Places, sites and infrastructure that are potential targets, and therefore in need of HVM solutions, include: government buildings, airports, railway stations, sports venues, public places, such as popular retail areas, and places of entertainment – festivals, stadiums, factories, offices etc.
How to implement HVM solutions on your own premises
The first step to implement a solid Hostile Vehicle Mitigation strategy is to have the right mindset in place. This is commonly referred to as Deter, Detect and Delay, which should then be supported by a response plan to disrupt an adversary’s attack:
- Deter: stop or displace the attack
- Detect: verify an attack, initiate the response
- Delay: prevent the attack from reaching the asset (including measures to minimise the consequences of an attack)
At this stage, it is best to engage with security experts, such as RWS Ltd, who can assess the risk to your assets and advise of the appropriate strategies and tactics to mitigate the risk of vehicle-borne threats. Your security strategy should always be a bespoke one and provide what you actually need, not what you think you need. RWS Ltd can guide you in the right direction.
Once an integrated and cohesive strategy is in place, you can then set about implementing it. The solutions required should be proportionate to the risk and bespoke to the situation. However, there are a range of tried and tested methods, which can include:
- Security barriers
- Disguised HVM
- Creative HVM
- Security bollards
- Perimeter fencing
- Traffic calming and access control
Security barriers should undergo various destructive tests under the BSI PAS 68/69 (IWA 14.1) and PAS170 – the UK standard to test their HVM performance.
There is a wide range of Vehicle Security Barriers (VSB) available including bollards, enhanced walls and fences. Even certain types of trees or water features, such as fountains or ponds, can be effective as disguised hostile vehicle mitigation solutions.
The most successful VSBs are those that add something positive to the style and use of the location. For example, planters with seasonal colour or reinforced seats can help remove the fortress appearance, but sometimes this is not achievable and a mix is often the best solution.
Security bollards a stand-off distance between the asset and potential threat. Ideally, the stand-off distance should be approximately 30 meters, but this is not possible in all scenarios, particularly in urban areas. Nonetheless, establishing any sort of stand-off distance between the asset and vehicle-borne threat is imperative.
Security bollards also can also prevent criminal activity as well as terrorist attacks, such as deterring or slowing the advance of ram-raiding burglaries.
To meet security requirements, bollards must be positioned to maximise blast stand-off distance, and spaced at a maximum air gap between bollards as advised within the standards. Considerations must be made, however, for high volumes of pedestrian use and must always accommodate movement safety.
Perimeter control is your first layer of detection as well as defence, so it’s imperative the right solution is found for your situation and installed correctly. There are several ways this can be achieved, which our team of experts can guide you through.
The set of options available for traffic management and controlling vehicle access all form part of the solution to maintaining the integrity of a site and its boundaries. These solutions range from excluding vehicles altogether by means of physical barriers, allowing vehicles to enter your site through a controlled access point, or traffic calming measures, such as bends and chicanes.
An integrated approach to HVM
Having an integrated, or ‘joined-up’, approach to your security is imperative. It is no good having security systems, protocols or strategies work independently of one another. Instead, there needs to be a holistic approach.
We must consider how physical and digital security measures can work holistically and how the people in an organisation will interact with those systems. That’s where RWS Ltd comes in with our extensive experience in designing bespoke solutions to meet unique requirements, all while operating a completely confidential service.
To speak to one of our team about Hostile Vehicle Mitigation or integrated security for your building, asset or site, please call 01733 351136 or email firstname.lastname@example.org