Hostile Vehicle Guidelines for Crowded Places

A key report in Australia’s new terror strategy

Following a horrific spate of terrorist attacks in the UK and Europe where vehicles have been used as weapons to target masses of people in crowded places – perimeter security is a priority for all western nations.

Concerned about this threat domestically, the Australian Government has launched an incredibly high-quality hostile vehicle mitigation guide for owners, operators and designers of pedestrianised and crowded public places.

The report, which is endorsed by the Australia-New Zealand National Counter-Terrorism Committee (ANZCTC), offers excellent advice to help professionals assess the vulnerability of their site and provide guidance about how crowded places can be made safer.

The guidance is so detailed and relevant to anybody charged with protecting a public place here in the UK, we wanted to share it with our audience of specifiers, designers and security personnel in the hope it can help protect our citizens. Please click here to read or download.

 Inspired by themes within, we have included some of our own analysis and explored certain points we think most pertinent to the UK audience. We hope this is helpful if you are researching how to protect open, crowded public places.


The context of terrorist vehicle threat

 The abhorrent tactic of using vehicles to deliberately kill or injure as many people as possible, is a relatively new phenomenon in western nations.

 It is saddening to think that the everyday availability of motor vehicles – a factor that contributes significantly to the quality of life and freedom we all enjoy – now leaves us exposed to danger.

 Vehicle terror tactics have however been used by militia and terrorist factions in conflict zones for decades.

 The need for detailed strategic guidance, as demonstrated by the Australian Government’s robust response, has been hastened by a spike in online terrorist propaganda glorifying such attacks and calling for global emulation of them. Such warnings have been widely publicised in the media.

 It is also however important to acknowledge that the potential for vehicle attack is not limited to terrorism. Here in the UK we know only too well that vehicles can be used to commit crimes such as armed robberies or ram raids. Vehicle incursion can also happen by accident if, for example, a driver falls asleep at the wheel.

 Global and domestic expertise amassed by UK security experts mean we have a lot of practical learnings to draw from.