Crowded Places: Keeping Australia secure

It's easy to think that we are safe here in Australia, far from the unrest we hear about overseas. Unfortunately this isn't always the case, with two incidents in crowded places in Australia  last year.

Neither of these local events were predictable. One, an attempt to plant two improvised explosive devices on an international flight, was only prevented due to suspicions raised by the clerk checking in the luggage – rather than security personnel or preventative systems. Regrettably, it's clearly wise to implement increased security measures in areas of mass gathering across Australia.

Could something have been done to prevent injury from the December attack in Melbourne?Bollards could have significantly reduced injuries sustained in the terror attack at Flinders St station in December 2017.

Terrorism in Crowded Places

These areas of mass gathering are referred to as Crowded Places by the Australia-New Zealand Counter Terrorism Committee. The ANZCTC has outlined that these areas – including stadiums, shopping centres, pedestrian malls, and public transport hubs, among others – are at the highest risk of being targeted.

The terrorist threat level has been set at Probable (essentially a 3 on a scale of 1-5 from Not Expected to Certain). This is perhaps more unsettling than a higher rating, as in a red alert scenario all stops can be pulled in establishing security against the certainty of an attack. Probable, on the other hand, leaves a lot to chance.

Crowded Places need greater security to ensure safety of the people using these areas.Crowded Places are more likely to be targets for acts of terror – greater security measures need to be implemented now.

Securing Crowded Places against Probable threats

The foremost experts on terrorism say another attack in Australia is likely.

The unfortunate reality of terrorism is that it's difficult to predict. As the foremost experts on terrorism acknowledge, another attack in Australia is likely. This means that now is the time to implement the security measures needed to protect our citizens.

Below you will find a series of solutions we at Gunnebo have engineered to do this exact job – technological and physical barriers put in place to promote public safety in the face of potential dangers.

1. Entrance control solutions for at-risk Crowded Places

Gunnebo's new SpeedStiles (FP DS) are fitted with biometric capabilities and can use facial recognition to grant access, rather than a more traditional card entry. This is immediately a more thorough entrance control option – cards can be shared or passed back and forth, whereas the same cannot be said for facial features.

These gates have a selection of parameter settings for customised operation. This means that for businesses that fall under the Crowded Places umbrella, staff members can be enrolled into the system and they will be scanned and quickly approved for unhindered access. On the other hand, it could be used to block people who have previously exhibited suspicious behaviour or who match against a database of individuals suspected of dangerous affiliations.

Below is a quick demonstration:

2. Perimeter control solutions for at-risk Crowded Places

Gunnebo's range of vehicle mitigation solutions are equally as essential to ongoing public safety. Whether a vehicle enters a crowd intentionally or by accident, an automobile has great potential to inflict damage and steps must be taken to prevent this from occurring.

– Tracked Gate

If you can section a Crowded Place off from the road, our Tracked Gate (M50) is a surefire way to secure a location. This sliding gate is no more difficult to operate than a regular gate, however it's been specifically engineered and rigorously tested to withstand a tremendous amount of force. It has an M50 certification, meaning it can stop a vehicle of up to 6.8 tonnes going 80 kph dead in its tracks.

See it in action below:

– elkosta Wedge Barrier

In the context of pedestrian areas or Crowded Places with access roads, the elkosta Wedge Barrier K12 is a great option to have at access points. They are installed into the road, so that when the barrier is inactive, it sits flush with the road's surface. The Wedge Barrier can then be activated so it springs up within seconds, blocking a vehicle from passing. These barriers are available in 2-4 metre widths, and can be manually operated or automated. This means they could detect high speed approaches, and activate in time to prevent disaster.

See how it works in practice:

– High-security bollards

For completely open Crowded Places, we suggest high-security bollards. These are crash rated and can keep vehicles from entering densely populated spaces. Gunnebo's bollards are among the few that are tested worldwide, and are capable of withstanding high impact. The lids can be illuminated in custom configurations, and the bollards themselves can be designed to automatically lower via hydraulics. These bollards are a great way to keep an area secure, without fencing it off.

The time to invest in these solutions is now. When the word "Probable" is being used to describe the likelihood of a public terror attack in our country, no security measure is too much. To find out more about our perimeter and entrance control solutions, contact Gunnebo now.

1 Story Maps. Terrorism. Accessed January 2018