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Hostile Vehicle Mitigation

Vehicle-borne threats range from vandalism to sophisticated or aggressive attack by determined criminals or terrorists. The mobility and payload capacity of a vehicle offers a convenient delivery mechanism for a large explosive device, although the vehicle itself may be used as a weapon. This section contains guidance that will help practitioners determine the vehicle-borne threat, assess site strengths and vulnerabilities, and identify suitable options for Hostile Vehicle Mitigation (HVM) measures.

Determining the type of vehicle-borne threat being faced

When specifying the nature of the vehicle-borne threat it is important to understand:

  • Modus Operandi (MO).  This includes parked, penetrative, encroachment, deception and duress or a combination of attack methods including surreptitious and forcible attack on the barrier with hand tools or explosives
  • Threat vehicle(s) - Unmodified road vehicles with specific characteristics - mass, speed and structure, as well as vehicle specific capabilities
  • Blast effect - especially if considering VBIED attack
  • Blast stand-off distance - must be considered in conjunction with the site  operational needs and security plan

How do I assess the strengths and vulnerabilities of my site to vehicle-borne threats?

Once the nature of threat is understood, practitioners should take a methodical and  considered approach to determine project objectives and highlight security vulnerabilities:

  • Develop detailed security requirements for HVM - Operational Requirements (OR) 
  • User Requirement Document (URD) if not covered in the detailed requirements - addressing additional business needs e.g. stakeholder liaison, planning and design
  • Practical site assessment - a layered approach incorporating the local area, blast stand-off, traffic management and vehicle access control
  • Technical assessment - e.g. Vehicle Dynamics Assessment (VDA) at specific locations based on the relevant threat vehicle(s)
  • Liaison with technical or security experts - e.g. CPNI or CTSAs, or RSES professionals with relevant experience

How can I reduce the vulnerability of my site and mitigate vehicle-borne threats?

Based on the project objectives and site assessment, a range of options can be incorporated into the design of a robust HVM strategy:

  • Principles of hostile vehicle mitigation - determine the aims of the HVM strategy and how it will integrate with other site security measures 
  • Traffic calming - can be used to limit vehicle approach speeds to a manageable level
  • Vehicle Security Barriers (VSB) -  provide proven vehicle impact protection and maintain blast stand-off.
  • Traffic management - when and how legitimate traffic will access the site
  • Vehicle access control - consider deployment of active VSB solutions, access procedures, long term operational management and emergency access 

Public realm integration

Integration of HVM measures within the public realm is increasingly common and whilst requiring the application of informed design choices meeting the needs of numerous stakeholders, can provide proportionate security measures without impinging on the needs of local businesses or functionality of the public space.

In addition to the publication of a public realm design guide for hostile vehicle mitigation CPNI has collaborated with the Department for Transport to produce guidance regarding the incorporation of HVM measures in the public space and specific advice on the use of bollards and their effect on pedestrian movement.

The related documents and pages provide a range of advice on standards and selection of appropriate measures. External links are listed below: