Hostile Vehicle Mitigation (HVM) Jargon Buster
Vehicles used for malicious intent pose a significant security threat, chiefly because of the amount of explosives they can contain and the damage the vehicles themselves can do.
The further you can keep hostile vehicles from your building, the less structural damage will be caused. This key security specialism, known as Hostile Vehicle Mitigation, comes with its own set of technical jargon and acronyms.
Use the checklist below to test or expand your knowledge of Hostile Vehicle Mitigation (HVM) terminology:
Vehicle-Borne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED)
The technical term for a bomb carried inside a vehicle then detonated inside or near to a target location. Typically a car or a lorry is used, but it could be a bus, a boat or even an airliner. This is the main threat that HVM implementations aim to prevent.
This involves analysing a location, including its purpose, its neighbours and its use, taking into account current intelligence on potential targets. Currently, crowded places are deemed under threat. Threat assessment within an HVM context will also weigh up the vulnerability of the location to different types of attack:
- Parked – could hostile vehicles park close to the location?
- Encroachment – are there gaps in your perimeter protection that could be exploited and allow a hostile vehicle to enter your location?
- Penetrative -could a vehicle be used as a weapon to attack a building or a physical perimeter at your location?
- Deception – could a vehicle be adapted to look like a legitimate vehicle to enter the location?
- Duress – could a legitimate driver be coerced into bringing a vehicle containing an IED into your location?
Implementing an HVM solution requires a detailed analysis of your site, possibly involving multiple professional disciplines and organisations. HVM solutions may have to take into account constraints around the architecture of the building, its foundations and any services that are buried underground. You will also have to research land ownership and available space. An investigation into any related planning restrictions for the locations in question may also be needed.
Blast Stand-off Distance
A key part of Site Assessment – this is the distance from the site or asset that you want to keep any potential VBIED. It is calculated specifically for each building and will depend on its construction.
By calculating the blast stand-off distance accurately and implementing it robustly, you can mitigate the extent of the damage caused by a VBIED. Of course, the blast stand-off distance you can establish will be dependent on boundary definition, neighbours and existing countermeasures.
The set of options for controlling vehicle access to a site, ranging from excluding vehicles altogether by means of physical barriers, allowing vehicles to enter your site only from a particular controlled access point or considering Traffic Calming measures, such as bends and chicanes.
Vehicle Security Barrier (VSB)
This is a physical security device, over and above general perimeter facilities such as fencing and walls, designed to provide perimeter protection by controlling the ability of vehicles to access an area and enforcing the blast stand-off distance. This barrier plays an integral role in mitigating the vehicle-born threat. A VSB is specifically designed to resist attack and generally made of exceptionally strong materials and requires structural foundations.
There is a wide range of Vehicle Security Barriers available including bollards, enhanced walls and fences. You can even use certain types of trees or water features such as fountains or ponds. The most successful VSBs are those that add something positive to the style and use of the location, such as planters with seasonal colour or reinforced seats.
Vehicle Access Control Point (VACP)
This is not just the point where you allow vehicles to access your site, such as a sliding or rising gate, this is a crucial area for maintaining the integrity of your location’s perimeter. So, as well as a physical means for providing access, you must establish a robust set of procedures for all possible situations that may arise at your VACP, such as emergency access and rejection of vehicles.
There is a range of products available and it is critical to assess these carefully. The key thing is to find a reputable company whose products meet the accepted industry standards and who can work with you to understand the specifications and technical requirements. You can consult with the Counter Terrorism Security Advisor (CTSA) from your local police force for advice in this area.
For more information on this topic, visit www.cpni.gov.uk
Brand & Development Manager, Frontier Pitts