Physical Security

Terrorist vehicle attack challenge

by Mark Rowe

The UK and the security industry face their biggest ever challenge, says the MD of a bollard, blocker and security street furniture manufacturer.

Jonathan Goss, managing director of Townscape Products, said: “The need to improve public security here in the UK has never been more critical. Terrorism has taken a horrific turn over the past year and those that wish to undermine our way of life have begun using vehicles to cause mass harm.

“Engineered PAS 68 Hostile Vehicle Mitigation (HVM) products are designed specifically to absorb vehicle impact. As such, using them as a shield to protect the public can be incredibly effective. However there is a danger that HVM systems that are obviously installed to provide security, will create further civilian unease by making people feel as though they are living under constant threat of attack. As such, specification and procurement professionals must take a holistic approach to perimeter protection.

“By taking a long-term preventative view, it is possible to ensure the correct level of protection while enhancing the aesthetics and the functionality of public spaces. This can be achieved by installing architecturally designed counter terror blocks that provide comfortable seating, counter terror planters that brighten up the built environment, and PAS 68 bollards that appear exactly like standard bollards to the untrained eye.”

Townscape Products recommends measuring the effectiveness of HVM products against the Publicly Available Specification (PAS) 68: 2010 standard. Properly accredited PAS 68 counter terror blocks, bollards and planters can stop a 7.5 tonne vehicle travelling at up to 50mph, as tested.

Goss adds: “To ensure you are implementing the highest level of HVM counter terror security, products must be PAS 68 tested. This is a classification awarded to security products that pass the extensive testing process which assesses their impact tolerance. Security systems that don’t carry this industry standard cannot be relied upon as effective perimeter security.”

About the firm

The Nottinghamshire-based company also makes general, non-security street furniture, including solar-powered products, such as shelters, noticeboards and ‘solar bollards’, that have motion sensor that turn on when pedestrians approach, brightening the path, making people less likely to bump into things. Townscape Products was recently awarded BS EN ISO 9001:2008 accreditation for the manufacture and sale of vehicle defence, street furniture and graphic concrete products. Its products are in use at UK railway stations and airports, and the Gunwharf Quays development in downtown Portsmouth. For case studies visit

Picture courtesy of Townscape; granite blocks to counter vehicle ramming at 20 Fenchurch Street in central London.

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