Hostile Vehicle Mitigation

Protective security and safety by design
We specialise in providing tailored, risk-based advice to assist site owners and entities with mitigating the threat of a hostile vehicle attack that targets crowds, infrastructure, or major events. SCG takes a ‘security and safety by design’ approach, which considers the operational requirements of the site/event owner, local environmental conditions, impact of measures within the public realm and the site-specific threat and risk context.

Our team has a background working with the Australian Government and its international partners, including the United Kingdom Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI), to contribute to the development of Australia-New Zealand Counter-terrorism Committee (ANZCTC) Crowded Places Strategies and nationally recognised HVM guidance.

Our consultants work with federal, state, and local governments, as well as private industry, including transport and urban design specialists, to build protection strategies and mitigation frameworks to define and guide a client pathway to the best possible HVM solution. This approach delivers a high level of client assurance and a truly risk-based solution to achieve optimal mitigation for a hostile vehicle attack.

We use advanced analytical tools and leading-edge methodologies to assess hostile vehicle risks, conduct vehicle dynamics assessment in line with CPNI guidance (best practice) and recommend risk mitigation strategies that reflect the client’s operational requirements and local threat context. We have provided bespoke HVM advice for both temporary and permanent solutions to clients with very different operating contexts, from State Governments and policing agencies to cultural institutions, transport hubs, critical infrastructure, universities, city centres and major events. Our HVM strategies include both safety (i.e. accidental vehicle incident) and security (i.e. malicious intent) initiatives.

SCG encourages site owners to consider HVM measures at the early inception phase of a new site development or in planning for the redevelopment of an existing site which involves crowded places. Early planning can broaden the HVM options available while supporting the security and-safety-by-design concept through smart integration of measures using a proportionate, precinct-wide, layered approach. This strategy also encourages creativity and helps to maintain a site’s sense of place for all to continue to use and enjoy.

Vehicle-as-a-weapon (ramming) attacks
Countering vehicle-as-a-weapon (VAW) attacks in a busy CBD or public realm environment can be challenging and requires a different approach to traditional HVM strategies that focus on mitigation of a vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIED).

Reducing VAW vulnerabilities while maintaining the legibility of the existing urban language and amenity of the site requires a sound, locally-focussed approach beyond simply putting barriers between vehicles and people. SCG’s comprehensive precinct-wide assessment methodologies, including transport and pedestrian analysis, assist owners to identify and prioritise proportionate treatments of the highest risk areas within their precinct. Given the high costs associated with standard impact-rated HVM measures, this approach is cost effective while maximising the effectiveness of counter-VAW measures.

Vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) attacks
SCG is well versed in assessing VBIED risks and recommending risk treatment options that reflect national (ASIO/ANZCTC) and international (CPNI) guidance, as well as vehicle security barrier standards applicable for use in Australia, such as the International Workshop Agreements 14-1 and 14-2. Key SCG staff have previously held positions in the military and intelligence sectors, which uniquely positions us to advise on this higher threat (intent/capability) attack vector and allows a clear understanding of the likely threat and VBIED modus operandi to identify proportionate counter-VBIED treatments.

We understand the principles behind explosions and blast effects, so we can provide advice that considers explosive effects from the blast wave itself through to secondary fragmentation that often constitutes the most deadly effect in an explosive detonation. Where required, SCG can also provide physical security advice to enhance building resilience against vulnerability to a blast event, to maximise protection for building occupants.

We employ a layered approach to assessing VBIED risks, from site geography, inherent stand-off arrangements and asset protection, boundary composition and control of access. SCG’s technical analysis includes:

  • Traffic behaviour to characterise the local traffic network
  • Swept path analysis to understand physical space requirements for legitimate vehicle movement
  • Vehicle dynamics assessment to quantify the maximum possible hostile vehicle approach speed at the specified locations

This analysis will ultimately determine the level of impact rating required for measures when creating an appropriate VBIED protection line.