Innovation to keep our towns and cities safe

Debbie Heald MBE discusses recent perimeter security innovations that are purpose-built to solve excavation issues while keeping people and places safe from hostile vehicle attacks.

Over the past few years, the demand for perimeter security products has risen. These systems are typically installed in city centres to defend against ram raids, safeguard pedestrians from terrorist vehicle attacks and protect prestigious, high-profile buildings.

Why is perimeter security important?

London witnessed two bridge terrorist attacks, in 2017. The attack near The Houses of Parliament saw six people die and 50 injured. The attack on London Bridge killed seven and injured 48 people. 

In 2019, hundreds of people were victims of terrorist attacks and the repercussions have an immense effect on their lives. Victims often suffer from long-term injuries and mental health issues and often require on-going therapy and support. 

Vehicle attacks don’t just relate to terrorism, with ram raids on ATM increasing in the last few years. In the Association of Convenience Store’s 2019 Crime Report, 353 ATM ram raids took place and these contraventions come with hefty price tags. Not only do banks have money stolen, but there is often substantial damage to the inside and outside of the building walls. These are extremely expensive to repair.  

How can we protect our cities and towns?

Hostile vehicle mitigation (HVM) products are an effective way to safeguard towns and cities from vehicle-borne attacks. Attacks can range from vandalism to sophisticated or aggressive attacks by determined criminals or terrorists. 

Products often need to be excavated deep into the ground to ensure its strength and ability to halt a vehicle crash. However, what happens when deep mount installation is not possible? And how do we protect these areas? 

Surface and shallow mount technology

Heald has specifically developed a range of surface and shallow mount technology which is ideal for areas where deep mount excavation is not possible because of the underground infrastructure that limits what type of products can be fitted. 

The Matador range is a patented solution that consists of either one, two or four sliding electric bollards. Its intelligent design allows constant pedestrian access, even when closed. It also allows access for permitted vehicles, such as service or emergency vehicles. 

The product can be simply bolted down to a suitable base and removed when necessary, making it ideal for temporary events. The Matador range can also be installed flush within the surface, requiring a very shallow foundation depth of 110mm – 160mm. 

As we’ve seen an increase in attacks taking place on bridges, considerations around how such protective measures can adapt to meet specific installation challenges bridges present. Digging into foundations or bolting products to the ground often damages the structural integrity of the bridge and even result in a collapse. However, after heavily investing in research and development, this year Heald launched their latest innovation specifically designed to protect bridges, as well as combatting installation issues.

The Bridge Bollard System consists of nine interconnected bollards on base plates and is the only product of its kind on the market that requires no pinning or large excavation and is capable of halting a 7.2-tonne N3C vehicle (18 tonner) at 30 mph (48 kph). 

 Complying to industry standards

Furthermore, it is imperative that security products adhere to industry standards to ensure they are fit for purpose. Heald’s products are tested to the latest British, EU and US security standards and they are an ISO9000 accredited company. By carrying out PAS 68, ATSM and IWA approved crash tests, Heald’s customers are assured they are receiving dependable, robust security solutions.

To discover how we can help with your security needs, contact us today.

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