Hostile Vehicle Mitigation (HVM): protecting against vehicle-borne threats
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. The HVM section contains policy and good practice guidance that will help practitioners to determine the vehicle-borne threat, assess site strengths and vulnerabilities, and provide options for HVM.
What type of vehicle-borne threat am I facing?
When specifying the nature of the vehicle-borne threat it is important to understand:
- Vehicle-borne threats to the national infrastructure;
- Modus Operandi (MO) - includes both forceful, surreptitious or a combination of attack methods;
- Threat vehicle(s) - there are a variety of standard and modified vehicle types each with specific capabilities;
- Explosions and blast effects - especially if considering VBIED attack;
- Blast stand-off distance - must be considered in conjunction with a variety of operational needs and the holistic security plan.
How do I assess the strengths and vulnerabilities of my site to vehicle-borne threats?
Once the nature of threat is well understood, practitioners should take a methodical and carefully considered approach to determine project objectives and highlight security vulnerabilities:
- Operational Requirement (OR) - a Level 1 statement of the overall security need and a Level 2 OR specific to HVM (see Related Documents);
- User Requirement Document (URD) - addresses additional business needs e.g. stakeholder liaison, planning and design;
- Practical site assessment - a layered approach studying the local area, blast stand-off, traffic management and access control;
- Technical assessment - e.g. traffic analysis, vehicle swept path analysis or vehicle dynamics assessment, depending on the threat and OR;
- Liaison with technical or security experts - e.g. CPNI or CTSA advisers, or RSES qualified professionals.
How can I reduce the vulnerability of my site and mitigate vehicle-borne threats?
Based on the project objectives and a study of the location, a number 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 security systems;
- Traffic management - define who, what, why, where, when and how traffic will access the site;
- Traffic calming - can be used to limit maximum possible vehicle speeds to a manageable and safe level;
- Vehicle Security Barriers (VSB) - maintain blast stand-off and provide proven vehicle impact protection e.g. bund, ditch, wall, gate, street furniture;
- Access control - consider deployment of active VSB solutions, procedures, long term operations management and emergency access.