Marshalls’ range of protective street furniture is designed to promote the safety of shared urban spaces.
Providing functional uses through products such as planters and seating, our protective landscape furniture is made from a number of different materials designed to increase structural support and help provide protection against disruption and attacks.
Our Rhinoguard™ protective bollards are a great addition to security-focused projects. They, along with a number of our other products come with PAS-rated classification codes as standard, meaning they’ve been rigorously tested to withstand vehicle attacks. These include the PAS 68 bollards, cycle stands and litter bins , all of which are now the industry standard.
Marshalls can help provide advice on furnishing and developing urban areas in terms of both public safety and aesthetic appeal, choosing from our range of products to find the colours and designs that best suit your requirements.
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Up until now, there has been no tested and proven standard for an assured security product to protect against criminal ram raids. Roger Knight, Marshalls’ Head of New Product Development and Engineering for Landscape Protection, explains what the new PAS 170 standard will provide and how it could help businesses and government organisations save millions of pounds in damages every year.
Planners and security advisers face a significant challenge with the number of criminal ram raids on commercial property rising across the UK and Europe, particularly on retail outlets and ATMs. The bill for damages is substantial. According to the most recent European ATM Crime Report, criminal attacks on ATMs increased by 80 per cent year-on-year in the first half of 2016. Here in the UK, the Association of Convenience Stores found that small retailers faced over £8 million in damages from ATM ram raids last year, with a further £38 million for robberies and burglaries, the majority of which involved a vehicle impact.
Mitigating this threat requires a different approach to protecting against terror attacks, which typically involves landscape protection products manufactured to the British Standard Institution’s (BSI) Publicly Available Specification (PAS) 68 and the International Workshop Agreement (IWA) 14.1 standards. For any planner or security expert, it’s vital that the type of product installed is proportionate to the risk. In many situations where there is a criminal threat, such as a shop front, retail park or ATM, businesses and local authorities may only need security products that protect against vehicles travelling at lower speeds, and not those manufactured to the highest specifications.
Before now, there was no accredited standard for this type of product and the only lower-rated products organisations were able to procure were ‘anti-ram’. But the Government has now addressed this need through PAS 170, which involves a new set of tested and proven standards to ensure organisations can access an assured security product for this level of threat.
PAS 170 delivers a testing standard for vehicles of up to 2.5 tonnes travelling at between 10 and 20 mph. This is significantly lower than the regulations developed to mitigate against vehicle-borne terror attacks (PAS 68 and IWA 14.1), where the testing weights typically range from 1.5 tonnes to 7.5 tonnes for speeds of either 30, 40 or 50mph.
Organisations can reap a number of benefits from this development. The lighter weights and vehicle speeds provide product manufacturers with the opportunity to conduct a greater number of tests with a wider range of vehicles. In addition to being more cost-effective, businesses and local authorities will have more choice when it comes to picking the right type of security product for a particular space. For example, there are a large number of scenarios were there could be no requirement to consider a product that can stop a 7.5 tonne articulated lorry travelling at 50mph.
Unlike previous anti-ram solutions, new products tested and certified by PAS 170 will not only provide organisations with assurance and proof of performance for the first time, but will also help reduce insurance premiums.
Whether the requirement is to mitigate against vehicle attacks linked to either terror or criminal activity, the key consideration is ensuring that the type of product specified is proportionate to the level of threat. Planners and security specifiers now have the flexibility to procure an assured, certified product to mitigate against threats from lighter vehicles travelling at between 10 and 20mph intent on criminal damage or burglaries. This, in turn will offer organisations a cost-effective method of protecting people certified to official standards that also take design and aesthetics into account.
Out of sight, out of mind – a new approach to mitigating vehicle terror attacks
The terror threat posed to the public has evolved dramatically over the last couple of years. Large-scale, meticulously planned bomb attacks have given way to vehicle assaults that target pedestrians. Concrete blocks and barricades - largely temporary measures - have been installed across the USA and Europe to protect areas of high footfall, national infrastructure and government buildings. But Lara Valdur Eha, Product Manager for Marshalls Landscape Protection, argues that authorities in the USA and Europe must assign a greater role to design aesthetics when it comes to specifying the security measures that can prevent vehicle attacks.
In light of the clear shift in terrorist strategy, the issue of protecting crowds of people from vehicles must now be considered a key issue for architects, planners and designers of urban, public spaces. We have seen a steep rise in the number of risk assessments carried out in towns and cities across the USA and Europe over the last 18 months, covering all types of infrastructure, buildings and events.
This new threat is significantly more difficult to predict. Rather than face the risk of exposure of planning attacks over an extended period of time, terror organisations are now recruiting, encouraging and facilitating plots through remote ‘supporters’. Stripped down to the bare-bones of an individual with motivation, intent and access to a vehicle, this type of attack has pared down the timeline between planning and execution to a matter of hours.
In reaction, we’ve seen authorities take a largely primitive and unsophisticated response. Large metal barricades, barriers and concrete blocks have become the default solution, providing an effective but very visible, fear inducing method of protection. New installations of these barricades at Disney World in Florida, nuclear power stations and government buildings in Washington, together with those erected across London, Barcelona, Nice, Berlin and Melbourne, are cases in point. In October last year, a man drove a rented pickup truck down a busy Manhattan side walk, killing eight people and injuring 11 others. Since the attack, New York City has spent nearly $65 million on protective measures, including the installation of 1,500 metal barriers in key locations around the central districts.
But while it’s clear cities are taking the threat seriously, this type of protection makes the potential threat very visible to members of the public. This can create doubt, anxiety and create an environment of fear. Complaints from the public about this type of security measure have resulted in negative national headlines, for example several stories in the US and UK national press stated that new barriers erected at Disney World had turned the tourist destination into “a fortress”.
Establishing an environment of fear
Creating this deep feeling of insecurity is a clear objective for the terrorists conducting the vehicle attacks and, as such, those responsible for designing and securing urban spaces should not just be working to prevent them, but fighting against the psychology of terror, too. Stopping the threat is obviously the priority, but addressing the impact of security measures among the public should be given strong consideration by those designing and securing cities from terrorist or criminal activity.
The human psychology behind this issue constitutes a vicious circle, with the higher perception of risk resulting in a greater threat felt by an individual. This theory applies directly to the presence of visible anti-terror security measures, such as the barriers and barricades we’ve seen erected over the last 18 months which increase levels of suspicion, tension and fear among the public.
This is a reaction that is hard-wired into the human brain. Anxiety worsens cognitive functioning as our attention is drawn away from everyday life and towards something that is threatening and unusual. In effect, the very action of fortification is increasing the fear that people feel. It’s clear that this type of Hostile Vehicle Mitigation (HVM) measure could deter people from using highly populated areas, such as shopping malls, theme parks and sports events, having a significant effect on businesses.
Giving greater focus to design aesthetics
The threat of terrorists targeting crowded public places provides authorities with a new and complex challenge. The need to create safe spaces oﬀers those responsible for their design and protection a diﬃcult compromise between maintaining the open, liveable nature of the public realm and the necessity for security - especially in those cities and places that have built global reputations on the back of their visual appeal. This dichotomy - and our attempt to address the issue so far - does raise a fundamental question about how the inclusion of eﬀective security changes the nature of the urban spaces we share.
The majority of security measures that we see being installed across the US and Europe make little consideration for the design and aesthetics of an environment and represent a short-term approach when it comes to HVM. Their presence can radically change the nature of these spaces.
In her study ‘Invisible Security: the impact of counter-terrorism on the built environment’, Rachel Briggs writes: “It has been argued that ‘security’ has become the justification for measures that threaten the core of urban social and political life – from the physical barricading of space to the social barricading of democratic society – that rising levels of security in cities will reduce the public use of public space.”
To prevent this, urban planners and designers need to consider how protective measures can be integrated into a town and city centre without changing the way people feel about how they use a particular space. As terrorists have re-thought their tactics, designers of security measures like ourselves, have had to re-think the way in which we can mitigate vehicle attacks. The key question is how security can be more subtly integrated in to the design of our public areas so it’s unobtrusive, unthreatening and eﬀectively hiding in plain sight.
Integrating security into an environment
We believe that you can protect people and places from terrorism through landscape design, and can do so in a way which is both eﬀective and doesn’t destroy the vibrancy of open, accessible urban spaces. Security should not just be about product speciﬁcation. On a human scale, it requires a far more considered approach where the environment is created to intrinsically provide the protection people need, without an obvious show of ‘defence strength’.
Thankfully, we’re starting to see a shift in how urban planners and designers are tackling this challenge. Europe, and particularly the UK, is taking the lead. The UK’s Centre for Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) has ensured that a requirement for aesthetic design is included as one of its six key guiding principles for delivering successful protective methods against vehicle attacks.
This forms part of a more multi-layered approach, which is not limited to simply introducing new objects or barriers to block attacks. Depending on the level of risk – which is often determined by the type of vehicle that can access the area and the speed it could reach – security should be considered at the outset and as a long-term solution. Firstly, designers and planners should evaluate the existing road infrastructure to keep vehicle speed to a minimum. This can include various traffic calming measures, such as chicanes, bumps and restricted width lanes, together with protected pedestrianized areas or water features that can slow approaching traffic in or close to highly populated spaces, or even preventing access entirely.
As a second step, security advisors should consider re-enforced landscape furniture such as planters, seating, litter bins, lighting columns, cycle stands and bollards, which act as a far subtler final line of protection than fences, steel barricades and concrete blocks. Although these products look like regular landscape furniture, they are built with fortified PAS68 certified cores - the latest specification for barriers and bollards to assist in terrorism prevention, which specify a classification for vehicle security barriers and their foundations when subjected to impact. The foundations are built to varying depths, suitable for spaces with limited excavation and depending on the specified risk. Using the strongest specification, a single piece of furniture can stop a 7.5-tonne articulated lorry travelling at 50 mph.
Delivering the aesthetic application
Taking an example of how this approach is now being implemented in the UK, Northamptonshire Police has secured the exterior of their new headquarters with landscape furniture that fits seamlessly into the surrounding landscape. Rather than ‘fortifying’ pedestrian zones, the organisation has used a range of bollards, seating, cycle shelters and bespoke tree planters to secure the area.
It’s unsurprising that the increased threat from this type of attack has led to authorities scrambling to protect highly populated areas, landmarks and key infrastructure. For example, after the fatal shooting in Las Vegas in October 2017, the city installed hundreds of bollards along the Las Vegas Strip in what officials called a “matter of life and death” to protect people from those who could use vehicles as weapons.
But while security has become a much higher priority when specifying a highly populated space, this is a permanent threat and the solutions used for HVM should be considered as a long-term response. Given the environment of fear steel barricades and concrete barriers induce and the knock-on impact this could have on business, it is vital that future measures can be integrated seamlessly into a landscape while providing the necessary protection against vehicle attacks. The focus should be on keeping this type of security out of sight and out of mind.
Safe, not scared; that’s how people should feel when in any public space. During recent years, the use of vehicles in terror attacks on crowded areas has far too often dominated news headlines across the globe, and now more so than ever, it seems that no place is safe from being a target.
Whilst security must always be paramount, this does not mean that areas need to be transformed into steel fortresses surrounding open spaces. It is imperative that our environment remains open and inviting to pedestrians, and any additional landscape protection products are proportionate to the level of possible threat, and seamlessly integrated into the surroundings.
Landscape Protection products that provide security against hostile vehicles, have not traditionally been viewed as products to enhance the landscape, more a necessary evil to ensure our people, places and infrastructure are kept safe from threat. In most cases, crash-tested products are developed with minimal consideration given to the design.
Landscapes have to work harder today to provide inclusive spaces that people want to be spend time in, making them feel safe and not scared. The challenge for designers is to incorporate the appropriate level of protection, while not compromising the aesthetic or function of public spaces.
Marshall’s new and innovative approach to Landscape Protection product design allows designers to integrate our protective RhinoGuard™ crash tested technology into aesthetically pleasing products that will enhance the landscape while providing the adequate level of security required.
Landscape Protection no longer needs to be limited to a long of bollards or heavy blocks. Instead a space can be protected with integrated solutions such as seating, planters, cycle parking bollards or even a litter bin.
Just because an area has to be safe . . . doesn’t mean the design does too.
Marshalls has been manufacturing hard landscaping materials for over 120 years and has become the leading supplier of products that create our urban environment. We have achieved this status through progressive product innovation and by demonstrating outstanding service levels to our customers. This privileged position will be sustained by continuous investment in our brand, our products and our people.
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