The relative performance and consequences of protecting crowded places from vehicle borne improvised explosive devices
2012-05-09T12:36:40Z (GMT) by
Crowded places have been the target of terrorist attacks for many years. Their inherent nature has resulted in a vulnerability to a range of attacks, most notably the threat of vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs). Government agendas have been seeking to reduce the extent of this vulnerability, by encouraging those who are responsible for the design, construction and operation of such places to incorporate counter-terrorism measures (CTMs) into their designs, and where necessary, retro-fit them into existing places. However, little is known about what measures can be used, as well as their performance and consequences. The aim of the research is therefore to identify the aforementioned range of measures through the development of a typology that also examines their relative performance and consequences for a range of scenarios, in order to inform key decision makers who are responsible for the protection of crowded places. Through the use of a qualitative research strategy and respective research methods, interviews, site visits and document analysis were carried out in both the UK and in the USA. A total of 47 participants were recruited for the research, with the collection of data spanning 16 months. A preliminary study was undertaken that determined a range of influences on whether crowded places are protected, as well as influences on the value of CTMs themselves. A theoretical framework was developed to capture and understand those influences. Conventional data analysis methods and internal validation techniques were used to subject the data to methodological rigour, ensuring the validity and reliability of the research. While the negative consequences of incorporating CTMs can be profound, every CTM that can be used has additional benefits; measures can be incorporated at no cost and can even generate revenue; and designing-in CTMs has a number of advantages over retro-fitting them. This research s contribution to knowledge in relation to methodology, empiricism, theory, industry, and policy has resulted in the creation of a significant amount of guidance for key decision makers who are responsible for the design, construction and operation of crowded places, as well as providing data on the benefits that can be gained from incorporating mitigative measures that is of interest to those who have a role to play in the design, construction and operation of the built environment more broadly. Recommendations for further research posit that greater understanding is needed in relation to the specific monetary costs of CTMs themselves, the experience of users of protected places, the implications of invisible CTMs, and the need for research into the assessment and incorporation of proportionality into the built environment. Practical recommendations put forward the need for clarification of legislation in relation to duties of care, the dissemination of the incentives to protect, and benefits of protecting, crowded places, the need for further debate and transparency regarding proportionality and what constitutes proportionate design, and the need to encourage greater engagement between stakeholders and the means through which this can occur. The research posits that legislative requirements encompassing the mitigation of terrorist attacks are apparent, and that therefore, organisations should incorporate CTMs into vulnerable places, yet as previously indicated, such CTMs do not have to cost anything.