Violent attacks have become the too-familiar headline of global news in recent years. From the assault in Spain that killed 13 and wounded nearly 100 to the Toronto attack that became Canada’s deadliest vehicle-ramming incident, public spaces appear to be under siege. However, coordination and preparation between venues, organizers and local authorities can help mitigate damage should an attack occur, and even prevent violence altogether.
Reasons Public Spaces Become Targets
There are a number of factors that may lead those with ill intent to target a public event, ranging from the deeply ideological to complete random chance. Experts do agree that most attackers may be motivated to choose a particular event based on the following factors:
- Attendees’ religious, political or cultural backgrounds
- Event’s political, historical or symbolic significance
- Event’s size, especially if it’s large
- Attendance of VIPs like political, religious or popular figures
- Amount of media coverage present
Both highly organized terrorists such as ISIS and more individualized extremists like “incels” want recognition and impact as a result of their actions and are likely to target groups for whom they have a particular hatred. This puts large events, like the Boston Marathon, at risk, especially if there is a substantial press presence.
Vehicles as Weapons
The use of vehicles as tools of destruction have become one of the top security concerns for public spaces. This tactic has grown popular regardless of ideology, and is especially alarming when coupled with cars’ accessibility: in many places, individuals only need a valid driver’s license to rent a truck like the one used in an attack in New York City.
Sociologists explain the phenomenon of replicated assaults as a “social virus” spread by media, including social media. News of a particular attack encourages or inspires other individuals to perpetuate the same form of violence. Unfortunately, this creates a feedback loop as more reports emerge following these tragedies, potentially sparking future assaults.
In the case of vehicle-ramming attacks, there are straightforward security solutions to protect patrons. Physical architecture such as bollards, barriers and barricades can stop a vehicle from entering a high-traffic area. Temporary venues can utilize portable barriers for the duration of the event, which are available to rent from companies that specialize in high security.
While it’s impossible to predict every crisis, responsible event planning can prevent tragedy and save lives. Delta Scientific has made it our mission to equip organizers, businesses and government facilities with the tools necessary to protect their visitors and staff. For more information on how we can help you implement vehicle access security, call us at (661) 575-1100 or contact us online.