A Derbyshire company has successfully tested a security device – inspired by a children’s toy – that is designed to protect crowds from attackers using vehicles as weapons.
Securiscape, based in Ashbourne, claims that its SecuriPod system could save lives by creating a temporary barrier capable of being installed across streets or at the entrance to public spaces.
Consisting of a series of 620kg, 7ft-tall metal pods standing 1.2 metres apart and linked together at the top and at the base by steel cables, the innovation allows pedestrians free access.
However, if a truck or other vehicle were to attempt to gain forced entry to where people are gathered, it would be almost surrounded by pods and ensnared in the cables in seconds, which would bring it to a complete halt.
The product, which can be rented for events and installed in a matter of minutes, was developed in the wake of terrorist attacks in Nice, Berlin and London, where attackers used lorries and vans to kill by deliberately driving them into crowds of pedestrians.
Securiscape has successfully tested its SecuriPod system
Securiscape has invested £40,000 in developing the SecuriPod system, which was tested at Mira’s test facility in Leicestershire last month, using a 7.5 tonne lorry travelling at 20mph.
When the truck hit a pod, it propelled it forward, causing the neighbouring pods to be dragged along with it.
The pods clustered around both sides of the vehicle while the cables wrapped themselves around the cab and the front wheels.
This stopped the truck within a distance of just five metres, while the cables also prevented the doors of the cab from being opened.
Although the engine of the truck was still running, once staff from Mira forced their way inside, they could not move the truck forward or backwards.
Mark Stone, managing director of Securiscape, said: “The test was a complete success and went as well as we could have hoped.
The system was able to stop a 7.5 tonne truck travelling at 20mph
“Not only did the truck come to a complete halt very quickly, it was totally immobilised and, if there had been a driver inside, they would have been trapped.
“We have been producing security equipment for five years and have a range of devices used to protect buildings such as sports stadia, embassies and shopping centres.
“We developed the SecuriPods following the horrific incident in Nice, when it was clear attackers were turning their attention to using vehicles to injure and kill and we have seen more examples ever since.
“This device is perfect for public events in locations which would be vulnerable to an attack. It’s temporary and surface-mounted, so there is no disruption or cost incurred through excavating the street surface in order to install footings.”
Mr Stone said the test of the Securipod system was a ‘complete success’
Mr Stone said the system was inspired by the child’s toy Weebles, which famously “wobble but they don’t fall down”.
He said: “The pods are heavy enough to make it impossible for a person to push them over, but they tip over slightly on impact with a vehicle.
“This causes the cables at the base to lift up and this is what enables them to catch around the wheels in order to stop them from turning.
“At other times, the cables are flat to the ground and can be covered in cable safety ramps, enabling people to walk over them.
“The pods, meanwhile, can be wrapped in any colour of plastic or used as branding devices so that they perform as decorative gateways to an event, quite apart from their life-saving capability.”
Source: Derby Telegraph