Safety nets used for first time at pa­rade

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS -

NEW por­ta­ble net­ting de­signed to stop ve­hi­cles as heavy as 17 tonnes plough­ing into crowds of peo­ple have been used for the first time.

Met­ro­pol­i­tan Po­lice used the equip­ment, known as Talon, at the Naval As­so­ci­a­tion Pa­rade in White­hall, West­min­ster , on Sun­day.

The road spread mat con­tains tung­sten steel spikes, mean­ing any ve­hi­cle that drives over it will have its tyres punc­tured, while the net­ting will tan­gle in the front wheels, bring­ing it to a halt.

It is also de­signed to en­sure that the ve­hi­cle skids in a straight line, sig­nif­i­cantly re­duc­ing risk to crowds and pro­duc­ing a well con­trolled stop.

The net can be de­ployed quickly by just two of­fi­cers in less than one minute and can ef­fec­tively stop a ve­hi­cle up to 17 tonnes. The speed and low man­power re­quired for de­ploy­ment also means that the nets can be re­lo­cated quickly if nec­es­sary.

Po­lice say Talon is likely to be­come a fa­mil­iar sight at events that at­tract large crowds in Lon­don. This new tool is just one of a num­ber of meth­ods used to pro­tect crowds at pub­lic events.

Hos­tile ve­hi­cle mit­i­ga­tion bar­ri­ers have been in­stalled on nine bridges and a num­ber of other sites across the cap­i­tal fol­low­ing ter­ror­ist in­ci­dents ear­lier this year at West­min­ster and Lon­don Bridge.

Ch Insp Nick Sta­ley, of the Met’s pro­tec­tive se­cu­rity op­er­a­tions unit, said: “This equip­ment un­doubt­edly has the po­ten­tial to save lives and is just one of a num­ber of mea­sures be­ing taken to pro­vide pro­tec­tion to crowds at­tend­ing ma­jor events in Lon­don and re­as­sur­ing busi­nesses, work­ers and vis­i­tors as they go about their daily lives.”

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