The Australian government has prepared guidelines for businesses and communities to help minimize the risks of vehicular terrorist attacks, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced days after the latest attack left 13 dead in Barcelona.
‘Australia’s Strategy For Protecting Crowded Places From Terrorism’ proposes measures like placing statues, bollards, and other roadblocks to protect crowded places and separating roads and pedestrian walkways on bridges. The plan has been in the making for a year since the terrorist attack in Nice, France, Turnbull told reporters in Sydney on Sunday.
“After the Nice truck attack last year I asked the counter terrorism co-ordinator… to get together with all of the state and territory police agencies, with business, with local government and make sure that we had a comprehensive strategy for protecting crowded places,” Turnbull told reporters.
“What we’ve done with this Crowded Places strategy is we have set out a series of tools by which owners and operators of venues… are able to assess the vulnerability of their site, see how they can make it safer and know where to seek advice from police,” he said.
Speaking alongside the PM, New South Wales Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said that the new guidelines give a consistent method for risk assessment and prevention for all of Australia.
“I think in the past, law enforcement and government has asked the community and the media to play an important part in the prevention of terrorism but what we’re doing now is tying in local businesses and local government to all be on the same page,” Fuller explained.
The document was prepared by the Australian New Zealand Counter Terrorism Committee and also suggests ways to deal with attacks involving knives, guns, bombs, or chemicals. Architects are encouraged to incorporate the security measures into new projects they develop.
Australia is among the countries where high-profile vehicle-ramming happened this year. In January, a man killed six people and injured several dozen in Melbourne when he drove a car into a crowd.