Hostile Vehicle Mitigation (HVM): Your questions answered

The term ‘hostile vehicle mitigation’ (HVM) is commonly used in the event security, counter terrorism and local authority sectors, but there is a lot of technical terminology around HVM and confusion about what hostile vehicle mitigation really means. In his FAQ system, we provide answers to some of the key questions about HVM. If you have more questions about hostile vehicle mitigation get in touch with our team, who will be happy to advise you and share our HVM knowledge.


Hostile vehicle mitigation (HVM) is commonly used as a generic term to describe barrier equipment used to protect against vehicle as a weapon attacks, malicious vehicle incursions, ram raids, or accidental incursions into pedestrian areas (also known as errant vehicles).

The term HVM does refer to a wide range of barriers and perimeter protection products to protect people and assets from vehicle attacks and errant vehicles, however, best practice hostile vehicle mitigation is much more than HVM products.

In reality, HVM can be best understood by using the full term ‘hostile vehicle mitigation’ because the term actually applies to the strategic deployment of HVM equipment, such as HVM barriers and pedestrian permeable HVM systems, as part of a hostile vehicle mitigation strategy and wider counter terrorism plan. In this sense, HVM is much more than HVM equipment; it is a service designed to protect people from the risks associated with vehicle attacks and errant vehicles.

The question of whether you need HVM at your event depends on a number of factors, including the size and location of your event. We recommend a threat, vulnerability and risk assessment to ensure that any hostile vehicle mitigation strategy and HVM deployment is appropriate and proportionate to the identified risk, as well as your operational requirements and budget.

The proposed Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill, also known as Martyn’s Law or Protect Duty, sets out mandatory requirements for protecting publicly assessable locations (PALs) and this may mean that there is a more formal requirement to establish a hostile vehicle mitigation strategy for your event and deploy HVM equipment.

Working with a trusted partner that can provide a full risk assessment, specification, and deployment service will help you answer your ‘do I need HVM at my event?’ question, and ensure that your hostile vehicle mitigation is proportionate to the level of risk.

Traffic management measures, such as cones and un-rated traffic management barriers should never be mistaken for HVM or used as an alternative to certified hostile mitigation systems. It is a mistake to think of HVM as traffic management – hostile vehicle mitigation is part of a counter terrorism strategy and you should always choose HVM equipment that has been independently tested and rated aligned to the identified risk.

HVM equipment will usually be IWA 14-1:2013, PAS68:2013 or VADS rated – or it may comply with more than one of these certifications. Your HVM should be installed to manufacturer’s guidelines and in an ‘as rated’ hostile vehicle mitigation configuration that delivers a level of HVM protection aligned to the identified risk.

Procuring hostile vehicle mitigation involves much more than acquiring HVM equipment; it is a service that includes correct, proportionate specification of HVM equipment aligned to your operational requirements and hostile vehicle mitigation risk, along with expert installation by trained HVM technicians.

You should always check that your HVM provider will deploy your HVM equipment as specified, with full quality assurance documentation for the complete HVM installation, along with itemisation of any variation from the ‘as rated’ configuration. You also need to be certain that your HVM equipment for event security is expertly installed by manufacturer-trained and accredited HVM installers, and that it has been properly stored, inspected and maintained when not in use, so that it delivers its full, certified HVM performance.

HVM equipment has been designed to stop vehicles on contact, preventing hostile vehicles or errant drivers from entering protected zones or pedestrian areas, where they could cause harm to people or assets.

HVM equipment provides effective hostile vehicle mitigation by acting as both a visible deterrent for would-be attackers, and physical hostile vehicle mitigation protection to prevent vehicles from entering the protected area. For more information on the various types of temporary HVM, semi-permanent HVM and permanent HVM available, visit our HVM page or download our brochure.

The risk of vehicle as a weapon attacks and errant vehicles doesn’t just apply to events; it can affect any public realm space where crowds are likely to gather. HVM equipment can be used to protect any high footfall environment and is often specified for periods that are considered higher risk, such as the festive season or the tourist season. Selecting pedestrian permeable hostile mitigation systems for high footfall areas means that people and places can be protected, while enabling people to move about freely. Our public realm, pedestrianisation and outdoor dining pages explain how HVM improves the security of public spaces.

Yes, HVM can be customised to suit particular events or locations. However, when we talk about customisation of HVM we are not referring to any changes to its hostile vehicle mitigation properties or performance. Customisation of HVM refers only to aesthetic HVM customisation, using vinyl wrapping to enable your HVM equipment to be used for branding, advertising or wayfinding.

There are lots of examples of how HVM is used to improve security across a wide array of hostile vehicle mitigation requirements including sporting events, music events, public realm HVM and Christmas markets, to name a few. You can find some of these HVM examples in our case studies.

The cost of HVM for your event or location will depend on the security requirements. The hostile vehicle mitigation should always be aligned to threat, vulnerability and risk, but it should be proportionate. Part of that proportionality for HVM is considering operational requirements and the available HVM budget alongside risk. There is always more than one option for hostile vehicle mitigation and we will always discuss with you the right HVM solution to meet all your needs.