Hostile vehicle mitigation risk assessment

When to do a HVM risk assessment

Every publicly accessible location (PAL) and venue should have a risk assessment as part of the event planning process. It’s part of the due diligence that ensures threat and vulnerability are considered so that risk can be identified and planned for.

The draft Terrorism (Protection of Terrorism) Bill (Martyn’s Law) includes a stipulation that risk assessments must be carried out for venues and events in both standard duty (100-799 person capacity) and enhanced duty (800+ capacity) premises. But to what degree should HVM risk assessment be included in the risk assessment and counter terrorism planning for your event?

What is a HVM risk assessment?

Vehicle as a weapon attacks are an increasingly common terrorist tactic. A HVM risk assessment aims to determine the threat and vulnerability level for your venue or event. It is worth remembering that hostile vehicle mitigation includes the prevention of:

  • Vehicle as a weapon attack where vehicles are driven into a crowd to run them over.
  • the use of vehicles to carry explosive devices into crowd.
  • accidental vehicle incursions.

At Crowdguard, we have a robust HVM risk assessment process, based on the experience of our counter-terrorism experts. Our HVM risk assessment methodologies enable us to analyse threat, vulnerability and risk using insight into how terrorists select a target.

Our threat, vulnerability, and risk model for HVM risk assessment (TVRA) includes a vehicle dynamics assessment (VDA), which analyses data about the potential speed, velocity and acceleration of a potential vehicle as a weapon attack.

With this venue- or event-specific analysis, we can provide a tailored approach to risk mitigation, advising you on the most appropriate and proportionate HVM solutions to help you protect people and assets. Our HVM recommendations will always be aligned to the identified risk, your operational requirements and your budget, to ensure the HVM installed is both proportionate and effective. And because we have so many partnerships with the world’s leading HVM manufacturers, we can offer different options, often combining HVM systems in a single installation, and even customising HVM with branding or advertising where appropriate.

Are you vulnerable to a vehicle as a weapon attack?

We provide a full threat, vulnerability and risk assessment service and we recommend a professional HVM risk assessment be carried out to identify your level of risk and specify appropriate and proportionate solutions. There are some key elements that might indicate you need a HVM risk assessment:


Potential vehicle access points are essential considerations in a HVM risk assessment. If the PAL or venue is close to roads or there is a clear approach where a vehicle could gather speed, there is likely to be a need for HVM protection.

Opportunity to plan

The threat of a vehicle as a weapon attack is also increased if there is opportunity for a would-be attacker to plan their hostile actions. In locations where there is routine public access and an attacker would be able to carry out reconnaissance, there is increased vulnerability to attack. However, a HVM system, correctly specified as proportionate risk mitigation following a counter terrorism risk assessment would prevent an attempted attack from injuring people or damaging assets. At Crowdguard, our team will discuss the various HVM options with you, so that you can select the most appropriate temporary, semi-permanent or permanent HVM to suit your identified risk, your operational requirements, and your budget.


The vulnerability of your event to a vehicle as a weapon attack also depends on its frequency and consistency. A one-off event does not carry the same level of vulnerability to vehicle attacks as locations where regular events are held to a routine timetable and operational model. The opportunity for a terrorist to plan a vehicle as a weapon attack by observing security arrangements and timings for recurring events increases a PAL’s vulnerability and the HVM specification should be aligned to this heightened level of terrorism risk.


Terrorists prefer to attack events and locations that are easy targets, and those that will provide maximum exposure for their cause, either due to the high profile of the event or location, or due to the potential scale of harm a vehicle attack could cause. This is why our HVM risk assessment methodology focuses on threat and vulnerability and involves a site visit and liaison with your team, rather than simply considering plans of your site.

Do I need HVM for my event?

Martyn’s Law will provide a mandatory framework of measures you need to take if you are responsible for a PAL or event to protect people and assets. But the terror threat is already present.

If your event or location does not have complete separation from all vehicles, we advise that you consider HVM, both in your processes and in the installation of physical HVM barriers.