The UK’s Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) has recently published their 3rd edition of the ‘Public Realm Design Guide for Hostile Vehicle Mitigation’.  We recommend this guide as essential reading.

The purpose of this updated guide is to assist the public realm design process and to encourage a positive and creative response to the challenges of counterterrorism and protective security.

This guide provides information and impetus to those responsible for integrating Hostile Vehicle Mitigation (HVM) into the public realm, to manage the threat from terrorist vehicle attacks.

This guide is comprehensive.  For example, it includes methods of vehicle-borne threats, techniques of terrorists and the role of designers.

An underlying philosophy of this guide is that the protected public realm remains open and inclusive and that physical security measures are integrated and proportionate to the identified threat.

Proportionate security is often referenced in government published guides on counterterrorism.

As a side comment, proportionality is a complex and sometimes contentious concept due to multiple factors for example, a changed threat, the (true) expertise of the assessor, the creativity and knowledge of the HVM designer, on limited information that tails the informed and innovative intentions of terrorists, and on acceptance of the expert assessment by the decision makers.  Poor decision making can exacerbate security vulnerability.

History is pitted with terrorist incidents after good quality risk assessments or intelligence assessments were ignored or changed by decision makers based on their personal interpretations of the threat and proportionality.

Terrorists tend to understand security vulnerability better than the defenders.

Read the Guide – Public Realm Design Guide for Hostile Vehicle Mitigation.

We would appreciate your feedback with your perspectives.

Parting Comments:
1. Government security agencies of other countries also develop valuable guides on a range of topics like those published by the UK government, including Australia and New Zealand. Security professionals should seek published guides from the government of their jurisdiction and as appropriate adopt, adapt and apply or
recommend to their specific context.

2. However, it is important to acknowledge and gain from the UK experience, due to their long history in counterterrorism, including recent terrorist attacks and other terrorist activities, which are often not fully addressed in current official advice provided by the governments of other countries.

3. Terrorists learn from the ‘successes’ of terrorists in other countries.  Owners and managers of critical infrastructure, publicly accessible facilities and entertainment venues should expect that their security advisors and security contract companies actively research, interpret and advise on international issues and trends related to terrorism and other criminal activities.

4. Harris Security Management has qualified criminologists and the use of other resources to independently identify and assess international issues and trends.  Criminology informs our recommendations to our clients and our approach in design of security master plans, security policies, security related systems, crime prevention, emergency management, business continuity plans and serious security incident training.



Geoff Harris, Principal Consultant – or Phone +61 2 9560 9933

Licensed security consultant – licence number 407641686


Integrated Security and Emergency Risk Management for Facilities, Crowded Places and Supply Networks.

Trusted independent security consultants since 1983

Master security licence 407642890



  1. The above article is of a general nature only, it is not a comprehensive analysis and not contextualised.  The article is intended to stimulate and focus conversation on security and related risk management and in particular full reading of this Inquiry Report and other reports related to this attack.
  2. The discussion does not provide professional advice from us.  Seek expert analysis and advice relevant to your specific context from trusted advisers.  You are welcome to contact us.
  3. This article includes selected extracts of the Report, with some editing and commentary for blog and post purposes.
  4. The article may raise legal issues to contribute to relevance, but in no way provides expert legal opinion or professional legal advice.
  5. We do not provide endorsement or assessment on information or research provided by others that may be referenced in this blog or post.
  6. We do not claim intellectual property rights to reports, information or research sourced externally for this blog or post.
  7. We take no responsibility for privacy protection, cyber risks or associated legal obligations of websites linked in this blog or post.


Please Follow Us

Should you have a strategic, operational or compliance interest in the physical protection of people, infrastructure, property or supply chain, please ‘Follow us’ on LinkedIn.

By following us, you will receive important information pertaining to security and related emergency risk management.

Harris Security Management

 © Copyright. All rights reserved. Sydney, Australia 2022.