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More Italian cities join London with measures to mitigate risk from terrorist attacks.

Posted on 30-Aug-2017 09:54:41

Italian cities join London in attempt to mitigate risk from terror attacks.jpg“Should [hire agreements] be regulated in any way? There’s a whole big review to be done. It might require some legislation. It might require some tweaking of legislation,” she told the assembly’s Police and Crime Committee.

Some of Europe’s cities most popular areas and festivals have been safeguarded from a wave of terrorist attacks that use cars and vans as weapons. Rome, Bologna, Turin and Milan have all installed barriers that prevent vehicles from being driven into parts of the city that are often densely populated by tourists.

The erection of metal and concrete barriers have been in place for some months in other cities around the world, including the Westminster area of London and around the Eiffel Tower in Paris after terrorists used cars and vans to ram people causing injuries and fatalities in 2017.

Terrorist organisations pledging allegiance to The Islamic State and ISIS have between them claimed responsibility for the vehicle attacks, most recently in Barcelona where vans were hired for the explicit purpose of ramming crowds of people in the Las Ramblas area of the city. It claimed 13 lives and injured more than 50. The use of vehicles by terrorists were used, in the case at Barcelona, as an emergency backup to a much larger threat – that involved 120 gas canisters – that was foiled by authorities.

Click here to download your copy of the Transport Security and Saftey Expo 2018 BrochureMeanwhile, in Italy, there is a growing unease that the country could be next in line for terrorists who target tourists in a bid to damage the nation’s security. It’s that focus that has led Italy to roll-out an extensive programme of protection, including the shopping district Galleria Vittorio Emanuele and Duomo cathedral in Milan, and the Via della Conciliazione in the Vatican, Rome. Reflecting the heightened mood, in Turin in June 1,500 football fans broke out into mass panic after a firecracker went off that was mistaken for a bomb. It led to three people being seriously hurt following a stampede of those who had gathered in Piazza San Carlo to watch Juventus play Real Madrid in the Champions League Final.

As a result of the attacks across Europe, concerns have been raised in the UK about the ease with which members of the public can hire vans. The Metropolitan Police’s highest ranked officer, Commissioner Cressida Dick, suggested that more stringent checks could be introduced. Ms Dick told The London Assembly the Force had contacted the hire community, which the police said it is reliant on helping the force, to report suspicious behaviour.

“Should [hire agreements] be regulated in any way? There’s a whole big review to be done. It might require some legislation. It might require some tweaking of legislation,” she told the assembly’s Police and Crime Committee.

Small street events in England’s capital have taken it upon themselves to mitigate the risk of vans being used in the same way by parking across streets, such as at Columbia Road Flower Market in east London. According to The Guardian, dialogue has begun with the local authority there to install retractable bollards. Following the flower market’s lead, Edinburgh for the first time installed barriers at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival, installing barriers for the duration of the event.


 

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Topics: UrbanSecurity

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Dave Songer