Keeping people and places safe

Barriers have been installed to protect visitors to an eagerly awaited Christmas market launched last week by a central London department store.

Selfridges Oxford Street HVM Barriers

The festive Market on the Mews, at the rear of Selfridges’ flagship Oxford Street store, opened on December 3 and will run until January, featuring food, stalls and fairground rides.

To protect visitors from vehicles and to ensure social distancing, Selfridges enlisted the help of Hardstaff Barriers to install concrete safety barriers along Edwards Mews, where the event is taking place.

The company’s HVM experts fully assessed the requirements and recommended the installation of 46 Multibloc temporary vehicle restraint system (TVRS) barriers, and four additional curved barriers. 

Weighing 2.5 tonnes, Multibloc vertical concrete barriers are three metres long and are EN1317-2 approved.

Public safety is at the top of the list of priorities for the leading supplier of roadside safety barriers, temporary hostile vehicle mitigation and perimeter security systems.

As the trusted contractor for the UK Government’s National Barrier Asset (NBA) framework, Hardstaff Barriers has provided Hostile Vehicle Mitigation (HVM) barriers at a variety of other high-profile events – from the State Opening of Parliament to visits from the President of the United States.

Niall Griffin, General Manager of Hardstaff Secure, at Hardstaff Barriers, said: “Even before Covid-19, our barrier systems were vital for events like this, by ensuring that visitors and stall holders are protected.

“But since the pandemic, our responsibility for protecting people has grown considerably. Not only do our systems provide HVM protection, but they now ensure that people stay at a safe distance from one another and help them to comply with social distancing rules.”

More recently, the demand for Hardstaff Barriers’ range of concrete and steel barriers by local authorities to increase space for social distancing has increased significantly.

Pubs, food shops, and even schools, have also enlisted Hardstaff Barriers’ support to install robust barriers to create maximum opportunities for social distancing.

The barriers provide physical protection and remind people of the need to comply with social distancing requirements.

Other recent projects include:

  • Lantern Lane Primary School, in East Leake, Nottinghamshire – Hardstaff installed steel barriers around the edge of the school, providing a two-metre gap between the classroom doors and parents dropping off and collecting their children
  • Marks and Spencer food store, on Kingstown Retail Park, in Carlisle, Cumbria – Hardstaff installed six barriers to protect shoppers from traffic when queueing and social distancing
  • Amey, working on behalf of Sheffield City Council – Hardstaff installed barriers in West Street, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, to separate pedestrians from the road and tram line
  • Amey, working on behalf of North Lanarkshire Council in Scotland – Hardstaff Barriers supplied a number of barrier systems that were installed on roads across North Lanarkshire, providing additional space for pedestrians and cyclists

Donna Griggs, Business Manager at Lantern Lane Primary School, said: “We wanted to install the barriers to keep everybody at the school as safe as possible.

“The barriers also act as a reminder to socially distance and give the message that the school is serious about adhering to the rules.”

Hardstaff is a member of the Perimeter Security Suppliers Association and holds a number of important accreditations for the supply, installation, repair, maintenance and removal of HVM products, including ISO 9001:2015, ISO 14001:2015 and ISO 45001.

As an expert in HVM barriers, Niall Griffin spoke at the recent International Security Week virtual event about the potential gap between the identification of risk, the implementation of security measures and how this can be managed to eliminate vulnerabilities.

Representing HS Security, a Division of Hill & Smith PLC, of which Hardstaff Barriers is a part, he presented a slot entitled ‘Integration of Physical Security – Mind the Gap.’

Niall has worked in the policing and temporary security sector for over 30 years, bringing with him extensive experience from a multitude of different perspectives and disciplines, including as a Counter Terrorism Security Co-Ordinator for Sussex Police.

Drawing on this experience, he explained that in order to achieve successful security schemes, there must be an acceptance of responsibility to keep the national infrastructure and the general public safe.

He said: “Security is, of course, heavily influenced by the perception of investment in security measures. That perception needs to alter and evolve, especially following high-profile cases, such as the Manchester Arena inquiry.”

“ Not only do our systems provide HVM protection, but they now ensure that people stay at a safe distance from one another and help them to comply with social distancing rules.”
Niall Griffin, Hardstaff Secure