On March the 6th a Muslim convert by the name of Lewis Ludlow was sentenced to 15 years minimum term at the Old Bailey for preparing to carry out a “spectacular” terror attack . Ludlow planned to to use a vehicle to attack shoppers in London’s Oxford Street and according to reports, expected to kill ” a hundred people”.

Were in not for some excellent work by the Police, Ludlow had every intention of carrying out this atrocity and the Judge in the case regarded that Ludlow was fully aware of the consequences of such actions and rejected any notion that Ludlow had been tricked or coerced.

Ludlow, a former Royal Mail worker appears to have come to the attention of security services when The Prevent programme had attempted to engage with Ludlow¬† when his college had raised concerns about his religious beliefs and his habit of carrying a knife. He came to the attention of police in 2010 when he attended a demonstration led by the radical preacher Anjem Choudary and his banned al-Muhajiroun group. However, things appear to take a darker turn when Ludlow’s passport was seized when he tried to fly to the Philippines. He claimed that the prevention of him flying to the Philippines made him feel trapped and from this moment on he began to plot the terror attack using a vehicle.

Ludlow researched his chosen area and, from evidence uncovered, referred to the lack of security barriers on Oxford Street, which would enable him to ram and kill so many people. A letter found by security services showed how Ludlow planned his attacks and his thinking behind his attack.

Ludlow attack letter

Ludlow’s arrest and conviction illustrates just how difficult it is to deal with individuals who plan such acts of terrorism. Ludlow had identified how potent the vehicle is as a weapon to maim and kill. An individual with even the most basic of training, can be taught to drive. Vehicles are easy to get hold, either by purchase , hire or indeed theft. At great speeds the vehicle can do unspeakable harm and even at low speeds can cause considerable damage and destruction. The security forces estimate that we have over 20,000 persons of interest active in our country and according to the home office, two in five suspects are white.

Stopping these attacks is not easy. All around our iconic buildings, provision has been made either with permanent or concrete barriers. Our mobile hostile vehicle mitigation barriers are being deployed more and more. This is mainly due to the fact that they are an excellent temporary solution. Erected within minutes, our barriers can control access and routes at stadiums, festivals and anywhere that a suitable perimeter is required that allows access to authorised vehicles and personnel. The barriers are then removed so that the area can return to its usual pace of life. The issue that confronts us all is how do we make the public safe without making them feel unsafe ?

We have to be careful though, there are probably many more like Lewis Ludlow. These people are changing the fabric of our lives. Their intention is to strike fear and terror and our response should take into consideration that there are many options for preventing these attacks in the way that we protect our open spaces and points of interest. An approach that encompasses many forms of hostile vehicle mitigation is ideal as it seems, no one solution is.

Should you require information on our excellent range of mobile hostile vehicle barriers or would like to discuss a site survey please contact us on info@docklandssecuritybarriers.co.uk or call 07799 134312