Mobile anti-terror barriers planned for Edinburgh

10 April 2018, 12:22

Edinburgh terror barrier

Mobile anti-terror barriers which sound an alert in a major incident are poised to be introduced in Edinburgh during festivals and events.

Officials at Edinburgh City Council plan to invest in new "hostile mitigation barriers" at key locations around the city.

Described as "fully flexible gates", the barriers are being tested by the local authority and improvements suggested before their introduction.

A report to the City of Edinburgh Council states: "Initial tests were very positive, slowing up vehicles and creating noise to alert any people in the area, and ideas for improvement and further testing have been discussed and are likely to be implemented.

"This will provide a number of fully flexible gates which can be deployed by council resources and which can provide a known level of protection to events in the city."

The mobile barriers would be used at locations still to be confirmed, in addition to the more permanent National Barrier Asset (NBA) which remain in place at six locations in the city.

The UK Government is paying for the NBA which is designed to prevent hostile vehicle attacks in busy locations.

A spokeswoman for the City of Edinburgh Council said: "As a capital city and a major destination for festivals and events, appropriate measures are put in place every year to ensure the security of our crowded places.

"We were the first council to work with local police devise and develop our own protection system, which is always reviewed to ensure it is fit for purpose.

"Officers are now working on a set of flexible and robust security barriers which can be used in different locations throughout the year."

The authority said the move was not in response to any particular threat, but designed to enhance the strength and longevity of temporary barriers already available.

The spokeswoman added: "Further testing will take place and a report detailing the protection of the city centre will be brought forward to a future meeting of the Culture and Communities Committee."

The mobile barrier system has been developed after talks with Police Scotland.

A spokeswoman for Police Scotland said: "We work closely with event organisers to advise on safety in the run up to and during events and provide appropriate police resources when events are taking place."