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Computer generated image of a Christmas market protected by KarabloK barrier which has been festively planted and decorated to soften its visual impact

Make sure hostile vehicle mitigation really protects Christmas market shoppers

Christmas market organisers across the UK may have been urged to protect shoppers from terrorist truck attacks but it is important that they choose a hostile vehicle mitigation (HVM) system that offers real protection, says KarabloK director Gareth Neale.

He fears many of the barriers and bollards being sold as hostile vehicle mitigation systems would leave Christmas market shoppers totally vulnerable.

“Some of the systems I’ve seen at events in the UK in the last 12 months won’t even stop a car, let alone a truck,” said Gareth Neale.

“Others boast that they can stop a 2.5 tonne vehicle travelling at 30mph but there are plenty of bigger trucks travelling much faster than that around our town and city centres.

“If you want to stop a truck with a temporary barrier you need something substantial – there’s no getting away from that.”

The call to take extra security measures came after the attack on the Berlin Christmas market in December 2016, which left 12 dead and 56 injured, prompting the UK Government to warn Christmas market organisers they need to protect against vehicle attacks.
Gareth Neale said: “KarabloK units are both crash-proof and blast-proof and designed to stop a 7.2 tonne truck travelling at 50mph. They have been independently tested and shown to do so.

“They are quick to install and take up again for reuse somewhere else. There are no footings required – they just sit on the surface – so there is no disruption to any underground services.

“And to allay any fears of turning our valuable public spaces into fortresses, KarabloKs can be painted, decorated or planted up to soften their appearance. You could even use holly, ivy, artificial snow and Christmas lights to make them blend in with the festive theme.

Computer generated image of a Christmas market protected by KarabloK barrier which has been festively planted and decorated to soften its visual impact

“All this makes them ideal for temporary events, such as Christmas markets, where they really will do their job: protecting people.”

Some local authorities and other organisations have chosen bollards – some which can be can be raised and lowered – rather than barriers to stop trucks. Any bollards capable of stopping a speeding truck need permanent and significant anchoring to the ground which makes them expensive to install.

But the biggest drawback of bollards is the limited protection they offer.

“Your HVM system may stop the vehicle getting in among Christmas market shoppers but that’s only half the job done,” explained Gareth Neale.

“What if the truck is packed with explosives or the people inside are armed with guns? How much protection will it offer then?

“This is a very real threat: homemade explosives have been used with devastating effect for decades by all sorts of people – from the Oklahoma bombers to the IRA and now Islamic State terrorists – and they are all too easy to make with materials bought online or from a local DIY store.

“A solid precast concrete barrier like KarabloK offers blast protection which bollards don’t. And again, KarabloKs have been independently tested against a variety of explosives and each time passed with flying colours.

“Each unit itself is four feet high and barriers can be securely fixed in multiple courses if more height is needed.”

The KarabloK system is designed to form straight barriers or run around bends and special units form corners, junctions and gateways. And it can be installed as a single barrier or as chicanes on roads to slow vehicles down.

“We will work with security advisors, such as the police, to provide full and quick design advice.”

“Each system is then made to order in the UK and could be deployed within two or three weeks of receiving the order. And because the units are so robust they are reusable time and again and so very cost-effective.

“If organisers want to give Christmas market shoppers genuine protection as well as peace of mind, they need to do it properly and make sure they use a barrier that works.”

For further information on hostile vehicle mitigation systems, call Gareth Neale on 07545 455 005.

Logo of the DPRTE event

KarabloK sparks interest at DPRTE

We had lots of interest in KarabloK at the DPRTE exhibition in Cardiff on Tuesday.

This is the UK’s leading defence procurement and supply chain exhibition and there were some impressive and high level figures there from different areas of the defence and security industries.

Apparently, more than 1,500 people visited the show at the Motorpoint Arena, which was terrific.

We made loads of contacts, had some very interesting enquiries and have made a lot of interesting connections from this event.

I came away feeling this has certainly helped raise the awareness of KarabloK and what our blast-proof, crash-proof barrier can offer as a hostile vehicle mitigation system.


KarabloK becomes NPCA member

KarabloK is delighted to announce that it has joined the National Precast Concrete Association (NPCA), the premier organisation for precast concrete manufacturers and suppliers in the USA,
The NPCA has been serving the industry since 1965, providing members with all they need to run a successful precast operation, including a comprehensive plant certification program which is accredited by the American National Standards Institute.
KarabloK director Gareth Neale said: “We’re delighted to join the National Precast Concrete Association which fits the profile of KarabloK perfectly.
“This long-standing organisation adheres to the core values of integrity, collaboration, advancement, service and communication which are the pillars of our business too.
“I believe the organisation will help us enormously in establishing KarabloK’s presence in the United States and I hope we can contribute to NPCA activity too.”

Great response to KarabloK at World Of Concrete

NEW WOC 2014 logo

Directors of the new blast-proof, crash-proof anti-terrorist barrier — KarabloK — have confirmed huge interest in their product at the World of Concrete (WOC) trade show in Las Vegas.

The innovative precast concrete system drew the attention of both delegates and the media when it was unveiled at the show.

KarabloK director Gareth Neale said: “The show was excellent for us. The response was much greater than we could have ever hoped for.

“We came here from the UK to introduce our new product to North American markets and find precast businesses that we could licence to manufacture, sell and install this product.

“We’ve come away with meetings and facility visits planned with several businesses in different parts of the United States. They spent a lot of time asking all the right questions and went away full of enthusiasm.

“Interestingly, some were more interested in the anti-terrorist applications of the product and others in the industrial applications.

“In addition to these, we also had serious enquiries from Australia and from the Middle East – both from businesses interested in becoming licensees and from others looking at their own installation requirements.

“It will take us a while to process all the enquiries but we’ll be back in the USA in the next few weeks to consolidate agreements before putting the legal aspects of our commercial activities together.

“Thanks again to everyone at WOC; the show certainly worked for us.”

KarabloK launch at World of Concrete

A new blast-proof, crash-proof anti-terrorist barrier — KarabloK — has been globally launched at the World of Concrete trade show in Las Vegas.

The modular, precast concrete system can be quickly assembled to form a durable and effective security barrier around strategic locations, such as convention centres, airports and industrial plants.

KarabloK is also visually pleasing, making it suitable for a range of applications where appearance is important too, such as around government buildings and hotels hosting international summits.

The patented KarabloK system is made of large transportable concrete units that can be positioned either permanently or temporarily without any foundations or ground-fixing required. Typically, operators can expect to install around 100m (110 yards) per day.

Units can be removed with cranes and trucks once they are no longer needed and can be reused elsewhere.

The system is not only quicker to install than many other security barrier systems but also more cost-effective too.

KarabloK Director Gareth Neale said: “The KarabloK system can be easily manufactured and sold all over the world. It provides a highly effective anti-terrorist barrier which is quick to deploy, quick to remove and looks good too.

“Individual units have been put through standard NATO tests and shown to provide ballistic protection from multiple strikes of 30mm HE Cannon round and fragmentation protection from both medium-sized indirect fire (IDF) munitions and RPG shaped charge rounds.

“When connected together using their unique coupling system, the overall structural integrity provides effective protection against terrorist truck bomb attacks and large blasts. It has been successfully tested against the impact of 7.6 tonne truck at 50mph (80kmph). The truck disintegrated — not the KarabloK wall.”

Two specially designed jointing bars lock the two units together through the KarabloKs internal reinforcement cage. The spacing bungs provide the barrier with the flexibility to enable it to withstand large blast and impact forces.

Security fences can be mounted on top of the barrier and security gates can be fitted within it. It comes in a range of factory finishes.

KarabloK Holdings is the sole distributor and installer of the KarabloK system in the UK and Republic of Ireland but the company is looking for partners in other parts of the world.