The State of New Jersey Office of Homeland Security Issues Outdoor Commercial Protection Resiliency Bulletin
New Jersey Homeland – Infrastructure Protection Resource Sheet Commercial Sector: Outdoor Events.
Al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula and ISIS continue to advocate for attacks on mass gatherings in the West. Recent vehicle-ramming attacks demonstrate terrorists’ continued use of vehicles as weapons against large, outdoor crowds. The explosion along a race course in Seaside Park in 2016 demonstrates the ongoing threat of attack from homegrown violent extremists. Event organizers in New Jersey can take steps to increase the safety of attendees at outdoor events in light of recent terror attacks throughout the world.
Threats While there are no specific or credible threats to New Jersey, outdoor events such as road races, parades, festivals, and outdoor markets face threats from vehicle-ramming attacks, small-arms attacks with guns or edged weapons, and improvised explosive device attacks. These types of attacks are unsophisticated and are easy to carry out with little planning. Challenges Location Outdoor events are often not confined to a physical structure and take place at a diverse range of facilities, from boardwalk amusement parks to local festivals and parades. The temporary, open-air nature of outdoor event space requires specific measures for effective access control. Staffing Many outdoor events last only a few weeks, days, or hours. Vendors, suppliers, and security personnel are usually hired only for the length of the event. Although the events may be of short duration, it is still necessary to thoroughly screen and adequately train employees and volunteers.
Consequences Effects of past attacks on outdoor events include: • April 2017: The vehicle attack along a main street and at a department store in Stockholm, Sweden resulted in five deaths and 15 injuries. • March 2017: The vehicle attack at Westminster Bridge and Bridge Street in London resulted in four deaths and more than 50 injuries. • December 2016: The vehicle attack on the Berlin Christmas Market resulted in 12 deaths and 56 injuries. The market reopened three days later replacing broken stalls with memorials. • November 2016: The vehicle and knife attack at Ohio State University resulted in 13 injuries. Classes for 58,000 at the Columbus, Ohio campus were cancelled for the day. • September 2016: The improvised explosive device detonation in Seaside Park, New Jersey resulted in no deaths or injuries, but the related explosion in Manhattan caused 31 injuries. • July 2016: The vehicle attack in Nice, France on Bastille Day resulted in 86 deaths and 434 injuries. After the attack, French tourism suffered as hotel reservations fell by 30% from the year prior.
Mitigation Recognize Indicators of Terrorist Activity and Surveillance • Suspicious or illegally parked vehicles near buildings or where crowds gather • Individuals wearing bulky clothing that may be used to conceal weapons or explosives • Unattended bags or packages that could contain explosives • Persons loitering in the same area over multiple days with no reasonable explanation • Employees being questioned about venue operations or security measures • Unfamiliar personnel or unannounced maintenance activities in the vicinity Take Action • Coordinate an inspection with local law enforcement prior to the event to remove all unauthorized materials, vehicles, and people • Have public works department remove or seal trashcans, street furniture, mailboxes, and secure other places in which a package could be concealed • Reinforce locations vulnerable to forced vehicle entry with substantial barricades such as large trucks or buses • Guard avenues of approach with uniformed law enforcement if they cannot be blocked physically • Establish and post a written policy regarding permitted and prohibited items • Consider a no-bag policy • Supervise event deliveries such as tents and portable toilets • Create and enforce no-parking zones at least 400 feet from site, if possible • Stagger patron arrival and departure times to avoid large crowds at entry or exit queues • Encourage personnel to report any threat or suspicious activity • Coordinate with local law enforcement to develop an event emergency plan.
New Jersey Suspicious Activity Reporting To report suspicious activity in New Jersey, dial 1-866-4-SAFE-NJ or email firstname.lastname@example.org. If there is an emergency, dial 9-1-1. Visit www.njohsp.gov/report to learn more about suspicious activity reporting. Security Assessments and Training NJOHSP can facilitate physical security assessments in coordination with county infrastructure coordinators, risk mitigation planners, and law enforcement. NJOHSP also offers terrorism awareness and prevention training. For more information, contact email@example.com.