New portable netting designed to stop vehicles as heavy as 17 tonnes ploughing into crowds of people from have been used for the first time.
Metropolitan Police used the equipment, known as Talon, at the Naval Association Parade on Whitehall, Westminster , on Sunday (September 10).
The road spread mat contains tungsten steel spikes, meaning any vehicle that drives over it will have its tyres punctured, while the netting will tangle in the front wheels, bringing it to a halt.
It is also designed to ensure that the vehicle skids in a straight line, significantly reducing risk to crowds and producing a well controlled stop.
The net can be deployed quickly by just two officers in less than one minute and can effectively stop a vehicle up to 17 tonnes.
(Image: Met Police)
The speed and low manpower required for deployment also means that the nets can be relocated quickly if necessary.
Police say Talon is likely to become a familiar sight at events that attract large crowds in London.
This new tool is just one of a number of methods used to protect crowds at public events.
Hostile vehicle mitigation barriers have been installed on nine bridges and a number of other sites across the capital following terrorist incidents earlier this year at Westminster and London Bridge .
Chief Inspector Nick Staley of the Met’s Protective Security Operations Unit said: “This equipment undoubtedly has the potential to save lives and is just one of a number of measures being taken to provide protection to crowds attending major events in London and reassuring businesses, workers and visitors as they go about their daily lives.”