Part of a family-owned group of British companies founded in 1969, Blok N Mesh provides a range of steel hoarding, temporary fencing, demarcation and pedestrian barriers from its primary manufacturing plant set on a five-acre site in Merseyside, North West England. The Liverpool-based company distributes via their own network of hire and sale depots across the UK, Ireland and mainland Europe. “We are the only national company to solely specialise in the design, manufacture, hire and sales of temporary fencing, and pride ourselves on regularly bringing new and innovative solutions to the industry,” says Tim Stewart, product development director. “The on-ground security fence systems that we have become so expert in, is a completely different science to traditional post-in-ground fencing” Stewart set up the original temporary fence manufacturing facility in Liverpool and has been involved in all aspects of temporary fencing and hoarding ever since, including design, development, manufacture, storage, handling, transportation, installation, dismantling, hiring and selling.
What is POLMIL®?
Every installation presents a fence line with different challenges and obstacles to overcome. The modular POLMIL® system is sufficiently flexible to maintain its integrity whether deployed on undulating farm land, angular urban streets or even sandy beaches. The basic components comprise: a fully framed round top panel to minimise deflection, with lockable zero trip base, fully adjustable brace supports and ultra-wide cover mesh to protect panel joins. This configuration allows the fence panels to be held vertical even when traversing sloping ground. On-ground stabilisation of the system is provided by a choice of independent ballast options using concrete or water. This means the most appropriate ballast can be selected to suit each site’s specific requirements and environmental considerations. The counter-terrorist specification presents a formidable climbing obstacle to would-be intruders, and using heavy duty 358 Prison weldmesh prevents any significant ‘passthrough’ or ‘pass-under’ risk. POLMIL® systems have been tested, utilised, and proven compatible with leading CCTV and Perimeter Intruder Detection Systems (PIDS) on multiple global event venues. “Whilst forming an effective deterrent – the POLMIL® system is also aesthetically pleasing, quick and easy to install, replace, adapt, and 100% sustainable. Furthermore, the standard powder-coated finish means it can be coloured to promote corporate image or simply enhance the overall ‘look and feel’ of a venue,” the manufacturer says.
The company’s POLMIL® range of counter terror fencing was originally designed to meet stringent security requirements for the many varied London 2012 Olympic venues and was also selected to protect the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. More recently it has come to the attention of the nuclear industry. “With ‘no dig’ policies becoming the norm for temporary events and sensitive sites, the on-ground POLMIL® fence offers the same level of security as equivalent inground systems, and maintains the ability to reliably host micro-phonic perimeter intruder detection systems (PIDS),” says Stewart. The product’s modular design incorporates 30 years of temporary fencing experience and innovations which have resulted in the fence’s systems being exceptionally versatile and equally effective on soft undulating rural grassland or hard urban surfaces. Significant benefits the company says this product can offer to nuclear facilities include:
– Time saving: from the point of identifying a project need for security fencing, there are multiple administrative procedures and assessments, by a wide range of different specialists, that have to be completed before installers can start digging post holes in the ground at nuclear facilities. These cover concerns such as risk to underground services (existing and planned), environmental hazards (existing ground contamination, safe spoil disposal, making good when fence removed), future site changes (will the fence need to be moved/relocated at a later date). By the time all stakeholders have completed approvals, the very reason for the fence in the first place can be delayed as a result of the security fence not being in position by the planned project start date. The approvals required before installing on-ground relocatable security fencing are significantly less demanding and time consuming than those with post-in-ground.
– Cost reduction: the reduced number of administrative processes, meetings and expert assessments necessary before approval for on-ground fencing provide a significant cost saving in man-hours over traditional in-ground systems.
– Less risk: as with most industries – nuclear sites are all about reducing risk. Quite simply on-ground security fencing carries less associated risk than in-ground equivalents.
– Flexibility and sustainability: if circumstances change – as they often do – onground fencing is quick and easy to relocate, and 100% reusable.
Whilst using on-ground fencing reduces risk for the installers, it must also achieve at least the same level of security as the comparative post-in-ground alternative. “POLMIL® fence systems have been independently assessed, and catalogued, by the Centre for Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI),” says Stewart. CPNI is the UK government authority for protective security advice to the national infrastructure. Their role is to protect national security by helping to reduce the vulnerability of the national infrastructure to terrorism and other threats.
Over and above the real life experience of successful multiple deployments at London 2012 and the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, specific testing has included long-term installations in harsh weather environment to confirm micro-phonic PIDS suitability, specialist forces attack, hostile vehicle ramming and coordinated ‘mob’ attack. “CPNI assessed BASE Level and PAS68 Rated versions are available for hire or sale,” says Stewart, describing the pedigree and accreditation of the POLMIL® on-ground fence offering.