When Perimeter Security Breaks Down

Posted by Tony Goldstone on

The violent insurrection and siege of the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters has been described as one of the most serious security failings in recent U.S. history. Although there had been many glaring warning signs that hard-line Trump supporters, agitated by his ongoing, baseless claims that the presidential election was stolen from him, the world has seen how security preparations to protect the joint session of Congress on Wednesday 6th January were woefully inadequate.

These events have put the subject of perimeter security and the challenges faced by security services very much in the spotlight. Contrasts have been drawn between the manner in which the Capitol was secured back in June 2020, described by the Trump administration as necessary to prevent protests from becoming too large near the Capitol building and the absence of similar precautions on January 6th.

Biden Inauguration Preparation

Despite the violence that took place on Jan. 6th president elect Joe Biden is to be sworn in as the the 46th President of the United States on January 20th. Although some have called for the ceremony to be held safely, behind closed doors, the inauguration is expected to take place in front of the U.S. Capitol, in keeping with tradition.

Preparations for this important event have included the extension of a public emergency declaration by the mayor of Washington DC, until the day after the inauguration, Jan. 21st. This order acknowledges that President Trump continues to provoke his supporters who might be inclined to continue their violent assaults.

The Coronavirus pandemic along with the potential for violence from Trump supporters has made the task faced by inauguration planners exceptionally challenging. They are currently in the process of re-assessing all aspects of their security planning for the event but the erection of a non-scalable, 7 feet tall perimeter security fence around the Capitol is already underway.

Anti Climb Perimeter Security is Essential

The shocking events of January 6th 2021, broadcast to the world via countless news and social media outlets, demonstrate what can happen when perimeter security breaks down. People are seeking explanations from the Capitol Police, who had previously reassured members of Congress that they had comprehensive security plans in place and they were continuously monitoring and assessing threat levels.

It’s clear that Trump supporters were easily able to overcome the weak, ineffective barriers around the Capitol prompting many to ask why anti-climb security fencing had not been installed, as it had been back in June 2020.

Rioters Face the Consequences

Another startling aspect of the Trump-supporter siege on the Capitol has been how brazen these criminals have been. In one case a smiling (alleged) looter was photographed stealing a lectern which subsequently appeared, for sale, on Ebay - although it has been suggested that this listing was a hoax. Nevertheless, there have been countless recordings of rioters committing a multitude of criminal acts including property damage, physical assault and looting, for which many will now face the consequences.

A key point that has been made by many is that if the acts perpetrated by these Trump supporters had been carried out by Black Lives Matter protestors the story is likely to have been a lot different.

Never Disregard Perimeter Security

These horrible events have starkly highlighted the importance of perimeter security and what can happen when it’s ineffective. While it may be unlikely that our homes or businesses will become targets for angry rioters there is always the need to defend against opportunist criminals who are constantly on the lookout for easy targets. Rigorous perimeter security and anti climb precautions present a significant deterrent which help to keep us safe and secure.