Scotland Yard has for the first time unveiled a new traffic-stopping, spiked net designed to stop terrorist lorry attacks on large crowds. The net bristling with tungsten steel spikes that can stop a 17-ton lorry was used for the first time on Sunday morning to protect the Naval Associations Parade on Whitehall. The Met Police said the device could be laid out in less than a minute and stops even heavy vehicles by puncturing their front tyres and then becoming entangled in their wheels. The device can entangle and stop a 17-ton lorry Credit: JULIAN SIMMONDS Protecting crowds from the prospect of a ramming attack has become a priority after Islamist jihadists have hired rental vehicles to plough into pedestrians in a string of attacks in Britain and on the Continent. A spokeswoman for the Met Police said: “If a vehicle fails to stop and drives over the net, the spikes will puncture the tyres of the vehicle and the net becomes tangled around the front wheels bringing the vehicle to a stop. The device was used for the first time to protect a Naval Associations Parade Credit: JULIAN SIMMONDS “The system is also designed to ensure that the vehicle skids in a straight line significantly reducing risk to crowds and producing a well controlled stop after which officers can engage with the driver. “When the equipment is deployed, signs are placed in front and behind the net site advising both road users and pedestrians that there are spikes on the road and to follow instructions provided by officers.” Hundreds of sailors and veterans paraded at the Cenotaph in central London to honour modern Naval heroes Credit: Julian Simmonds Temporary steel and concrete barriers have already become a common sight at public events in Britain’s cities. Bollards and crash barriers to prevent vehicles being driven into crowds are becoming a permanent feature of London tourist spots and have already been fitted to nine of the capital’s bridges. 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."