New report assesses threat of terrorism on rental sector

A new report has made a number of recommendations as to how the vehicle rental sector can work with law enforcement organisations and the government to combat the threat of vehicle terrorism.

Vehicles as weapons: a threat and policy assessment for the UK vehicle rental sector, published by the BVRLA, is clear that the sector believes that the recent rise in vehicle attacks poses a significant threat to its ability to provide customers with an affordable and convenient service.

In 2017, several terrorist attacks in the UK involved the use of rental vehicles as weapons, most notably on Westminster Bridge and London Bridge, causing the deaths of 14 innocent people and injuring many more. Both attacks, as well as many more across Europe, involved the use of rental vehicles as weapons.

The BVRLA is asking government to commit to a compulsory national accreditation scheme that would require all vehicle rental businesses to meet minimum standards in terms of their counter terrorism security practices and procedures and further support the sector’s work with the insurance sector to provide a fair and workable way of pooling the risk associated with vehicle as a weapon terror attacks.

The report also says that the government should avoid any initiatives that cause undue disruption to businesses or individuals, or that introduce costs that cannot realistically be absorbed by rental operators.

Gerry Keaney, BVRLA chief executive, said: “Since 2017, the BVRLA and its members have continued to work closely, and more frequently with counter-terrorism police and policymakers. We are committed to working with different parts of government and law enforcement to debate and develop strategies to help detect and mitigate the risk from terrorism.

“Through effective collaboration, we will develop more effective ways of sharing information, embrace new security technology and will share best practice with other countries and industry sectors. Our work is ongoing, and we hope that this report will provide some useful context and insight into the threat we are facing and the ways it can be dealt with.”

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