The British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association has published its report, ‘Vehicles as weapons: a threat and policy assessment for the UK rental sector’.

Produced by the BVRLA in conjunction with the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation, the paper makes a series of recommendations to reduce the impact of vehicular terrorism on the sector through collaboration with policymakers and law enforcement organisations.

In 2017, a spate of terrorist attacks around the world saw rental vehicles used as ramming weapons with the intent of causing death and destruction.

With security services acknowledging the increasing prevalence of home-grown, low-tech and lone-wolf attacks, the BVRLA and its members announced plans to reduce potential impacts on the affordability and convenience of their sector’s service offering.

Identifying ways to counter the terror risk, the BVRLA is requesting that the Government:

• Supports an industry-led compulsory accreditation scheme, accredited through existing industry-based structures, that would require all vehicle rental companies to demonstrate minimum standards of counter-terrorism practices and security measures.

• Supports collaboration between vehicle rental and insurance sectors, providing a fair and workable way of sharing the associated risks of vehicle terror attacks

• Avoids initiatives that may cause undue disruption to businesses or individuals, or that may introduce unrealistic costs that rental operators can not absorb, stressing that a balanced and proportionate approach is necessary

The UK vehicle rental sector is also being asked to support this initiative by:

• Increase the availability of counter-terrorism awareness training for staff members

• Proactively and publicly support the recently launched counter-terrorism campaign, ACT (Action Counters Terrorism)

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.”