The Department for Transport has launched a Rental Vehicle Security Scheme which aims to raise increase counter-terrorism awareness across the sector and reduce the risk of vehicles being used as weapons.

The voluntary scheme has been created with input from the British Vehicle and Rental Leasing Association and is open to vehicle hire firms offering short-term rental vehicles.

Members are required to follow a 10 point Code of Practice, which includes a commitment to:

  • Lawfully share data and information with law enforcement
  • Train staff to identify and report suspicious behaviour
  • Appoint a recognised security contact
  • Only accept electronic payment for all or part of the transaction

The BVRLA had called for the Government to set up a mandatory scheme, but said it hoped the DfT’s programme will “demonstrate participating firms’ commitment to taking security seriously and will help in the fight against terrorism.”

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“The BVRLA has been instrumental in leading the sector’s response to the emerging and increasingly present threat of vehicles being used in acts of terror. During the past two years we have worked closely with government and law enforcement organisations and although there is no single panacea for combatting terrorism, the vehicle rental sector is committed to doing all it can to deter those seeking to inflict harm on our communities,” said Gerry Keaney, chief executive of the BVRLA. “Long before the publication of government’s Contest counter-terrorism strategy, which outlined a commitment to working with our sector on measures to improve counter-terrorism awareness, we had already been leading the way in developing and delivering free sector-specific CT-awareness training to members, and non-members.”

He added: “Although those working in daily rental cannot, and should not, be expected to carry out the role of law enforcement, all UK citizens, including those working in our sector have an important role to play in the fight against terrorism by being vigilant and reporting anything suspicious. We would encourage all those operating in short-term vehicle rental to register for the scheme.”