‘Airport-Style’ Security Checks for Rental Vehicles After Ramming Terror Attacks

Swedes
MAJA SUSLIN/AFP/Getty

Drivers could face harsh airline-style identity checks before being allowed to hire a vehicle, following a series of deadly truck and car terror attacks in the UK and across Europe.

The idea of tighter controls has been discussed by industry leaders and senior police officers, including forcing drivers to provide personal details ahead of picking up a vehicle so they can be checked on security databases, Associated Press reports.

The idea was considered by the Department for Transport in August last year, as well as being discussed by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, but apparently ignores the fact that vehicles used in ramming attacks are frequently stolen or hijacked, rather than hired.

There have been vehicle terror attack France, Germany, Sweden, and Spain, as well as three on the streets of Britain in just a few months of 2017.

The Westminster attack, near the Houses of Parliament, saw a rented 4×4 and knife used as weapons and the London Bridge and Finsbury Park saw hired vans used to attack.

Yet in the Berlin Christmas market attack, in which 12 people were killed, and the Stockholm attack (pictured above) the lorries used were stolen by the radical Islamic perpetrators before being driven into crowds of pedestrians.

One of the country’s leading counter-terrorism police officers, Detective Chief Superintendent Scott Wilson, said: “One of the areas we are looking at after the attacks in the UK last year is how we can heighten the security of hiring vehicles.

“We are looking at how we can share data better between the police and that industry, in the way that we do in the airline industry.”

British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) chief executive Gerry Keaney added: “Rental companies already run security checks on customers to confirm they are who they say they are, that they can pay for their hire and that they are licensed to drive that particular type of vehicle.”

Adding: “We continue to work with law enforcement organisations and the government to explore ways of sharing information in a more timely and effective way.

“Any solution needs to be data protection compliant and capable of being used by a wide variety of different rental companies with different business models and reservation systems.”

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