We’ve seen terror attacks in the UK, France, Germany and more recently, Spain where the humble van was used as the main weapon by extremists.
It’s an unfortunate fact that vans are being used in this way, but what can be done? According to the UK government there needs to be more checks carried out when drivers are renting vans. If done correctly, it certainly could stop many of these terrorists in their tracks.
One proposal by ministers in Parliament is for van rental companies to share data with the government, so it can be checked against the so called “terror watch list” to see if there are any matches.
In other words, if someone who is suspected of being involved with terror activities tries to hire a van, then immediately the government will know and will be in a position to potentially do something about the situation.
Officials within the van rental industry appear to be welcoming of any changes that help to stamp out terrorism once and for all, with Toby Poston, the director of the BVRLA, AKA, the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association having this to say…”The industry is looking at ways to share data with the authorities in as real time as possible so it can be cross referenced with counter terrorism watch lists.”
I reckon any kind of system that makes it easier to identify potential terrorists is to be welcomed, although some might disagree with me, no doubt using the argument that it is an invasion of privacy and is simply a way for the government to take us further into a “big brother” type society.
Perhaps…but when you think back to all those terrorist incidents involving vans and lorries that could have potentially been avoided with tougher checks and security, then, if you ask me I would say we are on the right track with these proposals
For example, the leader of the terror gang who committed the London Bridge terror attacks initially tried to hire a 7.5 tonne lorry. The payment wouldn’t go through however, and instead, he resorted to hiring a white van to carry out the attacks.
This is someone who was on the so called “terror watch list” and he could have been stopped with tougher scrutiny when renting the van.
If more checks within the van rental industry do come into force then we might also see something like it in the van insurance sector.
Obviously, if terrorists can rent vans then they can also buy vans, and in order to avoid drawing attention to themselves with ANPR scanners while planning their attacks, they would no doubt look to insure their vans.
It’s an unfortunate fact that all of this needs to happen of course, but as they say…it is what it is, and that is why I think both the government and van industry have to work together to try and stop it happening once and for all.