Any driver wanting to rent a van or a truck in the UK could be faced with additional checks in the future. Given that vans and trucks have been used in terrorist attacks ranging from Nice to London, Berlin, and Barcelona, the UK security forces are considering making it harder for anyone wanting to rent a van. A possible measure being discussed is to provide car rental companies with updated terrorist watch lists so they can check the renters ID before agreeing to let them have such a vehicle.
Personnel of rental companies across the UK is already getting extra training to recognize suspicious behavior, but so far the checks are limited to the driver’s identity, his credit, and insurance company.
The terrorists who carried out the London bridge attack in June of this year had unsuccessfully tried to hire a 7.5-tonne truck, and also in Barcelona, last week attempts were made by the terrorists to rent a larger vehicle than what they got.
The spokesman of the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing association, Mr. Toby Poston, stated that; “The industry is obviously determined to prevent these attacks. We’ve been in discussions with various government departments and law enforcement agencies, and we have to make sure we comply with data protection and laws on discrimination.
“Ultimately, the police and government are the only ones who can make any changes. We want some kind of cross-referencing of the data given to rental companies and the counter terrorism watchlist.”
A white van was used last week to murder fourteen people on Las Ramblas, one of Barcelona’s most famous streets, in the latest of such attacks in Europe in which vehicles were the preferred weapon of choice for Islamic terrorists. In July 2016 another terrorist killed 86 people in Nice using a lorry and over the Christmas period, a truck plowed into a Christmas market in Berlin, killing 11 people.