The Government has signed an agreement with the BVRLA, the UK trade body for the vehicle rental and leasing sector, to act as an approved partner to monitor and assess compliance against its Rental Vehicle Security Scheme (RVSS).
The voluntary scheme, launched in December, was introduced by the Department for Transport to help mitigate the risk of vehicle terrorism following a spate of attacks in 2017 where vehicles were used as weapons.
In its 2018 National Counter-Terrorism Strategy, the UK Government outlined its commitment to working with the vehicle rental sector on measures to improve counter-terrorism security and during the past two years, the BVRLA has led the sector’s response.
BVRLA has been a strong supporter of the scheme and by incorporating the scheme’s requirements into the association’s mandatory Code of Conduct as of 1 January 2020, its 455 rental and commercial vehicle member organisations will automatically be part of the scheme.
Monitoring compliance with the scheme will form part of the association’s existing governance programme, which involves a robust inspection regime to ensure that members adhere to the BVRLA Code of Conduct. A mandatory requirement for membership.
BVRLA Chief Executive Gerry Keaney said:
“The BVRLA and its members have always taken security matters seriously and we do not take lightly the trust that the Government is placing upon the BVRLA by agreeing for us to act as an approved partner to help implement their Rental Vehicle Security Scheme.
“By making this part of our mandatory Code of Conduct, we are taking an industry-led approach, and although it will not be a complete panacea, the scheme will go some way towards further strengthening a culture of security vigilance across the sector and our members support that.
“We will continue to work with government and law enforcement to explore more opportunities to further counter the threat of terrorism.”
Transport Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Baroness Vere said:
“It is critical that businesses across the UK are vigilant when it comes to matters of security, and this vital scheme plays an important part.
“By making sure rental firms do proper checks on customers, we can reduce the risk of vehicles being used to cause harm. I’d like to thank the sector for everything they are doing.”
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Lucy D’Orsi, Counter Terrorism Policing said:
“It is only by working together with our partners across government, industry and importantly the public, that we can keep our communities safe.
“Our business partners, including the BVRLA who have been a key partner within the vehicle rental industry, and the Department of Transport, have worked with Counter Terrorism Policing to embed good security practices within their industry. This latest agreement will help support the oversight of this important piece of work”
Notes to editors:
3. The Prevention of Future Deaths Report was published on 1 November 2019. This followed the recent London Bridge Inquest which heard the coronor address the Secretary of State for the Home Department, the Secretary of State for Transport and the BVRLA: “I suggest that consideration is given to taking further measures to reduce the risk of rental vehicles being used in terrorist attacks. The measures to be considered should include (a) introducing a scheme for real-time reporting of rentals and automated checking of the results against lists of SOIs and (b) making the current RVSS scheme mandatory.”