Promoting a proactive security culture within the vehicle rental industry and individual firms – that is what the UK’s Department for Transport (DfT) is striving towards, as it rolls out the Rental Vehicle Security Scheme (RVSS) to mitigate the risk of vehicles being used in terrorist attacks.
Applicable to vehicle rental companies which engage in short-term (not more than three months and typically calibrated on an hourly, daily, or weekly basis) vehicle rental transactions to consumers, RVSS will be monitored by the Rental Vehicle Industry Security Advisory Group.
Using a database model which is already utilised to record rail and maritime companies and their Nominated Security contact details, the DfT will operate and administer the register. Membership registration is conditional on submitting a completed online application form and an electronically signed security declaration.
Benefits of getting onboard include deterrence of would-be attackers from using members’ fleets; access to government security advice; and enhanced staff training. Meanwhile a 10-point Code of Practice (CoP), along with supporting guidance, has been released.
The CoP supporting guidance was developed in collaboration with the likes of the British Vehicle Rental Leasing Association, United Rental System, Fleet Operators Registration Scheme, National Counter Terrorism Policing Headquarters, and the Office of Security & Counter Terrorism.
Meanwhile the requirements, as set out by the CoP, include supporting law enforcement counter-terrorism and communications campaigns; appointing a recognised security contact and, where practical, a deputy; and ensuring that appropriate security equipment is fitted to vehicles.
“The introduction of the Rental Vehicle Security Scheme shows a real commitment by industry to increase the levels of security awareness, promote the reporting of suspicious behaviours, enhance security checks, and encourage support for law enforcement activity against crime and terrorism across the industry,” commented Chief Superintendent Nick Aldworth, Counter Terrorism Policing national coordinator for protective security.
“This can only be a positive thing when helping keep people safe.”