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BSI publishes new guidance to prevent use of vehicles as weapons in terror attacks

The British Standards Institution (BSI) issued robust new guidance this week (10 May 2021), which is designed to prevent commercial vehicles – including vans, lorries and passenger vehicles – from being used as weapons in acts of terrorism.

The standard, which has been published by BSI and sponsored by the Department for Transport (DfT), sets out a raft of security measures to prevent criminals and terrorists from accessing commercial vehicles.

Urging operators to improve their knowledge of the potential risks and develop robust security plans, the guidance is the latest step taken by government to reduce the risk of terrorists and criminals gaining access to commercial vehicles.

To meet the new requirements, operators must also assess their exposure to risk and put in place management and accountability for security. Other requirements will include checks of drivers’ references and previous employment history, as well as regular visual checks of vehicles for signs of tampering.

To ensure this new standard is met, the government is working with the industry to develop accreditation and certification schemes for commercial vehicle firms, with further details expected to be announced shortly.

Attacks on the public involving vehicles, which have been targeted due to their size and potential impact, have had tragic consequences in recent years, including in the Westminster and London Bridge attacks of 2017. In 2019, people smuggling resulted in the deaths of 39 Vietnamese nationals, whose bodies were found in a lorry container in Essex. The new guidance is designed to minimise the risk of similar tragic events, which put lives in danger, from happening again.  

“This is vital new guidance which will go a long way to help us in our fight against terrorism and crime,” said Transport Minister Robert Courts, “I wholeheartedly support this move and the British Standards Institution in their important work.

“Terror attacks and organised crime involving commercial vehicles have had tragic and devastating effects in recent years, with every life lost leaving an unimaginable void in the lives of so many. This government will continue to work tirelessly to ensure the British public are kept safe.”

Logistics Magazine interviewed Scott Gibbons from National Counter Terrorism Policing Headquarters last year about the use of vehicles as a weapon. Read the full profile here. 


Published On: 13/05/2021 17:00:45


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