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UK to introduce tough checks on people hiring vans and cars

Hertz WestminsterThe UK’s government is in the process of introducing measures which will require van and car hire companies to carry out in-depth vetting of renters. The edict comes in the wake of a series of terror attacks in the UK and Europe in which terrorists have used vehicles to drive into crowds of people.

The government wants hire firms to share the personal information of would-be hirers so that it can be checked against lists of people with known links to terror groups. Once vetting agencies have given the green light, hire suppliers would then be able to release the vehicles to hirers.

UK police forces have already asked hire firm employees who have any suspicions about drivers hiring vans or cars to alert local officers. MPs are said to be appalled at the ease with which terrorists have been able to hire vehicles and then use them as weapons of murder and destruction.

A spokesperson confirmed the Department for Transport has been tasked with coordinating measures with hire firms and police representatives to make it tougher for people to hire vehicles for the purposes of terrorism. The British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association’s Toby Poston explained that the ideal scenario would be one that allowed authorities to access databases in real time.

The latest twin attacks with vehicles in Barcelona and Cambrils in Spain left 14 dead. In the UK over the past few months, vans and cars have been the weapons of choice for terrorists in Westminster and London Bridge as well as one by a lone attacker in Finsbury Park.

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