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Scott Gibbons of the Counter Terrorism Policing Headquarters has highlighted the danger Vehicle as a Weapon (VAW) attacks pose to logistics businesses and UK citizens in an interview with FTA’s Logistics Magazine. Published in the March 2020 edition, Mr Gibbons speaks of how the 2016 terrorist VAW attack in Nice was a “game changer” and ignited an international security policy shift that is still in force today.

Mr Gibbons comments: “The 2016 Nice terror attack – where a 19-tonne lorry truck drove into a large crowd – was a wake-up call for policing. International colleagues that I’ve spoken to talk about Nice as a game changer. While VAW attacks were not a new concept, because Nice led to such a huge loss of life, industry approached the police to ask what it could do to prevent future attacks.”

While the threat of a terrorist attack in Britain has recently been downgraded to ‘substantial’, Gibbons warns against complacency, commenting: “Just because the threat level is lowered, it doesn’t mean there is no chance of an attack. It means they look at the intelligence picture and assess at that point that whilst an attack is still likely there is not the information to assess it as highly likely.”

Mr Gibbons urges logistics companies to ensure that they have a good security and business continuity plan in place; he advises transport operators to read the guidance available and engage with their local Counter Terrorism Security Adviser. Businesses can also help the fight against terrorism by identifying and reporting unusual behaviour.

Matt Harrington, Editor of Logistics Magazine comments: “The interview with Scott Gibbons offers a rare insight into the lifesaving work of the counter terrorism police. Mr Gibbons was one of the most highly-rated speakers at FTA’s 2019 Transport Manager Conference; we find our members are very interested in understanding the steps they can take to keep the UK safe.”

Read the full interview in Logistics Magazine, subscriptions are open to both members of FTA and non-members, more information is available here: https://fta.co.uk/membership/member-information-services/lmag

Scott Gibbons will be speaking at FTA’s Van Operational Briefings at the following dates and venues: 19 May in Derby, 21 May in Milton Keynes and 28 May in Dunblane. For more information, please visit https://fta.co.uk/vob