Within the framework of the anti-terrorist strategy in France and, more specifically, from 2nd November 2017 until 30th April 2018, a series of surveillance, prevention and protection plans have been drawn up in different areas, among which one of the most noteworthy is sensitisation to the threat of vehicle ramming.
Attacks using this method constitute a modus operandi used by terrorist organisations. Surveillance to address this nature of attack involves public and private actors who administer vehicle pools (car hire companies, companies organising the transport of both persons and goods). Those who work in these fields have to inform the authorities immediately about incidents related to the theft of vehicles or any other suspicious behaviour.
The Secretariat-General for National Defence and Security (SGDSN) publishes a post on its website with recommendations in order to address this threat.
The recommendations are made on three levels: administration of the vehicle pool, the personnel employed and vehicle drivers.
Administration of the vehicle pool:
- Inform the personnel of such companies that administer vehicle pools about notification procedures.
- Limit outsourcing.
- Provide the company, its premises and vehicles with adapted security components.
- Use GPS devices on the vehicle fleet to be able to quickly detect an unusual route, especially in the case of the transporting of dangerous goods.
- Inform security forces of unusual situations or incidents.
- Personnel employed by hire or transport companies:
- Check the reliability of the personnel employed by such companies (with their references).
- Pay special attention to temporary personnel.
- Regularly provide the personnel with security-related training.
- Pay special attention to unusual behaviour and the risk of radicalisation.
- The drivers of vehicles:
- Take breaks and make stops as quickly as possible, in a non-isolated and safe place.
- Visually monitor the area around the parked vehicle before opening its doors.
- Keep a particularly close eye on people who are not employed by the company.
The following links can consulted for further information:
And also the post published on11th October 2017 “The Vigipirate Plan in the anti-terrorist strategy in France”.
 Vehicle ramming is the act of smashing a vehicle into the wall of an establishment in order to gain entry and commit a robbery. It may also be used, especially by terrorist groups, as a way of attacking a crowd of people.