1. Introduction

The threats from vehicles range from vandalism to sophisticated or aggressive attacks by determined criminals or terrorists. As well as a convenient method to deliver an explosive device, an additional attack methodology is using a vehicle as a weapon (VAW).


Vehicle as a weapon


A vehicle by itself can also be used with hostile intent to breach a perimeter, ram and damage infrastructure, or as a weapon to injure and kill people.

This is referred to as a ‘vehicle as a weapon’ attack. The use of a vehicle as a weapon is a low complexity methodology and has been used by terrorists to target crowded places and publicly accessible locations. A broad range of vehicles can cause significant loss of life and serious injury.

Attacks using a vehicle as a weapon require little to no training so are within the capability of most individuals. Online terrorist media continues to inspire and incite individuals to use a vehicle as a weapon as an attack.

Further information:

Read more: Hostile Vehicle Mitigation (HVM)

Read more: NPSA's (formerly CPNI) Hostile Vehicle Mitigation advice – information, advice and guidance

Vehicle as a Weapon
publicly accessible places
Weapons of Terrorism
PALs Guidance
publicly accessible locations
ProtectUK publication date