UK venues will be required to take steps to improve public safety after the Government announced details for the Protect Duty, now to be known as ‘Martyn’s Law’ in tribute of Martyn Hett, who was killed alongside 21 others in the Manchester Arena terrorist attack in 2017.
The plans have been developed following public consultation and engagement across industry, charities, local authorities, security experts and with survivors. 70% of the thousands who responded to the consultation agreed that those responsible for publicly accessible locations should take measures to protect the public from potential attacks.
Martyn’s Law will follow a tiered model linked to activity that takes place at a location and its capacity aimed to prevent undue burden on businesses.
An enhanced tier will focus on high-capacity locations in recognition of the potential consequences of a successful attack. Locations with a capacity of over 800 people at any time, will additionally be required to undertake a risk assessment to inform the development and implementation of a thorough security plan. A standard tier will apply to locations with a maximum capacity of over 100which can undertake low-cost, simple yet effective activities to improve preparedness.
The Government will establish an inspection and enforcement regime, promoting compliance and positive cultural change and issuing credible and fair sanctions for serious breaches.
Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, said: “The way the city of Manchester came together as a community in the wake of the cowardly Manchester Arena attack, and the amazing work of campaigners like Figen Murray who have dedicated their lives to making us safer and promoting kindness and tolerance, is an inspiration to us all.
“I am committed to working with Figen to improve security measures at public venues and spaces and to delivering this vital legislation to honour Martyn’s memory and all of those affected by terrorism.”
Michael Kill, chief executive of Night Time Industries Association (NTIA), said: “We are pleased to see that the Government has finally confirmed its intentions with regard to Martyn’s Law, with the announcement that new legislation will come in, to scale up preparedness for and protection from terrorist attacks in public spaces.
“The NTIA & UKDSA (UK Door Security Association) have worked closely with the Home Office, key agencies and stakeholders in the development of the practicalities around the implementation of Protect Duty, and will continue to do so in the coming months to ensure that measures are proportionate and effective at a ground level.”
“The Government has worked with the sector and listened to important feedback from our members at ground level, where proportionality is key and support is given to businesses who need it the most.”
Figen Murray, mother of Martyn Hett said: “Martyn’s Law isn’t going to stop terrorism, but common-sense security, and making sure venues are doing all they can to keep people safe, could mean fewer suffer what myself and the families of Manchester have had to endure.”