The Government has confirmed that draft legislation to enforce stronger protection against terrorism in public places such as venues will be published in early spring.
It said the UK-wide law will mean that venue operators and local authorities will be required to create action plans outlining measures to mitigate the threat from terrorist attack. Measures will be dependent on the size of the venue and the activity taking place.
Venues with a capacity of more than 100 but not more than 800 will fall into a ‘standard tier’, for which Martyn’s Law would mean them undertaking simple and low-cost activities to improve preparedness. The Home Office said, “This will include training, information sharing and completion of a preparedness plan to embed practices, such as locking doors to delay attackers progress or knowledge on lifesaving treatments that can be administered by staff whilst awaiting emergency services.”
The ‘enhanced tier’ will encompass venues with a capacity of more than 800. Operators of venues falling into that category will additionally be required to undertake a risk assessment to inform the development and implementation of a security plan. “Subsequent measures could include developing a vigilance and security culture, implementation of physical measures like CCTV or new systems and processes to enable better consideration of security,” said the Home Office.
Representing 14 live music industry associations, Jon Collins CEO of LIVE (Live music Industry Venues & Entertainment) welcomed the fact Martyn’s Law is going to come forward as a draft bill believing it is likely to lead to a better final legislation.
He said, “As an industry, we remain resolute in our longstanding commitment to keep fans safe. We will work closely with Government to ensure that proposals, such as Martyn’s Law, are realistic and workable, and improve safety for all.”
Figen Murray (pictured), mother of Martyn Hett who was one of 22 people who died in the 2017 Manchester Arena attack, has since the tragedy been lobbying hard for increased anti-terrorism measures at publicly accessible facilities.
The Government said the new law, which had a working title of Protect Duty, will be known as Martyn’s Law in tribute to Hett.
Murray welcomed the Government’s commitment to include smaller venues: “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.
“It is vital we now take the necessary steps to protect ourselves and others wherever possible and I hope other countries learn from this ground-breaking legislation.”
Prime minister Rishi Sunak said, “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.”
Night Time Industries Association CEO & chair of the UK Door Security Association Michael Kill said the Government should consider the impact of the legislation on the private security sector: “With security resource numbers during the pandemic reaching an all-time low. We will need to consider increasing licensed operative numbers leading up to the implementation of these new laws to ensure we do not fall foul of resource challenges.
“Security operatives will play an important role in the protection of public spaces and will require a similar level of bespoke guidance and training to fulfil their role.”
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