12 May 2023
The Home Office has published draft legislation that will ensure better public safety, known as Martyn’s law.
Martyn’s Law is a tribute to Martyn Hett who was killed alongside 21 others in the Manchester Arena terrorist attack in 2017. Martyn’s mother Figen Murray and other campaigners have worked with the government to deliver this draft legislation.
The premise of the bill is that those responsible for publicly accessible locations should take measures to protect the public from potential attacks.
Martyn’s Law will apply across the whole of the UK, following extensive consultation with the public, businesses and campaign groups.
Standard and Enhanced Tiers
The draft bill suggests that tiered guidance should apply to locations based on capacity and type of event taking place.
The standard tier will apply to public premises with a maximum capacity of 100 or more people. Standard tier premises will be required to undertake basic activities to improve their preparedness, including terrorism protection training and evaluating the best procedures to put in place in order to minimise impact.
Enhanced tier premises and events guidance applies to public premises and events with a maximum capacity of 800 or more people. These premises have further requirements in recognition of the potential consequences of a successful attack. This will include appointing a designated senior officer who must regularly review the security of the venue.
Limited exemptions to the capacity requirements apply to education establishments and places of worship. Guidance and training materials will also be available to premises with a capacity of under 100, should they want additional support.
An inspection and enforcement regime will be established to promote the requirements for each tier.
Figen Murray, the mother of Martyn Hett, said: “Today is an important step forward to a safer country. Martyn’s Law will end the ridiculous situation where venues have legal obligations for how many toilets they have but no obligation to keep their customers protected.
“Of course Martyn’s Law won’t stop all terror attacks, but it will make crowded places better protected and prepared, and make the terrorists’ job that bit harder. Almost six years after the Manchester Arena attack it’s now critical this bill is passed into law as quickly as possible and in the strongest form possible.”
British Retail Consortium Assistant Director, Graham Wynn, added: “Given the number of retail premises, Martyn’s Law is particularly relevant to retailers. We have appreciated the Home Office’s willingness to make adjustments to the bill - such as the move to make capacity the basis to meet changing needs - as well as make it more practical and proportionate.
“It will be important to ensure all operational details work effectively - such as how the tiers operate at the margins. After closer examination of the detail, we look forward to the opportunity to provide additional suggestions as appropriate during the Parliamentary process.”
Picture: a photograph of some tiered seating at a sports stadium. Image Credit: Unsplash
Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 12 May 2023
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