Why timing could be crucial for Martyn’s Law

March 6, 2024


Martyn's Law

With the upcoming deadline of 11:59pm on Monday 18 March 2024, the timing of Martyn’s Law has an ever growing importance, in its aim to ensure public safety.

Most businesses and professionals in the UK’s security industry will by now have heard of the proposed counter terrorism legislation known as Martyn’s Law.

If you haven’t, it’s time to familiarise yourself with it.

The draft legislation is officially known as the Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill and follows more than five years of campaigning by Figen Murray OBE, the mother of Martyn Hett, who died in the Manchester Arena terror attack on 22 May 2017.

There are currently no legal requirements in the UK for businesses and venues to enhance security measures and preparedness for a potential terror attack.

There are however legal requirements for the number of toilets and how food is handled on premises.

Pushing for change

Martyn’s Law will change this.

When introduced, Martyn’s Law will be a significant step forward for security.

It has the potential to save lives and will help mitigate the impact of security threats, ensuring the public feel confident and safe to enjoy public spaces such as cinemas, sports halls and theatres.

By consulting with security industry businesses and professionals, the legislation has been designed to be proportionate as to avoid placing unnecessary burdens and costs on businesses.

Venues with a capacity between 100 to 799 people will be categorized under ‘standard tier’ requirements, whereas those with a capacity of 800 and more will be categorized under ‘enhanced tier’ requirements.

But we are still waiting for the Government to confirm a regulator that will oversee the implementation and standards and what the required training will look like.

Although most security industry businesses and seven out of 10 members of the public are in favour of introducing Martyn’s Law, a report published last year by the Home Affairs Select Committee following misleading evidence means its introduction has been delayed.

Deadline for Martyn’s Law

The Home Office has since launched a new public consultation around the standard tier requirements which you can contribute to online or by emailing [email protected].

The deadline is 11.59pm on Monday 18 March 2024.

Before you submit your response, it is worth considering the circumstances we are dealing with.

Since 2017, the UK’s Intelligence Services and Counter Terrorism Policing have disrupted 39 late-stage terror attacks and are investigating 800 live cases annually.

The nature and methods of terrorism are also changing as self-radicalised individuals are adopting less sophisticated ways to carry out an attack, such as using a knife or vehicle.

The Prime Minister recently made a public speech outside No10 to warn about the polarising tactics being used by extremist groups who seek to undermine our values and cause harm in the UK.

Subsequently, the threat level facing the UK is currently set at substantial meaning an attack is likely.

Mitigating risk

Martyn’s Law will help the security industry to proactively identify and mitigate risks to significantly reduce the likelihood of security incidents and minimise their impact if they occur.

Members of staff will receive an appropriate level of scenario-based training that will ensure they can take the necessary steps to protect people and reduce the impact of a potential terror attack.

This enhanced security and safety training will also mean the benefits Martyn’s Law provides will go beyond counter terrorism.

In the meantime, you can take advantage of free ACT e-learning provided by the Government here.

Martyn’s Law will not stop all terror attacks, but it will help prepare businesses and security professionals to better respond to and to protect the public in the instance of a terror attack.

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