Informa Markets

Author Bio ▼

Safety and Health Practitioner (SHP) is first for independent health and safety news.
December 14, 2023

Get the SHP newsletter

Daily health and safety news, job alerts and resources

Martyn's Law

Martyn’s law and key steps for businesses to consider

In our final legal column of the year from Eversheds Sutherland, we hear from Partner, Sarah Valentine, who discusses Martyn’s law and key steps for businesses to consider through ‘PROTECT’.

Sarah Valentine, Partner at Eversheds Sutherland

18 months after the terror attack on the Manchester Arena on 22 May 2017, Figen Murray, the mother of Martyn Hett, one of the 22 people who tragically lost their lives as a result of the attack, attended a music concert in Manchester.

To her devastation, despite the concert’s 3,000 attendees, no security checks took place. In the weeks that followed, Murray’s research identified a lack of legislative provision for the management and training of security at public venues.

Even at premises where there appeared to be a proportionate security provision demonstrated by a presence of individuals in high-visibility jackets, Murry found that often these individuals had little to no training on the risks of terrorist activity and were unequipped to deal with attacks at, or in the vicinity of, publicly accessible premises or events.

This sparked the beginning of Murray’s campaign to change the approach of venues to managing the risk of terrorist attacks. Working alongside Brendan Cox, the founder of Survivors Against Terror, and Nick Aldworth, the former Chief Superintendent for the Metropolitan Police, Murray formulated proposed new legislation to provide better public protection from terrorism for the British Public, known as ‘Martyn’s law’.

Further reading: Martyn’s Law – An overview

Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill 

In May 2023, six years after the Manchester Arena attack, the first draft of Martyn’s law was published. The Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill will, if passed, introduce an additional piece of anti-terrorism legislation into UK law. The bill is designed to ‘keep people safe by introducing new security requirements for certain public locations and venues to ensure preparedness for and protection from terrorist attacks’.

The legislation will potentially affect all those who own or operate accessible locations, or ‘qualifying public premises’ – for example shops, restaurants, nightclubs, hotels, entertainment venues, sports grounds, railway stations, visitor attractions amongst others.

If passed, such venues will be required to consider the threat from terrorism and implement appropriate and proportionate measures according to their capacity.

Measures required will likely include the training of on-site personnel, enhanced security systems and clearer processes. Increased duties are likely to be in place for those ‘qualifying public premises’ which are deemed ‘enhanced duty premises’ by virtue of their capacity of 800 people or more. Such increased duties are likely to include requirements to undertake detailed terrorism risk assessments designed to inform the development and implementation of a security plan to ensure they are better prepared to respond quickly to terrorist attacks and save lives.

It is also anticipated that the government will establish an inspection and enforcement regime, including the provision of statutory guidance and the issuing of sanctions for breaches.

Watch our on-demand webinar: The Protect Duty, ‘Martyn’s Law’ bill – a risk management perspective

Whilst there is no date for the bill’s parliamentary consideration as the bill remains under pre-legislative scrutiny, work can and should be implemented to ensure that businesses are adequately prepared for the introduction of Martyn’s law.

Event safetyUsing a PROTECT anagram, we have set out below some key steps for businesses to consider:

  • Preparedness planning – to protect and manage your emergency response to a terrorism threat or attack. Regardless of the size of your undertaking, a detailed risk assessment should be undertaken to identify areas where measures are required to mitigate risk. For example, incident response planning and first aid preparedness. This plan will need to include training and information sharing with key stakeholders and be dynamic in order to mirror evolving terrorism threats.
  • Risk management review – a detailed review of existing arrangements is advisable to ensure the assessment includes enhanced security measures such as CCTV, lockable doors, anti-ram barriers and bollards, security personnel surveillance and personal items and bag checks.
  • Onboarding of third parties – where businesses involve third parties such as security provision or otherwise, they should seek to coordinate all parties to engage with security protocols. Due diligence of third parties expertise, training, and risk management practices should be undertaken to ensure engagement of competent contractors.
  • Training programmes – training should be developed to educate and advise your workforce on the Protect Duty and security risk arrangements. Incident crisis management exercises are encouraged to test your security arrangements, and escalation and reporting procedures. The ProtectUK website has a catalogue of e-learning courses and toolkits organisations can utilise as part of their communication strategy and training programme.
  • Embed a culture of vigilance and security awareness – this can be done through delivering a consultative approach by engaging your workforce in developing your preparedness plan and risk management strategy. Encourage reflection and reviews on previous event management, security arrangements and  any knowledge of lessons learned.
  • Control measures – consider what control measures are required to protect the public.  Physical safeguards should be considered as part of your risk review exercise, for example: CCTV, lockable doors and secure spaces, barriers and bollards, introduction of personal items and bag checks and security personnel patrolling site. These are likely to be new initiatives to introduce to your site to enhance your existing health, safety and fire safety arrangements.
  • Track the progress of the bill – ensure you are informed of any updates to enable you to respond to the developing requirements. This will improve your security risk arrangements and ensure any measures implemented are to be considered suitable and sufficient and aligned to the evolving guidance and regulation in this area.

If you require support in proactively enhancing your existing security arrangements please contact Sarah Valentine, who is a Partner in Eversheds Sutherland’s Environment, Health and Safety Team. She can be contacted on [email protected].


Why should you subscribe to the SHP newsletter?

Do you want the very latest health and safety news, product launches, job listings and expert opinions sent straight to your inbox daily?

The SHP newsletter is essential reading – sign up today to get your hands on all this!


Related Topics

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments