The UK’s resilience to terrorism is to be stepped up, as the government announces 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.
Working closely with security partners, business and victims’ groups, including Figen Murray and the Martyn’s Law Campaign Team, and Survivors Against Terror, the new duty will require venues to take steps to improve public safety, with measures dependent on the size of the venue and the activity taking place.
Dedicated statutory guidance and bespoke support will be provided by the government to ensure those in scope can effectively discharge their responsibilities, with even small venues also able to benefit from this and take voluntary action. Expert advice, training and guidance is also already available on the online protective security hub, ProtectUK.
Updates on Martyn’s Law from events industry bodies
Update from AEV – The AEV was invited to a workshop with the Home Office alongside LIVE last week to discuss the draft legislation due in spring 2023. The purpose of the session was to try and ensure that the drafted Martyn’s Law Legislation works for us as an industry when it gets published. The legislation will be subject to scrutiny via evidence sessions at Select Committee hearings over the summer after which a report will be published. At the session we advised that, as an industry, we are seeking clarification on responsibility in a number of areas (eg grey space / police support) to ensure consistency is applied across events and venues in the UK.
Update from EIF – While there is much talk around the events industry about the implications of Martyn’s Law, there remains considerable uncertainty over the extent it will be applied and it is still likely to be a couple of years before anything becomes law. Although event organisers should always seek to do all they can to protect their staff and the public, there is as yet no legal requirement to apply anything proposed under ‘Martyn’s Law’ and, indeed, current discussions suggest that the law many not apply to open air events.
Russell Phillips, counter terrorism advisor who is close to the current discussions on Martyn’s Law, recently presented to the AFO conference on the subject – you can see his presentation here.
NaCTSO (National Counter Terrorism Security Office ) are also advising everyone not to pay money to companies offering training on a law that does not yet exist and will have many bumps along the road before it reaches Parliament. However, there is an argument for event organisers to start thinking about the issues around this area and a good starting point can be found at https://www.protectuk.police.uk/ and its app for all mobile phones where they can stay up-to-date and start thinking about what they can do now to prevent or respond to an attack.
Martyn’s Law Workshops
The Home Office will be hosting a series of workshops around the UK in May on the upcoming Martyn’s Law, which will ensure stronger protections against terrorism in public places. These will be full day workshops where the Home Office will provide attendees with information on Martyn’s Law, and help to scope how the legislation will work in practice. Officials will also be seeking your views on what is needed from the Home Office to make Martyn’s Law a success.
DCMS invites all owners, operators, and those with responsibility for public premises to apply for one of a series of workshops around the UK covering Martyn’s Law.
Attending one of these workshops will allow you to hear about plans for the upcoming legislation and help to scope how the legislation will work in practice, including opportunities to contribute to requirements on advice and guidance.
Pre-reading will be required, and on the day members of the policy team behind Martyn’s Law will be on hand to answer questions and discuss specific issues. They encourage applications from those with an interest, regardless of whether you have any security-related experience.
Workshops will last for one day (0930-1600). There is no cost to attendees for the workshop, and tea, coffee, water and lunch will be provided. The Home Office will not fund any travel or accommodation costs associated with your attendance.
The dates and locations for the workshops are as follows:
Please apply for one of the workshops at the below link, if you have any questions in the interim, please email ProtectDuty@homeoffice.gov.uk.
The deadline for all applications is 07/04/2023. You will be notified if your application has been successful by 19/04/2023.