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Following the horrific Manchester arena terrorist bombings in 2017, the Government is planning to introduce a new legislation, due to be called Martyn’s Law as tribute to one of the victims of the arena attacks, to ensure that stronger protections are in place against terrorism in public places.

The new legislation will require venues to take steps to improve public safety, and will follow a tiered model linked to the size and capacity of the venue and the type of activity taking place.

Standard tier will apply to locations with a maximum capacity of over 100. It will require venues to make low-cost effective improvements for preparedness such as training, information sharing, and completion of a preparedness plan (i.e. locking doors to delay attackers, knowing escape routes).

Enhanced tier will focus on high-capacity venues with a maximum occupancy of over 800. It will require the site to undertake a risk assessment and develop a security plan to allow duty holders to assess the balance of risk reduction against the time, money, and effort required to achieve a successful level of security preparedness. It will include measures such as developing a vigilant security culture and implementing or updating CCTV systems.

Premises or locations will fall into the scope of Martyn’s Law if ALL THREE of the following tests are satisfied:

  1. That the premises is an eligible one – i.e. building or event with a defined boundary;
  2. That a qualifying activity takes place at the location; and
  3. That the maximum occupancy of the premises meets a specified threshold – either 100+ or 800+.

The idea is for the Government to establish an inspection and enforcement regime that will promote compliance and issue credibility with fair sanctions being imposed for any serious breaches. However, guidance and support will be provided to ensure that this does not inflict undue burden on responsible parties.

There is no exact date as to when the new legislation will be implemented, but the Government has said that it will be introduced as soon as parliamentary time allows. For more information on this, see the home office factsheet.

Please note that this information is for general guidance only and should not substitute professional legal advice. If you have specific concerns, we recommend consulting one of our legal experts.


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