Thursday, July 25, 2024
HomeSecurityGovernment publishes draft bill for Martyn’s Law

Government publishes draft bill for Martyn’s Law

Martyn’s Law saw progression as the government published draft Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill on May 2nd, which sets out the requirements that venues and other organisations will have to meet to ensure public safety.

Home Office said: “The UK will be better prepared for, and protected from, terrorist attacks under new draft laws published by government.”

Martyn’s Law, a tribute to Martyn Hett who was killed alongside 21 others in the Manchester Arena terrorist attack in 2017, will introduce a tiered model for certain locations, as the government announced in December 2022.

The legislation will ensure venues are prepared for, and ready to respond in the event of, an attack.

Martyn’s Law will extend to and apply across the whole of the United Kingdom and has been developed following extensive consultation with the public, businesses and campaign groups. The significant majority agree that those responsible for publicly accessible locations should take measures to protect the public from potential attacks.

Among the campaigners was Figen Murray OBE, the mother of Martyn Hett. Her campaign for “Martyn’s Law” has informed the process leading to the draft Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill.

Figen Murray OBE commented on Twitter on the progression of Martyn’s Law: “I hope Martyn would feel pleased with what has been achieved.”

She also 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.”

Security Minister Tom Tugendhat said: “The threat from terrorism is enduring.

“In recent years, we have seen terrorists target the public at a broad range of locations, causing deaths and casualties amongst innocent people going about their everyday lives,

“This is a significant step forward for Martyn’s Law and our ability to further protect the public.

“I welcome the committee’s scrutiny to ensure that this legislation is proportionate while enhancing our national security.”

How will it work?

The tiers in the model will depend on the capacity of premises or event and activity taking place to prevent unnecessary burden to business.

The standard tier will apply to public premises with a maximum capacity of 100 or more people, whilst the enhanced tier applies to public premises and events with a maximum capacity of 800 or more people.

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.

Standard tier premises will be required to undertake basic, low-cost 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 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.

An inspection and enforcement regime will be established to promote the requirements for each tier.

In the event of non-compliance, sanctions and ultimately penalties will be issued to premises.

(Source and Image: Home Office)

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