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You are here: News » Archived News » Manchester City Council backs Martyn’s Law

Manchester City Council backs Martyn’s Law

Fraser Swift, Manchester City Council

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Originally billed as the Protect Duty, The Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill or, as it will commonly be known, “Martyn’s Law” is now set to become law after being included in the King’s Speech. Fraser Swift, Principal Licensing Officer from Manchester City Council explains more about the bill: “Named in tribute to Martyn Hett, who was killed alongside 21 others in the Manchester Arena terrorist attack of 2017, the legislation marks the culmination of the campaign by Martyn’s mother, Figen Murray, to improve the protections in place at public premises from terrorism.”

Who is responsible?
“The ‘responsible person, which is an individual, partnership, unincorporated association, or a corporate body’ in control of the premises or event.”

Where will it apply to?
“The duty will apply to a building (including a collection of buildings e.g. a campus) or any other land which has a readily identifiable boundary (either temporary or permanent), with a public capacity of over 100 persons and where ‘qualifying activities’ take place in them, including retail; sale of food and drink (e.g. a bar or restaurant); a nightclub, social club or dance hall; entertainment venue (e.g. a theatre); sports ground; recreation, exercise or leisure centres; libraries; museums and galleries; exhibition halls; visitor attractions; hotels; places of worship; hospitals; bus and railway stations; schools; universities; public authority buildings (e.g. town halls).”

“The capacity of the premises then defines the tier it falls into:

  1. Standard Tier for smaller premises (100-799 persons)
  2. Enhanced Tier for larger premises and events (800+ persons)

Temporary events with a capacity of 800 or over are also subject to broadly same requirements as enhanced duty premises.”

Standard Tier
“The intention is that standard duty holders will need to undertake low-cost and simple activities to meet their obligations to improve protective security and preparedness, including ensuring relevant workers are given appropriate terrorism protection training to ensure staff are better prepared to respond quickly to evolving situations, aware of what processes they should follow, able to make rapid decisions and carry out actions that will save lives.

“The responsible person will also need to complete a ‘standard terrorism evaluation’ in which they consider how best to respond in the event of a terrorist incident (e.g. procedures to evacuate or lock down their premises, communicate with customers and neighbouring premises, availability of first aid equipment such as Public Access Trauma (PAcT) kits). All places of worship and educational premises will fall under the Standard Tier regardless of capacity (unless commercial activities are within).”

Enhanced Tier
“A risk assessment and security plan that includes security measures and procedures considered to a ‘reasonably practicable’ standard will be required. This will 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 using a recognised standard in other regulatory regimes (including Fire and Health and Safety). A ’designated senior officer’ must also be appointed for the premises or event, who will be responsible for coordinating completion of the terrorism risk assessment, for example, as well as being the point of contact for any communication with the regulator.”

Compliance
“A yet to be announced regulator will be established with powers of inspection and enforcement to seek to educate, advise, and ensure compliance with the duty. Where necessary, the inspectorate will use a range of sanctions to ensure that breaches are dealt with effectively, including compliance and restriction notices and financial penalties of up to a maximum of £10k (standard duty) and, for enhanced duty or qualifying public events, a maximum of £18m or 5% of worldwide revenue.”

Co-operation and co-ordination
“In addition to the responsible person, there will be circumstances where there is another person or organisation that has some form of control. They will be required to cooperate with requirements placed upon the responsible person to ensure that they succeed in compliance, when it is within their power to do so.”

Next steps
“Ahead of introducing the Bill in Parliament, the Government will launch a consultation on the standard tier to ensure the Bill’s measures strike the right balance between public protection and avoiding undue burdens on smaller premises. Businesses should be aware that the Martyn’s Law legislation is not yet final are may still be subject to change. Therefore, they should exercise caution in relation to any companies offering services in connection with complying with the requirements. However, businesses would be well advised to start familiarising themselves with the proposals (see guidance below) and review what they can be doing now.”

Since 2021, Manchester City Council in partnership with CityCo and Counter Terrorism Policing have delivered ACT (Action Counters Terrorism) training to over 1,800 individuals from over 600 of Manchester’s hospitality businesses Click Here

FURTHER INFORMATION
The ProtectUK website, launched in 2022 to provide a new central hub for counter terrorism and security advice.

Draft guidance and template documents including legislation and explanatory info: gov.uk/government/publications/terrorism

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