Martyn Hett sadly lost his life in a terrorist attack along with 21 others at the Manchester Arena in May 2017. Martyn’s Law is a proposed piece of legislation that would form part of the ‘Protect Duty’ which when introduced, places a legal requirement or ‘duty’ on publicly accessible locations (PAL’s) to protect the public from Terrorism. This means it will likely apply to any place or space to which the public have access.
For small venues, this may require minimal measures such as providing employees with a free of charge one hour training session in the form of ACT e-learning or putting together a counter terrorism plan.
Martyn’s Law will be a stand-alone legislation and will not be incorporated into H&S or fire safety policies. For larger companies or more complex venues, it will require a more holistic, detailed approach. It consists of five requirements.
That spaces and places to which the public have access to:
- engage with freely available counter terrorism advice, awareness sessions and training;
- conduct vulnerability assessments of their operating places and spaces;
- mitigate the risks identified as vulnerabilities;
- put in place a counter-terrorism plan and;
- a requirement for local authorities to plan for the threat of terrorism.
When the legislation is introduced, it is anticipated that there will be a lead in time to implement the above. Aaron Duggan, a former Detective Chief Superintendent and a Director of Portent Solutions Ltd – a risk and crisis management consultancy based in Greater Manchester said. “The ongoing inquiry into the 2017 attack has already identified a number of issues that could have possibly helped mitigate the attack. One of those issues was the lack of opportunity for staff to practice and exercise their training in a ‘safe’ environment. Plans and training need to be tested and exercised regularly at all levels to ensure that when an incident occurs, a business or organisation and their staff are in the best place to respond and deal with it.
“The determination of Martyn’s mother, Figen Murray, to bring about change in the way we view our responsibilities to protect people from terrorism should be widely applauded. Martyn’s Law is a proposed piece of legislation that would form part of the “Protect Duty” which will require any venue to have in place an anti-terrorism plan which is similar to a fire evacuation plan. It is accepted that this legislation will not prevent a determined terrorist attack, however, it will put organisations in the best possible place to deal with any incident and help save lives. Preventing Terrorism is everyone’s business, local communities, businesses in the private sector and public organisations all have a vital role to play.
“Portent Solutions can help you prepare for this legislation; we have a background in law enforcement, managing community safety and crisis management across Greater Manchester and the Northwest region spanning three decades. Our initial review of risk to your business is completely free”.
“You should remain alert but not alarmed, if concerned you should report suspicious activity online at act.campaign.gov.uk”