17th October 2023
New Bill to Combat Terror Threats
The Government is seeking to introduce a new Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill – often referred to ‘Martyn’s Law’ in tribute of Martyn Hett, who was killed alongside 21 others in the Manchester Arena terrorist attack in 2017.
The new Bill aims to place a duty on qualifying public premises or events to take certain steps to deter and minimize the threat and impact of terrorism on the public.
The Bill will apply to all premises with a capacity of 100 people or more and are open to the public where they are used for purposes such as retail, hospitality, entertainment, sports and visitor attractions.
The Bill will follow a tiered model linked to activity that takes place at a location and its capacity aimed to prevent undue burden on businesses. Premises will either have to comply with ‘Standard’ or ‘Enhanced’ requirements proposed under the Bill.
A standard tier will apply to locations with a maximum capacity of over 100 which can undertake low-cost, simple yet effective activities to improve preparedness. This will include staff training, information sharing and completion of a preparedness plan to embed practices, such as locking doors to delay attackers’ progress or knowledge on lifesaving treatments that can be administered by staff whilst awaiting emergency services.
An enhanced tier will focus on high-capacity locations in recognition of the potential consequences of a successful attack. Locations with a capacity of over 800 people at any time will also be required to undertake a risk assessment to inform the development and implementation of a thorough security plan. Subsequent measures could include developing a vigilance and security culture, and implementing physical measures like CCTV or new systems and processes to enable better consideration of security.
It is proposed that all relevant premises within scope will be required to register with a government regulator (most likely the HSE.)
What Happens Next?
The Bill will be presented to parliament to commence its journey to the statute book. This will extend to and apply across the whole of the United Kingdom. The government has indicated that it will publish draft legislation in the early spring of 2024.
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