Getting ready for Martyn’s Law
The government recently published a draft Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill, introducing Martyn’s Law, a new Protect Duty legislation to strengthen security measures in public places and events. For the not-for-profit sector, this will be most relevant to churches, places of worship and larger charity/community-owned venues and events.
Understanding Martyn’s Law
The proposed legislation is currently undergoing pre-legislative scrutiny. The Law is named after Martyn Hett, a victim of a devastating terrorist attack at the Manchester Arena in 2017. It addresses the need for consistent and proportionate security measures for public premises and events.
Scope of Martyn’s Law
Martyn’s Law will apply to a wide range of publicly accessible venues, including entertainment and leisure facilities, retail stores, museums and galleries, sports grounds, government buildings, places of worship, and educational institutions.
Proportional security measures
The Law establishes a tiered model based on the size and nature of activities taking place at a premise or event. Standard tier requirements apply to qualifying premises with a capacity of 100 or more individuals. Enhanced tier requirements apply to high-capacity venues and events with 800 or more individuals such as live music premises, theatres, and department stores.
The Government states that “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.”
Responsibilities of premises and events
Under Martyn’s Law, those responsible for premises or events covered by the legislation will have to undertake certain obligations. The standard tier duty holders must complete a plan to enhance preparedness, provide terrorism protection training to staff, raise awareness, and share information. Enhanced tier premises and events require a risk assessment, security plan, and implementation of reasonably practicable measures to mitigate the risk of terrorist attacks.
Enforcement and support
To ensure compliance, an inspection capability will be established to educate, advise, and enforce the requirements of Martyn’s Law. The legislation also introduces a regulator responsible for overseeing enforcement actions and imposing monetary penalties for non-compliance. For support, organisations will receive dedicated guidance, including access to ProtectUK, an online platform providing trusted advice, guidance, and learning resources on protective security.
Balancing security and accessibility
While implementing enhanced security measures, the government recognises the importance of maintaining access to public spaces. Changes driven by Martyn’s Law are intended to be primarily behind the scenes, with visible measures only where necessary. The goal is to balance robust security and ensure the public can enjoy public spaces without compromising accessibility.
The most recent update was provided at the beginning of May, but the fact sheet from Dec 2022 can be seen below.
See the Factsheet here.