Security at venues is to be tightened in the wake of the Manchester Arena terrorist attack under new rules announced by the UK government.
The draft legislation, which will be published in the spring, has been dubbed ‘Martyn’s Law’ in tribute of Martyn Hett, who was killed alongside 21 others in the bombing at an Ariana Grande concert on 22 May 2017.
Working closely with security partners, business and victims’ groups – including Hett’s mother Figen Murray and the Martyn’s Law Campaign Team, and Survivors Against Terror – the new duty will require venues to take steps to improve public safety, with measures dependent on the size of the venue and the activity taking place.
A standard tier will to locations with a maximum capacity of over 100. This will include 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 while awaiting emergency services.
Locations with a capacity of over 800 people will additionally 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, implementation of physical measures like CCTV or new systems and processes to enable better consideration of security.
“As an industry, we remain resolute in our longstanding commitment to keep fans safe”
“As an industry, we remain resolute in our longstanding commitment to keep fans safe,” says LIVE CEO Jon Collins. “We will work closely with government to ensure that proposals, such as the suggested Martyn’s Law, are realistic and workable, and improve safety for all.”
The government will establish an inspection and enforcement regime regarding the proposed legislation, with sanctions to be issued for serious breaches.
“The way the city of Manchester came together as a community in the wake of the cowardly Manchester Arena attack, and the amazing work of campaigners like Figen Murray who have dedicated their lives to making us safer and promoting kindness and tolerance, is an inspiration to us all,” says prime minister Rishi Sunak.
“I am committed to working with Figen to improve security measures at public venues and spaces and to delivering this vital legislation to honour Martyn’s memory and all of those affected by terrorism.”
“Common-sense security, and making sure venues are doing all they can to keep people safe, could mean fewer suffer what myself and the families of Manchester have had to endure”
“Martyn’s Law isn’t going to stop terrorism, but common-sense security, and making sure venues are doing all they can to keep people safe, could mean fewer suffer what myself and the families of Manchester have had to endure,” adds Figen Murray.
“I welcome the government’s commitment to including smaller venues and working quickly on this legislation. It is vital we now take the necessary steps to protect ourselves and others wherever possible and I hope other countries learn from this ground-breaking legislation.”
Dedicated statutory guidance and bespoke support will be provided by the government, while expert advice, training and guidance is also already available on the online protective security hub, ProtectUK.
Last month, the Manchester Arena Inquiry, led by chairman Sir John Saunders, published the second of three reports about the bombing and made a series of recommendations for events after identifying numerous failings by the emergency services.
The findings follow the first report, published in June 2021, which found there were multiple “missed opportunities” to prevent or minimise the impact of the bombing.
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