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Peer: Venues ‘not doing enough’ to combat terror

A British peer has said licensing laws should be changed to force staff at UK music venues to undergo counter-terror training.

Ruth Henig, Baroness Henig, this morning told BBC Two’s Victoria Derbyshire programme she plans to table an amendment to the Licensing Act 2003 to include mandatory anti-terror training.

“There are clearly a number of venues – often the larger venues, I think, but not always – who have airport-style security, who, for example, do have metal detectors, who do have very well-trained security personnel and they top up this training regularly,” said Baroness Henig (pictured), who is also a non-executive chair of private security firm SecuriGroup.

“But I think at the other end there is a tail of venues who aren’t taking it seriously – we know this from the police – who don’t co-operate, who don’t take up the offers that are made to them and where I think there are some concerns. And the issue is, how do you get to that tail of venues who are perhaps not doing as much as they should be about security?”

“It is unfortunate Baroness Henig should have made such an ill-judged statement without contacting us”

Baroness Henig’s comments were criticised by Music Venue Trust (MVT)’s Mark Davyd, who described them as “ill-judged” and rejected claims Britain’s venues are refusing to cooperate with authorities.

“It is unfortunate Baroness Henig should have made such an ill-judged statement without contacting us,” he tells IQ. “We would have been able to reassure her that small music venues are fully engaged with [Metropolitan police counter-terrorism initiative] Project Griffin, which was presented at Venues Day 2016 and was warmly received by over 200 music venues.

“There is no evidence to suggest that music venues are averse to engage with the police or any other non-commercial security agencies when it comes to issues surrounding the safety of the public. If any grassroots music venue feels under-informed about Project Griffin, Music Venue Trust is working with the Met and we are happy to supply further information.

“We have not been made aware of any specific threat against grassroots music venues; we would urge that all public spaces, theatres, cinemas, libraries, museums, etc., should adopt the proactive approach being undertaken in this sector by MVT and the Met.”

 


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