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Martyn's Law: What might this mean for your business?

You might have heard about Martyn’s Law in the last few months after it was mentioned in the King’s Speech back in November. If you’re still unfamiliar with it, don’t worry, as we’re here to lend you a hand in getting to grips with the proposed new legislation.

Martyn’s Law is the colloquial name for the Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill, and is potentially becoming law in 2024. It aims to improve protective security across the UK in response to the horrific 2017 Manchester Arena attacks, to ensure that in the event of future terrorist activity, premises will have compulsory measures in place to minimise the harm that could be done.

Will your business be affected?

Those responsible for premises or events across the UK will be required by law to implement measures to mitigate the threat posed by terrorism and raise the overall standard of public safety and preparedness.

The legislation will apply to premises and events that:

  • Are accessible to the public
  • Are used for a purpose listed in the Bill (e.g. entertainment & leisure, food & drink)
  • Have a capacity of 100 or more
  • Have a clearly identifiable physical boundary and are accessed by express permission (also applies to outdoor events)

Legislation also applies to some temporary events, like festivals, that require permission to enter and have a capacity of 800 or more.

What will you be required to do?

The measures required will depend on a venue’s capacity, with two tiers to separate larger from smaller spaces, the Standard and Enhanced tiers respectively.

1. Standard tier – for premises and events with a capacity of 100 to 799

The required measures will be established following a public consultation on the topic, as the government are keen not to burden smaller businesses with measures they’ll struggle to implement. They’re aware of the vast differences in the functions and resources of many smaller businesses and have emphasised that anything deemed necessary of premises in this category will need to be reasonably practicable as well as effective. Stay tuned for more information from the Home Office.

2. Enhanced tier – for premises with a capacity of 800 or more

Venues in the enhanced tier will have to implement additional requirements to mitigate the potentially catastrophic consequences of a terrorist attack on a high-capacity location, such as theatres, live music venues or department stores. Those responsible for premises in this tier must:

  • Notify the regulator of their premise or event
  • Take ‘reasonably practicable’ measures that will reduce the risk of a terrorist attack occurring or physical harm being caused. The reasonably practicable test is utilised in other regulatory regimes e.g., Health and Safety, and will enable organisations to tailor their approach to the nature of the premises, their activities and resources;
  • Keep and maintain a security document, aided by an assessment of the terrorism risk, which must also be provided to the regulator; and
  • If the responsible person is a body corporate, they must appoint an individual as the designated senior individual for the premises or event.

Need some more information?

We’re aware that there’s currently a lot of information circulating around Martyn’s Law, and we appreciate that the potential consequences for your business might be a daunting thought. We’ve created this helpful Q&A guide which you can access here, in which you’ll find information on a few of the issues that might be on your mind.

Be mindful, though, that the Bill has yet to be passed into law, so any related information is subject to change. For news and up to date information on Martyn’s law, we’d suggest you keep an eye on the ProtectUK website.

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