The Inspiring Journey of Martyn’s Law and Its Impact on Public Safety

The Manchester Arena bombing ushered forth a new era of enhanced health and safety for public events in the UK.

It ultimately gave rise to what is now known as “Martyn’s Law”, named in memory of Martyn Hett, one of the victims of the attack.

The proposed Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill is the principal piece of Martyn’s law legislation, aiming to bolster security measures in areas where the public gathers in significant numbers.

Here’s what you need to know about it.

What is Martyn’s Law UK?

The proposed rules for Martyn’s law differ depending on the premises of an event and its capacity.

Here are the currently proposed rules. It’s important to note the law is likely to be introduced in late 2023 or 2024, but many organisations are already planning for it.

For Qualifying Premises (Capacity > 100 Persons)

  • Appointing a Responsible Person: Every qualifying premise must have a designated individual responsible for its security and compliance.
  • Registration: The premises must be registered, likely through an online portal. This is yet to be established.
  • Standard Terrorism Evaluation: This comprehensive evaluation encompasses several aspects, from predicting the types of terrorism that could impact the premises to devising measures to mitigate the risk and harm of such events. Details can be found in the draft provided by the government.
  • Annual Reviews: This evaluation isn’t a one-time affair. It’s mandatory to revisit and update it every 12 months or after any significant changes to the workplace.
  • Terrorism Protection Training: Those with duties related to counter-terrorism actions during an attack, like locking doors or guiding the public, must undergo specific training. This covers potential types of terrorism, recognising unfolding events, and adhering to standard procedures.

For Enhanced Duty Premises or Public Events (Capacity > 800)

  • Enhanced Terrorism Risk Assessment: Larger venues or events demand a more rigorous risk assessment process.
  • Stringent Security Measures: This includes public monitoring, movement control, and protocols for a terrorist event, including alert mechanisms and evacuation plans. Additionally, steps must be in place to secure sensitive information that could aid in planning or executing a terrorist act.
  • Designated Senior Officer (DSO): For these enhanced duty areas, a higher-ranking officer, such as a Director or Company Secretary, needs to be appointed to oversee security. This officer will also be responsible for drafting a detailed security plan.
  • Shopping Centre Stores Exception: It’s crucial to note that individual stores within a shopping centre will need to produce their own terrorism evaluation, not the shopping centre itself.

What This Means for Various Sectors

For sectors like retail, schools, and event organisers, this legislation underscores the importance of a proactive approach to safety.

With the ever-present threat of terrorism, businesses and institutions must go beyond traditional security measures.

The Bill serves as a reminder of establishments’ shared responsibility in ensuring their visitors’ safety alongside law enforcement agencies.

While the Bill awaits final approval, its existing provisions provide a blueprint for businesses and organisations. It’s an opportunity for them to reevaluate their current practices and align them with the forthcoming requirements.

As the law progresses, staying updated, seeking relevant training, and starting preparations can smoothen the eventual transition and, more importantly, make public spaces considerably safer.

Martyn’s Law Training with HCS Safety

Preparing for the eventual implementation of Martyn’s Law requires understanding its provisions and ensuring that personnel involved in public safety are comprehensively trained.

HCS Safety will be offering specialised Martyn’s Law training, equipping organisations to seamlessly incorporate the necessary safety measures and precautions mandated by the law.

Rigorous health and safety training is foundational to cultivating secure public spaces that protect the public. Martyn’s Law will put additional scrutiny on business premises and publicly accessible establishments and venues of all kinds, and many are choosing to proactively plan for these changes.