New anti-terrorism legislation will ensure venues are better prepared

Mar 1, 2021

New anti-terrorism legislation, which will require public places and venues to improve security, is the result of a campaign led by the mother of a victim of the Manchester Arena bombing.

Justice Secretary, Robert Buckland, said Project Duty should “protect people and be proportionate.”

The new legislation is part of ‘Martyn’s Law’, a campaign led by Figen Murray, mother of Martyn Hett who died in the 2017 attack, along with 21 other victims.

Ms Murray has been campaigning to bring in legislation to improve security in crowded public spaces and venues and described the move as “a major stride towards making our country safer.”

The Project Duty proposals include:

  • The introduction of free counter-terror training for event staff.
  • Assessments to analyse how vulnerable locations are.
  • The need for venues and local authorities to have comprehensive counter-terror action plans in place.
  • More thorough security checks, including bag searches.

Venue operators would legally have to consider the risk of a terrorist attack and take steps to protect the public under Protect Duty legislation.

Private and public owners of venues and sites are not currently obliged to act on advice about threats to venues and how to alleviate any risks.

The 18-week consultation will help “work out who should be subject to the duty and the extent of it” and “make sure we get the balance right between the need to protect people and the need to make sure it is proportionate,” Mr Buckland said.

Home secretary Priti Patel said: “I have heard first-hand from those who have sadly lost loved ones in horrific terror attacks, and thank them for their tireless work.

“We will always take the strongest possible action to protect our national security.

“That is why we want all organisations responsible for public venues and spaces to put public safety and security first.”

The new legislation follows evidence from the official inquiry into the Manchester arena attack, where it was highlighted how unprepared the venue was to treat hundreds of injured fans due to a lack of onsite first aid facilities.  

Chris Tyler, President of TyTek Medical, concluded: “We hope the new legislation will help to highlight the need for onsite Plan and Preparedness kits.

Our Bleeding Control Stations, which contain eight Bleeding Control Kits, can be wall mounted in in public buildings with high footfall to ensure help is at hand in the very worst of circumstances.”

Article ref: Manchester attack: ‘Martyn’s Law’ would ‘minimise terror risk’ – BBC News