The Protect Duty, also known as Martyn’s Law, is named in memory of Martyn Hett, one of the 22
individuals tragically killed in the 2017 Manchester Arena terrorist attack. This pivotal legislation is
designed to bolster the security of public spaces across the UK (England, Wales, Scotland, and
Northern Ireland) to enhance preparedness against possible terrorist attacks. The law covers
various public locations, with specific implications for the protection of places of worship.

  • Entertainment and leisure
  • Retail
  • Food and drink
  • Museums and galleries
  • Sports grounds
  • Public areas of local and central Government
  • Visitor attractions
  • Temporary events
  • Places of Worship
  • Health
  • Education

The new law will oblige the owners of the above-mentioned venues to strengthen their
“preparedness for and protection from a terrorist attack.” The legislation acknowledges that
the security measures applied to a certain location must be proportionate to its activity and
capacity. Thus, it will impose a two-tiered model.

Standard Tier: Applies to locations with a capacity of over 100 people.
Under this tier, simple and effective activities are required in order to improve security and
preparedness. These activities include “free training, awareness raising and cascading of
information to staff and completion of a preparedness plan.”

Enhanced Tier: Applies to venues that have a capacity of over 800 people. 
Duty holders under this tier must apply additional security requirements “in
recognition of the potential catastrophic consequences of a successful attack.”
The security
requirements include risk assessments and security plans.

Importantly, all places of worship are placed under the standard
tier regardless of their capacity. An exception to this rule applies to places of worship that
“charge tourists for entry and/or hire out the site for large commercial events.”

To enforce compliance, an inspection framework will be established not only to ensure adherence 
but also to provide education and advice. When necessary, this inspection authority will also
enforce sanctions to maintain stringent security standards.

The full Martyn’s Law factsheet is available here.
The latest Protect Duty Consultation Document can be accessed here.


Download our presentation on Martyn’s Law here: