The Protect Duty, known as Martyn’s law, is named after Martyn Hett who was one of the 22 people killed in the 2017 Manchester Arena terrorist attack. The new law aims to improve the security of public spaces all across the UK (England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland) in order to better prepare for possible terrorist attacks. The law applies to the following public locations:
Entertainment and leisure
Food and drink
Museums and galleries
Public areas of local and central Government
Places of Worship
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. The first tier named the 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.” The second tier – the 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. It is important to note, however, that 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.” In order to enforce the law, an inspection will be set up to not only ensure compliance but to also educate and advise. When necessary, the inspection will also have the right to impose a set of sanctions.
The full Martyn’s Law factsheet is available here. The latest Protect Duty Consultation Document can be accessed here.