Government Webinar – Protect Duty Legislation
Faith Associates through its Mosque Security Project and Lancashire Council of Mosques hosted the Home Office (Government) to provide a webinar to Mosque leaders on the proposed PROTECT Duty legislation and its potential impact on Mosques, Madrassahs and Islamic Centres across the UK. There was also a presentation on the Places of Worship funding scheme, providing financial support to institutions that have been subjected to hate crime and want to improve their security measures. Watch the video below for information on the PROTECT duty.
Proposed Legislation “Protect Duty”
The Home Office acknowledges the lack of legislation addressing the security of public places and is leading consultation for the introduction of legal requirements directed to their protection. The Proposed legislation is addressed as Protect Duty.
The Protect Duty would apply in the three main areas: Public Venues, Large Organisations, and Public Spaces. It considers that the nature of venues and organisations might vary and might require and possess different skills and resources to ensure security. Accordingly, the Protect Duty would ensure that the measures taken are appropriate and proportionate.
Within the scope of the proposed Protect Duty, the owners and operators of public venues and large organisations would be required to:
- “Use available information and guidance provided by the Government (including the police) to consider terrorist threats to the public and staff at locations they own or operate;
- Assess the potential impact of these risks [draft a risk assessment document] across their functions and estate, and through their systems and processes; and
- Consider and take forward ‘reasonably practicable’ protective security and organisational preparedness measures (for example staff training and planning for how to react in the event of an attack).”
The risk assessment would require demonstrating the threats that have been considered, the steps taken to mitigate these threats, the steps taken to prepare for and/or respond in the event of an attack, and an argumentation for the steps that were not implemented. The assessment needs to be evaluated at least once a year and include evidence in its support.
An inspection would be introduced to ensure that the Protect Duty is being implemented. The inspections would first be used as an opportunity to provide support and advice to venues and organisation. However, if the provided guidance and support is not considered, the notice of deficiency and enforcement actions could be taken. In case of non-compliance a new offence is proposed to be created for the organisations that fail to take actions to reduce the potential impact of attacks. The proposal includes an enforcement regime with penalties.
Consultation deadline: July 2, 2021
Further details can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/protect-duty.
 See Home Office. (2021). Protect Duty Consultation: Making the public safer at publicly accessible locations. p. 5 and 7. Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/protect-duty. [accessed 27 May 2021].
 Ibid., p. 12
 Ibid., p. 17.
 Ibid., p. 26.
 Ibid., p. 27.