New legislation in memory of Manchester Arena bombing victim Martyn Hett will be introduced to provide stronger protection against terrorism in public places, the government has announced.
Mr Hett, 29, was one of 22 people killed during the attack at the end of an Ariana Grande concert on May 22, 2017.
The new rules, which Mr. Hett’s mother, Figen Murray, has long campaigned forwill cover the whole of the UK and require sites and local authorities to have preventive action plans against terrorist attacks, the government has said.
The measurements were announced several years ago but were delayed in their introduction.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he was committed to working with Ms Murray to improve security measures in public places, with the government planning to publish a bill in early spring.
Speaking days after her son would have celebrated his 35th birthday, Ms Murray said: ‘The government taking this seriously and promising to act is the best birthday present I could have asked for on the birthday of Martin.
“While nothing can bring Martyn back, this news means others like him will be better protected.
“Common sense safety in public places – large or small – could mean less suffering than I and the families of Manchester have had to endure.
“Now we need urgent action to put this in place. I hope this law will now be introduced in the current session of parliament so that we can do this as soon as possible.”
Praising Ms Murray’s campaign, Mr Sunak said: “The way the City of Manchester has come together as a community following the cowardly attack on Manchester Arena, and the incredible work of campaigners like Figen Murray who have dedicated their lives to making us safer and promoting kindness and tolerance, is an inspiration to us all.
“I am committed to working with Figen to improve security measures in public places and spaces and to put in place this vital legislation to honor the memory of Martyn and all those affected by terrorism.”
Martyn’s Law will follow a tiered model related to the type of activity taking place and the size of the audience expected, and will seek to improve venue preparation without placing an undue burden on businesses.
A standard level will apply to pitches with a maximum capacity of more than 100 people. Sites will need to take effective and inexpensive measures such as training, sharing information and developing a preparedness plan.
An upgraded tier will focus on high capacity slots. Those that can hold 800 people or more will need to undertake an additional risk assessment that will inform the development and implementation of a thorough security plan.
The government will also put in place an inspection and enforcement regime, imposing penalties for breaches, and provide tailored legal guidance and support.