Martyn’s Law: plans unveiled for anti-terror rules for UK sites | Counter-Terrorism Policy

Legislation dubbed Martyn’s Law in memory of a victim of the Manchester Arena bombing must be introduced to provide stronger protections against terrorism in public places.

Martyn Hett, 29, was among 22 people killed in the attack at the end of an Ariana Grande concert on May 22, 2017. His mother, Figen Murray, has campaigned for new measures.

The government said the UK-wide law would require venues and local authorities to draw up preventive action plans against terrorist attacks. A bill will be published in early spring.

The Home Office said: ‘The new duty will require sites to take steps to improve public safety, with the steps depending on the size of the site and the activity taking place. Recent attacks demonstrate that terrorists can choose to target a wide range of locations. Martyn’s Law will ensure that safety preparedness is delivered consistently across the UK, ensuring better protection of the public.

The plans were developed after public consultation and engagement with industry, charities, local authorities, safety experts and survivors. Seventy percent of those who responded to the consultation agreed that those responsible for places accessible to the public should take steps to protect the public from possible attacks.

Martyn’s Law will follow a tiered model tied to the activity taking place at a location and its capacity, to avoid excessive burden on businesses. A standard level will apply to locations with a maximum capacity of over 100, and an enhanced level will focus on high capacity locations in recognition of the potential consequences of an attack.

Murray said: ‘Martyn’s Law is not going to stop terrorism, but common sense security and making sure places are doing all they can to keep people safe could mean less suffering what me and the families of Manchester we had to endure.

“I welcome the government’s commitment to include small venues and to work quickly on this legislation. It is vital that we now take the necessary steps to protect ourselves and others wherever possible and I hope that other countries will learn from this groundbreaking legislation.

Rishi Sunak said: “The way the City of Manchester came together as a community following the cowardly attack on Manchester Arena, and the incredible work of activists like Figen Murray who have dedicated their lives to making us safer and promoting kindness and tolerance, is an inspiration to all of us.

“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.”

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