What Martyn’s Law Means for Your Business
As a direct result of the Manchester Arena bomb in 2017, in which 22 people died, many businesses across the UK are going to have to start thinking more deeply about how they could better protect their visitors and customers in the event of a terrorist attack.
In May 2023, the government published a draft version of what is officially called the Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill, although it has become better known as Martyn’s Law or Protect Duty.
The bill has been designed to protect people in public spaces by making owners and managers both implement measures to mitigate the risk and prepare a response plan in the event of an attack.
The bill is expected to impact some 650,000 businesses, including entertainment venues of all kinds, the hospitality industry and shopping centres – in fact, any public space with a capacity of 100 or more people will be affected. That, by the way, includes places like town squares, beaches and parks where people gather in those kinds of large numbers.
If you’re one of those many businesses and organisations that Martyn’s Law will apply to, you may be wondering what this is all going to mean. Luckily, the team at Scutum London is here to guide you through what you need to know.
How will Martyn’s Law affect my business?
The first thing to bear in mind is that different requirements and levels of preparation will be needed by venues and spaces with a capacity of at least 100 and those with a capacity of 800 and more.
In either case, you’ll need to register your business or event, with a named, responsible person who will have overall control for meeting the provisions of Martyn’s Law – this will usually be the owner, operator or occupier.
Although there will be no monetary support for businesses that are affected to meet the requirements of Protect Duty, the steps you’ll need to take shouldn’t create any undue financial burden, especially for smaller venues with a capacity of less than 800.
Evaluation and assessment of terrorism risk
All businesses affected will need to complete a terrorism assessment, reviewed at least every 12 months and revised in the event of changes made to either the premises or the use of the premises that affect the original assessment.
For standard venues (i.e. those with a capacity between 100 and 799), the assessment needs to comprise:
- An assessment of terrorist acts most likely to occur in or near the premises in question
- Measures in place that might mitigate the risk of such acts
- Measures in place that might reduce the risk of harm to individuals should an act of terrorism occur
- Procedures to be followed should an act of terrorism occur
- How those who work at the premises are made aware of the evaluation
For enhanced venues (i.e. those with a capacity of 800 and more), further measures are required that include:
- The assessment should be completed at least three months ahead of the date of the qualifying event or as soon as reasonably practicable where the event is announced less than three months ahead of time
- ‘Reasonably practicable’ measures that might be introduced to reduce the risk of a terrorist attack
- ‘Reasonably practicable’ measures that might be introduced to reduce the risk of harm to individuals in the event of an attack
All venues will be expected to provide terrorism protection training to relevant staff with regard to:
- The types of terrorism most likely to occur
- Signs that an act of terrorism might be occurring
- Procedures to be followed in the event of an act of terrorism
Further measures for enhanced venues
In addition to the above, enhanced venues will need to ensure that the reasonably practicable measures to reduce the risk of terrorism and reduce the risk of harm to individuals are in place. These measures will include:
- Monitoring the premises or event together with its immediate vicinity
- Monitoring individuals into, out of and inside of the premises or event
Procedures that will also need to be in place include:
- Alerting the emergency services
- Alerting individuals in or near the premises or event
If you manage a venue, premises or event that is likely to be affected by the provisions of Martyn’s Law, you should start preparing now. Thankfully, Scutum London is already putting plans together to help businesses around London, Surrey and the wider South East England area as Protect Duty gets closer to becoming law.
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About Scutum London
Scutum London is a leading expert in fire safety and security solutions for businesses and organisations located across South East England, including London and Surrey.
From fire alarms, fire extinguishers and fire risk assessments to access control, CCTV and intruder alarm systems – and a lot more besides – we offer a comprehensive range of products and services designed to keep you, your business and your staff and visitors safe.
With decades of industry experience to call on, we’re proud to hold accreditations from leading trade associations and bodies such as British Approvals for Fire Equipment (BAFE), the British Fire Consortium, the Fire Industry Association (FIA) and Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board (SSAIB).
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