On the 22nd May 2017, Manchester Arena was hit by a terrorist attack, resulting in the death of 22 individuals, including Martyn Hett. The attack shook the nation to its core, not only because of the scale of it, but because of the individuals it affected, not to mention the hundreds of other people impacted too.
Now, almost 6 years later, legislators are anticipating the introduction of Martyn’s law – set up by the Martyn’s Law Campaign Team and Survivors Against Terror in tribute to Martyn and those who died in Manchester in May 2017.
“Martyn’s law isn’t going to stop terrorism, but common-sense security, and making sure venues are doing all they can to keep people safe, could mean fewer suffer what myself and the families of Manchester have had to endure. I welcome the government’s commitment to including smaller venues and working quickly on this legislation. It is vital we now take the necessary steps to protect ourselves and others wherever possible and I hope other countries learn from this ground breaking legislation.”
Following public consultation and working with various security experts, Martyn’s law concludes that businesses responsible for publicly accessible locations need to take measures to protect the public from potential attacks. The law will follow a tiered model, which will take into consideration the type of activity carried out at a location as well as its capacity, so to make recommendations on what measures a business needs to take to make their space safe for the public.
Businesses with locations that have a maximum capacity of over 100 people will need to take low-cost but effective measures to improve their businesses readiness to respond to a terrorist attack. These measures may include staff training, information exchange and a preparedness plan which can be rolled out in the event of an attack.
An ’enhanced tier’ will be established which impacts business locations that have a capacity of over 800 individuals. These businesses will need to undertake further measures to ensure they meet the requirements of Martyn’s law, including the implementation of physical deterrents such as CCTV and the adoption of a new vigilance and security culture. The government plans to develop a new scheme to enforce these measures and ensure that businesses are doing what they can to ensure they are making their public spaces safer. The government have made it clear that the roll out of Martyn’s law will not cause any undue burden for businesses and that although some costs may be involved, the potential positive impact of this far outweighs the negatives.