What is Martyn’s Law?

Lustalux can help with protect duty legislation.

Get Ready for Martyns Law and the Protect Duty Legislation with Lustalux

In 2023, the UK Government will be introducing the new Protect Duty legislation, aimed at enhancing the security and protection of publicly accessible places against terrorist attacks. This legislation, also known as ‘Martyn’s Law,’ has been developed in response to a series of terrorist incidents in the UK, including the tragic Manchester Arena attack in 2017, which claimed the lives of 22 individuals. Figen Murray, the mother of one of the victims, spearheaded a campaign advocating for improved security measures, leading to the formulation of this law.

The urgency of the Protect Duty legislation is highlighted by recent government figures, revealing that 27 terrorist plots have been foiled since March 2017. This underscores the need for comprehensive measures to ensure public safety in the face of such threats. The law is intended to supplement the ongoing efforts of law enforcement agencies and security services by adding an additional layer of protection.

What Does the New Martyn’s Law Entail and How Will It be Enforced?

The legislation will impose a legal obligation on the owners and operators of publicly accessible locations (PALs) to implement appropriate and proportionate measures to safeguard the public from terrorist attacks and enhance overall public safety. Currently, there is no legal requirement for organizations or venues to consider or implement security measures in most public spaces. However, during the Protect Duty consultation, 7 out of 10 respondents agreed that those responsible for publicly accessible locations should adopt suitable measures to protect the public from potential attacks.

Under Martyn’s Law the Protect Duty legislation, organizations will be expected to:

1. Engage with freely available counter-terrorism advice and training provided by the Government and the police.
2. Conduct vulnerability assessments of their premises, taking into account potential risks to the public.
3. Mitigate the identified vulnerabilities using practical measures.
4. Establish a counter-terrorism plan.
5. Prepare for the threat of terrorism.

The Queen’s speech in 2022 emphasized the need for legal compulsion in counter-terrorism security efforts, as voluntary adherence often takes a backseat to legally mandated activities. While the current guidelines strive for measures that are reasonable and not overly burdensome, the duty is likely to involve regular inspections by a governing body, both scheduled and spontaneous, with the aim of educating, advising, and ensuring compliance with the legislation. Non-compliance may result in financial penalties.

The term “reasonably practical” allows owners and operators to assess the risk posed by potential threats and determine the effort, time, and cost required to mitigate each risk accordingly. Compliance will be demonstrated by providing assurance that threat and risk impacts have been duly considered and appropriate measures have been implemented or planned for future implementation.

Failure to adhere to the legislation may result in prosecution under relevant laws such as the Corporate Homicide or Corporate Manslaughter Act, particularly if a security breach is deemed serious enough.

When does Martyn’s Law come into effect?

The initial draft of the bill, published on May 2, 2023, outlines the qualifying premises and events that will fall under its scope. It applies to premises with a capacity for more than 100 individuals, with enhanced duties expected from those categorized as “enhanced premises,” which have a public capacity of 800 individuals or more.

Who Should Prepare for the Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill?

During a public consultation held from February 26, 2021, to July 2, 2021, three main areas were identified where Protect Duty should apply: public venues with capacities exceeding 100 people, large organizations employing over 250 individuals and operating in publicly accessible places, and all public spaces.

Consequently, all 333 local authorities in the UK, responsible for open public spaces like parks, beaches, city and town centers, as well as indoor venues such as town halls, will be impacted by the legislation. It is estimated that

approximately 650,000 UK businesses will be affected by Martyn’s Law, ranging from large venues like the O2 Arena to smaller establishments such as theaters and even large restaurants.

The Government’s current definition of a publicly accessible location encompasses places to which the public has access, whether by right or permission, including:

1. Retail stores, shopping centers, and markets
2. Transport hubs
3. Commercial ports
4. Schools and universities
5. Medical centers and hospitals
6. Hotels, pubs, clubs, and casinos
7. Sports stadiums, music venues, festivals, visitor attractions
8. Places of worship
9. Government offices, including town halls and job centers
10. High streets, public squares, parks, and beaches.

What Are the Benefits of the Protect Duty Legislation?

The implementation of Protect Duty is expected to have a positive impact on public safety. While its primary goal is to prevent terrorist attacks, the measures put in place to comply with the legislation can also help deter other criminal acts.

For organizations implementing protective measures for the first time, the legislation will serve as a catalyst for owners and operators to develop a deeper understanding of their organization’s vulnerabilities. Taking proactive steps to enhance security will become a priority.

The core objective of Protect Duty is to foster a culture of safety and security, where venue owners and operators comprehend potential threats and implement reasonable, proportionate, and coordinated measures to address them.

How Can Organizations Prepare in Advance?

Although the final wording of the legislation is yet to be confirmed, organizations should commence their preparations for protecting the public against terror threats as soon as possible.

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1. Understand the Risks:

Owners and operators of public spaces should gain insight into the specific terrorist threats that may affect their organization. This entails recognizing that motivations, targets, and attack methods can vary and evolve over time, as well as comprehending how their organization might be directly or indirectly impacted.

2. Review Risk Assessments:

Most venues likely have existing risk assessments in place, which the Protect Duty legislation is expected to complement rather than supersede. These risk assessments will likely be expanded to include a dedicated “Protect Plan” outlining practicable measures to mitigate risks and vulnerabilities during a terrorist attack. The Protect Plan should be reviewed and updated at least annually, considering different threat levels and changes in the internal or external risk landscape.re you design it

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3. Address Vulnerabilities:

During the risk assessment and incident response planning process, gaps may be identified where additional measures are necessary to address vulnerabilities. This can include the installation of physical security measures like security doors, blast-resistant glazing (provided by suppliers like Lustalux), fences, bollards, CCTV systems, electronic access control, and intruder detection systems. Alternatively, organizations can explore less intrusive technology solutions that support threat identification, limit attack opportunities, and coordinate responses in the event of an attack.

Wrapping things up.

By taking proactive steps and partnering with reputable suppliers like Lustalux for blast-resistant glazing installation, organizations can effectively prepare for the upcoming Protect Duty legislation, enhance public safety, and mitigate the risks associated with terrorist attacks.

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