Terrorism (Protection of Premises) draft Bill: Martyn’s Law
This upcoming legislation will impose a duty on the owners and operators of certain locations to increase their preparedness for and protection from a terrorist attack by requiring them to take proportionate steps, depending on the size and nature of the activities that take place there. The draft Bill has been published as the Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill. The Bill sets out the requirements that, under Martyn’s Law, venues and other organisations will have to meet to ensure public safety. ‘Martyn’s Law’ is a tribute to Martyn Hett who was killed alongside 21 others in the Manchester Arena terrorist attack in 2017. The legislation will apply across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
It will place a requirement on those responsible for certain locations to consider the threat from terrorism and implement appropriate and proportionate mitigation measures. Measures will be dependent on the size of the venue and the activity taking place. The legislation will aim to ensure parties are prepared, ready to respond and know what to do in the event of an attack. Better protection will be delivered through enhanced security systems, staff training, and clearer processes.
Premises will fall within the scope of the Bill where qualifying activities take place. Premises are included by reference to their use and both events and premises must have minimum capacities specified. Premises will include locations for purposes such as entertainment and leisure, retail, food and drink, museums and galleries, sports grounds, public areas of local and central Government buildings (e.g., town halls), visitor attractions, temporary events, Places of Worship, health, and education. Qualifying premises may be located within other premises, such as a retail store inside a shopping centre.
A person responsible for qualifying public premises or a qualifying public event will be subject to the terrorism protection requirements set out in the Bill. A person is responsible for a qualifying public premises if the person has control of the premises or event, both of which must be accessible to the public as described in the Bill. Eligible locations whose maximum occupancy meets specified thresholds will be drawn into a relevant tier.
Qualifying public premises may be either standard duty premises (standard tier) or enhanced duty premises (enhanced tier). Enhanced duty premises are those with a public capacity of 800 individuals or more. Standard duty premises are those with a capacity of 100 to 799 individuals. The Bill allows for provision to be made for some premises to be treated as standard duty premises when they would otherwise be enhanced duty premises, and vice versa. The requirements which will apply to enhanced duty premises will also apply to qualifying public events. These are public events held at premises that are not qualifying public premises with a capacity of 800 or over, where express permission is required to enter for the purpose of attending the event (with or without payment).
The public capacity of premises and events will be determined in accordance with regulations made by the Secretary of State. Such regulations might require some types of premises to determine their capacity differently from others.
Persons responsible for standard duty premises will be required to undertake what are intended to be low-cost activities which seek to improve protective security and preparedness. This will include training, information sharing and completion of a preparedness plan to embed practices, such as locking doors to delay attackers progress or knowledge on lifesaving treatments that can be administered by staff whilst awaiting emergency services. They will be required to ensure that relevant workers are given appropriate terrorism protection training. It is expected that they will be able to utilise free terrorism protection training materials to educate relevant personnel on the threat posed by terrorism, and the actions personnel should undertake in response. Persons responsible for standard duty premises will also be required to undertake a standard terrorism evaluation in which they consider how best to respond in the event of a terrorist event, e.g., procedures to evacuate their premises.
Persons responsible for enhanced duty premises or qualifying public events will also be required to ensure that terrorism protection training is provided to relevant workers at their premises. In addition, they must appoint an individual as the designated senior officer for the premises or event and must complete and regularly review their terrorism risk assessment. In completing this assessment, they will consider the types of terrorist act most likely to occur at or around their premises or event and the ‘reasonably practicable’ measures that might be expected to reduce the risk of such an act occurring, or the risk of physical harm to individuals as a result of such an act.
Persons responsible for enhanced duty premises or a qualifying public event must implement reasonably practicable security measures to reduce the risk of, and harm caused by, terrorist acts occurring at or near the premises or event. Measure must include, for example, those relating to monitoring the premises and vicinity and procedures to be followed in the event of an attack.
Persons responsible for enhanced duty premises or a qualifying public event must also keep and maintain a security plan, which must also be provided to the regulator. Subsequent measures will include appointing a designated senior officer who must regularly review the security of the venue.
The government will establish an inspection and enforcement regime, promoting the requirements for each tier, and issuing sanctions and penalties for non-compliance.
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DISCLAIMER: The article is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or other professional advice. While the information is considered to be true and correct at the date of publication, changes in circumstances may impact the accuracy and validity of the information. EffectiveHRM is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for any action or decision taken as a result of using the guidance.