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Martyn’s Law: details revealed for new counter-terror rules affecting all UK leisure facilities


New laws designed to step up protection against terrorism at the UK’s leisure facilities are to be published in early 2023.

Called Martyn’s Law – in memory of Martyn Hett, one of the victims of the Manchester Arena bombing in 2017 – the UK-wide legislation will require all venues and local authorities to draw up preventive action plans against terror attacks.

The law will cover every type of leisure facility, from sports stadiums, arenas, museums and visitor attractions to leisure centres, health clubs, spas and swimming pools.

Martyn’s Law will follow a tiered model linked to activity that takes place at a location and its capacity aimed to prevent “undue burden” on businesses.

A standard tier will apply to locations with a maximum capacity of more than 100, while an enhanced tier will focus on high-capacity locations with a capacity of more than 800 people at any time.

The standard-tier venues will need to undertake activities to improve preparedness, such as training, information sharing and completion of a preparedness plan.

The aim is to ensure even smaller facilities embed practices that can safe lives, from locking doors to delay attackers progress or knowledge on lifesaving treatments that can be administered by staff whilst awaiting emergency services.

Those in the enhanced tier will be required to undertake a risk assessment to inform the development and implementation of a thorough security plan.

Subsequent measures could include developing a vigilance and security culture, implementing physical measures such as CCTV or new systems and processes to enable better consideration of security.

To ensure compliance, the UK government will establish an inspection and enforcement regime, promoting a “positive cultural change” – but also issuing sanctions for serious breaches.

According to the government, the plans have been developed following public consultation and “extensive engagement across industries”, including charities, local authorities, security experts and with survivors.

The government will provide dedicated statutory guidance and bespoke support to help venues meet their new responsibilities, ahead of the new law being introduced by summer 2023.

Home Secretary, Suella Braverman said: “Protecting the public from danger is a key responsibility of any government.

“The terrorist threat we face is diverse and continually evolving, which is why this legislation is so important.”

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