Martyn’s Law: What you need to know

The anticipated UK legislation known as Protect Duty, or Martyn’s Law, is set to be enacted by 2023. Formally named the Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill, its primary objective is to enhance the protection of visitors, staff, and the general public from terrorism in public accessible locations (PALs). The initial version of the bill outlines the specific premises that will be required to comply with the legislation, beginning with those having a capacity exceeding 100 people. This includes venues such as entertainment venues, places of worship, museums, and government buildings. Notably, premises with a public capacity surpassing 800 people will be subject to heightened duties under this legislation.

**Key Points to Remember:**
1. Tiered Approach: The law introduces a tiered approach based on venue size. Premises with a capacity of 800 or above fall into the enhanced tier, while those with a capacity of 100 to 799 fall into the standard tier. This ensures that the duties imposed are proportional to the size and potential risk of the venue.
2. Proportionate Measures: Martyn’s Law requires venues to implement necessary but proportionate security measures, taking into account the nature of the premises, activities, and available resources. The focus is on practical, reasonable steps that can be tailored to individual circumstances.
3. Public Consultation: In the spirit of transparency and stakeholder involvement, the government has launched a public consultation on a revised approach to the standard tier. This ensures that the legislation strikes the right balance between enhancing public safety and avoiding undue burden on organisations.

The government has proactively addressed concerns and questions related to Martyn’s Law. Here are some key points:
– Cost of Protective Measures: The government is mindful of the impact on premises and is working to ensure that requirements do not place an undue burden. Measures are being developed with consideration for proportionality and alignment with existing regulatory regimes like Health and Safety.
– Volunteer-Run Venues: Volunteer-led venues, like village/community halls, will be considered within the standard tier capacity. The government acknowledges the diversity of targeted locations and aims to implement proportionate measures.
– Regulator’s Role: The regulator’s role is primarily supportive, providing advice, guidance, and education. Enforcement policies will be fair and transparent, focusing on proportionate responses to breaches.
– Liability for Incidents: Responsibility for complying with Martyn’s Law lies with the responsible person, not individual staff or volunteers. The law aims to enhance preparedness, not assign blame in the event of an attack.

**Martyn’s Law: Empowering Communities, Enhancing Security**
Martyn’s Law is not about preventing terrorist attacks; that remains the role of security services and law enforcement. Instead, it focuses on ensuring that premises in the UK are well-prepared and protected, ultimately reducing the impact of any potential attacks.
At Umbrella, we recognize the significance of Martyn’s Law in the broader context of counter-terrorism strategy. We encourage our community members to stay informed, participate in the public consultation, and be proactive in implementing necessary measures to enhance security.
Your safety is our priority. Stay vigilant, stay informed, and let’s navigate these changes together.

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