Martyn’s Law: Improving security measures in public venues

Published on: June 6th 2023

Guest Post by CLUK Business Partner – Gallagher

The devastating terrorist attack on Manchester Arena in May 2017 shocked the nation and highlighted the need for stronger security measures in public spaces. Martyn Hett was one of the 22 people killed in the attack, and Martyn’s Law is posthumously named after him. 

Since 2017, the UK has experienced several more terrorist attacks and there is indication that a further 37 have been prevented. 

What is Martyn’s Law?

Martyn’s Law, also known as the ‘Protect Duty’ legislation or, by its full title the ‘Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill’, is designed to introduce mandatory terrorism prevention and protection procedures for public premises. 

The draft bill sets out steps for premises to take to ensure that organisations and their staff know what to do in the event of an attack, and are ready to respond quickly and effectively. The five requirements of Martyn’s Law are:

  • Venues to which the public have access must engage with freely available counter-terrorism advice and training.
  • Those venues must conduct vulnerability assessments of their operating places and spaces.
  • Risks created by the identified vulnerabilities must be mitigated. 
  • Venues should have a counter-terrorism plan.
  • Local authorities must plan for the threat of terrorism.

What types of venues does Martyn’s Law apply to?

Martyn’s Law will apply to premises that have both a defined boundary (e.g., a building, or a group of buildings or space with a defined boundary) and a qualifying activity taking place at the location. Qualifying activities can include things like entertainment and leisure, retail, food and drink, and sports facilities. 

The law will establish a tiered model, which will be determined by the venue’s maximum capacity.

  • Standard tier: Applies to venues that can hold between 100 people and 799 people. Owners will be required to produce plans to improve security and preparedness including staff training, raising awareness, cascading of information and completion of a preparedness plan.
  • Enhanced tier: Applies to venues that can hold 800 people or more. In this case, owners will be expected to undertake more elaborate preparation including production of a risk assessment, and health and safety plan, as well as designating someone as having responsibility for adherence to the new law.

Guidance and training materials will also be available to premises with a maximum capacity of under 100, should they require support.

How does this affect Community Leisure UK members?

For charities, community groups and social enterprises, the government considers the standard tier to be appropriate as premises will likely fall below the 800+ capacity threshold. This will also apply if the venue is hired out to third parties.

While this means that CLUK members are expected to be exempt from the more onerous aspects of the enhanced tier regulations, it may be worth considering some aspects of that tier, for example, the production of risk assessments and the designation of a responsible person. 

When will Martyn’s Law come into force?

The draft Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill was published by the Home Office on 2 May 2023 for pre-legislative scrutiny before the final version is drawn up by the government. We will update you on further developments.

How can Gallagher help CLUK members adhere to Martyn’s law?

In preparation for the new law, Gallagher’s Charities team can provide guidance in the following areas:

  • IOSH Managing Safely course—specialist training on health and safety issues.  
  • Ensure that members are appropriately covered for public and employers’ liability.
  • Access to our exclusive charity insurance product (including leisure and cultural trusts).
  • Advice on terrorism cover, including denial-of-access business interruption.
  • Trustee indemnity to help protect directors and officers from potential future claims. 

To find out more, please get in touch with one of Gallagher’s Charities team. 

Martin Taylor

SME and Mid-Market Director, Charity and Healthcare Division, Gallagher.

+44 (0)1212 627 703

[email protected]

Ben Harris

Mid-Market Team Leader, Charity & Healthcare Division, Gallagher.

+44 (0)1212 004 953[email protected]