Venues must have anti-terror measures under new government plan

Venues must have anti-terror measures under new government plan

Under new government plans, venues would have a legal duty to put in place security measures to protect the public from terror attacks.

It comes in the wake of the 2017 Manchester Arena bombing when 22 people were killed as they left an Ariana Grande concert.

Home Secretary Priti Patel will set out the proposals on Monday (10 January), following an 18-week consultation.

The so-called Protect Duty has been championed by victims’ groups including the Martyn’s Law campaign,

The campaign was started by Figen Murray after the loss of her son, 29-year-old Martyn Hett, in the Manchester Arena attack.

Mrs Murray welcomed the report on the consultation and said she hoped the legislation would be introduced as quickly as possible “to avoid the further unnecessary loss of innocent lives”.

According to the Home Office, the government will seek to introduce the legislation to Parliament at the earliest opportunity.

Currently, there is no legislative requirement for organisations or venues to consider security measures at the vast majority of public places.

A consultation, launched in February 2021, found that seven in 10 of the 2,755 respondents agreed those responsible for publicly accessible locations should take appropriate and proportionate measures to protect the public from attacks.

There was also agreement that measures should be proportionate to a venue’s size, with smaller organisations not facing the same requirements as larger ones.

Half the respondents were in favour of an inspectorate that would identify vulnerabilities and areas for improvement.

There was also an even split of those who were supportive of the use of civil penalties to ensure compliance.

Home Secretary Ms Patel said: “My number one priority is keeping the people of the UK safe.

“Following the tragic attack at the Manchester Arena, we have worked closely with Figen Murray, victims’ groups and partners to develop proposals to improve protective security around the country.

“We will never allow terrorists to restrict our freedoms and way of life, which is why we are committed to bringing forward legislation this year, that will strike the right balance between public safety, whilst not placing excessive burden on small businesses,” she added.”

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Ellie joined Gi Media in July 2021.