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Martyn’s Law and What it Means for the Third Sector

The UK government is currently in the process of drafting a bill that will affect third-sector organisations and their premises. The draft Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill sets out the requirements that, under Martyn’s Law, venues and other organisations will have 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. Martyn’s Law will extend to and apply throughout the United Kingdom.

What Does this New Bill Mean?

‘Martyn’s Law’ requires those responsible for specific venues to consider the threat from terrorism and implement appropriate and proportionate mitigation measures. The legislation will ensure that people are prepared and ready to respond in the event of an attack.

“Martyn’s Law will require premises to fulfil necessary but proportionate steps, according to their capacity, to help keep the public safe.” Six-week Martyn’s Law consultation launched – www.gov.uk

Under the proposed Bill, ‘standard tier’ sites will need to put prevention and safety measures in place ‘so far as is reasonably practicable’. This includes those with a maximum capacity of 100 to 799 people and all under 18 education and further education settings, regardless of capacity.

Measures would include ensuring processes and procedures are in place to reduce risks. Those responsible for standard tier premises are required to notify the regulator that they are or have become responsible within the Bill’s scope. Suitable and sufficient staff training and supervision is suggested to implement new measures but the requirement to complete any specific terrorism training has been removed.

Instead, those responsible for these premises will be asked to put in place procedures such as evacuation and lock-ins in the event of an attack.

Who will be Affected by Changes?

The primary qualifying conditions for premises are the following:

  1. Their capacity is 100 or more individuals and
  2. They are wholly or mainly used for one or more specified uses, falling into the following categories:
  • Retail, e.g., stores or shopping centres;
  • Hospitality and nightlife, e.g., bars, pubs, restaurants, cafés, nightclubs and other public clubs;
  • Entertainment, e.g., theatres, cinemas, and concert halls and arenas;
  • Sports grounds;
  • Recreation and leisure, e.g., public sports/leisure centres, ice rinks and gyms;
  • Public libraries, museums and galleries;
  • Public conference centres, exhibition halls and other venues for hire;
  • Visitor attractions;
  • Hotels, holiday parks and similar holiday accommodation;
  • Places of worship;
  • Healthcare;
  • Education and childcare;
  • Public transport, including train stations, ports and airports; and
  • Public services and facilities.

A public consultation was launched on the Bill, also known as Martyn’s Law, on 9th February 2024. If you would like to provide input and voice any concerns over the proposed legislation and how it may impact the third sector, please visit their page on www.gov.uk. Community and voluntary organisations and those responsible for smaller premises are particularly encouraged to participate.

The consultation will run for 6 weeks – closing on Monday 18th March 2024.

Our People and Safety Team can offer advice for your organisation including Health and Safety guidance for those with premises. We would be delighted to chat with you about your needs. Please get in touch with us at peopleservices@gcvs.org.uk to speak to a member of the team.

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