Security supplier ShowSec is currently involved in an inquiry into the 2017 Manchester Arena bombing.
The inquiry has been ongoing since October 2019, but new details have emerged regarding the security training provided to staff who were on site at the venue.
Lawyers for the families of victims who died in the attack are arguing that the counter-terrorism training provided by ShowSec was inadequate. They say that three of the security guards who failed to prevent the incident had only completed a brief online training course in less than ten minutes.
Security guard Mohammed Agha was alerted to the presence of Salman Abedi, carrying a rucksack containing the bomb, as he waited in the foyer of the venue 15 minutes before the attack.
Agha reported this to colleague Kyle Lawler, who was a radio holder at the venue, but Lawler took no further action after fearing he might be accused of being racist if he approached Abedi.
Agha, Lawler and another security guard who spoke to Abedi that day, Robert Atkinson, all completed their online counter-terrorism training in less than 10 minutes. Mr Atkinson completed his training in only three minutes and 38 seconds, the inquiry heard. All three were teenagers earning slightly above minimum wage, and had to complete the training unpaid on their own time.
This training was provided by a university which was hosted by a company called Marked Improvement. The inquiry found that at the time of the attack in 2017, the company was not monitoring how long staff took to complete the training.
A spokesperson for ShowSec said the company was not able to comment on the inquiry while it is still ongoing.
Figen Murray, the mother of bomb victim Martyn Hett, has been campaigning for increased counter-terrorism measures and training in event venues since 2017. She recently spoke to Access editor Chris Barrett about her hopes for the inquiry, and the government-backed legislation to improve counter-terrorism known as ‘Martyn’s Law’.