Security minister Brandon Lewis has said that Prime Minister Boris Johnson and home secretary Priti Patel are “100% behind” implementing Martyn’s Law, and that his department are working to improve security measures at public venues and spaces. Lewis has convinced the government to announce the regulations at the end of the month.
The minister’s assertion comes days after Manchester City Council announced that, in absence of mandated legislation, they would be implementing the principles of Martyn’s Law through tighter licensing criteria for venues.
Martyn’s Law, named after Martyn Hett, who was killed in the Manchester Arena attack in 2017, would see tighter ‘airport-style’ security measures put in place at venues, such as metal detectors and bag search equipment, alongside the implementation of counter-terrorism training for all security personnel to improve the identification of suspicious behaviour and packages.
Local Authorities will be obliged to assess town squares and main roads for measures they can introduce to prevent attacks.
Writing in the Mail on Sunday, 12 January, security minister Lewis says that “we are working quickly to come up with a solution that will honour Martyn’s memory and all of those affected by terrorism.
“I am pleased that last week Manchester City Council announced new licensing rules, but we are committed to going further and making Martyn’s Law a reality for all public venues across the UK.”
Figen Murray, Martyn Hett’s mother, has been the driving force behind the campaign and has welcomed the speed at which the government is moving to get the law passed through Parliament.
Talking to the Mail on Sunday, Murray said: “I know for a fact it will save lives, and families will be saved the heartache we have gone through,’ she said.
“It’s ridiculous that there are regulations for venues on how hot the food needs to be and how many toilets there need to be, but nothing to do with planning for terrorist attacks.”
While the measures are initially aimed at public events such as music concerts, conference and exhibition organisers will also be obliged to re-evaluate security measures at their own events.