The Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill has moved another step in the legislative process after the UK Government published its draft bill on 2 May.
The bill, also known as Martyn’s Law, aims to outline the counter-terrorism activities required for events taking place at a variety of venues.
Within the draft two tiers are laid out for venues, the standard tier and the enhanced tier:
- The standard tier, premises with a maximum capacity of 100 or more people, are required to undertake ‘low-cost’ activities such as terrorism protection training.
- The enhanced tier, premises with a maximum capacity of 800 or more people, are required to invest more time into counter-terrorism measures, such as appointing a designated senior officer for the review of venue security.
The bill also introduces a regulator, with the power to inspect and enforce the requirements for each tier.
The regulator also has the power to hand out sanctions and penalties for non-compliance. Fines for non-compliance are up to £10,000 for those in the standard tier and up to £18m, or 5% of the person’s qualifying worldwide revenue, for those in the enhanced tier.
Martyn’s Law’ is a tribute to Martyn Hett who was killed alongside 21 others in the Manchester Arena terrorist attack in 2017.
Hett’s mother and Martyn’s Law campaigner Figen Murray said, “Today is an important step forward to a safer country. Martyn’s Law will end the ridiculous situation where venues have legal obligations for how many toilets they have but no obligation to keep their customers protected.
“Of course Martyn’s Law won’t stop all terror attacks, but it will make crowded places better protected and prepared, and make the terrorists’ job that bit harder.”
In December 2022, the government announced that Martyn’s Law will introduce a tiered model for certain locations depending on the capacity of the premises or event and the activity taking place.
The bill is currently in draft format and will be subject to pre-legislative scrutiny by the Home Affairs Select Committee, ahead of formal introduction.
Security minister Tom Tugendhat said, “This is a significant step forward for Martyn’s Law and our ability to further protect the public. I welcome the committee’s scrutiny to ensure that this legislation is proportionate while enhancing our national security.”