New legislation to bring in stronger protections against terrorism in public places is to be introduced. The protection is named in memory of Manchester Arena bombing victim Martyn Hett.
Mr Hett, was 29 when he became one of 22 people killed whilst attending an Ariana Grande gig in May 2017. The new rules have been campaigned for by many people including his mother Figen Murray.
The measures were written up several years ago but have been delayed. The legislation calls for venues and local authorities to have plans in place against attacks similar to the one in Manchester.
Ms Murray said: "The government taking this seriously and promising to act is the best birthday present I could have asked for on Martyn’s birthday. While nothing can bring Martyn back, this news means that others like him will be better protected.
"Common-sense security in public venues - big or small - could mean fewer suffer what myself and the families of Manchester have had to endure. Now we need urgent action to get this into place. I hope that this law will now be introduced in the current session of parliament so we can get this done as soon as possible."
What is Martyn’s Law?
Martyn’s Law is a piece of legislation which consists of five requirements. That spaces and places to which the public have access:
- engage with freely available counterterrorism advice and training
- conduct vulnerability assessments of their operating places and spaces
- mitigate the risks created by the vulnerabilities
- Put in place a counter-terrorism plan
- a requirement for local authorities to plan for the threat of terrorism.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak praised the campaign for their work and the city as a whole. He said: “The way the city of Manchester came together as a community in the wake of the cowardly Manchester Arena attack, and the amazing work of campaigners like Figen Murray who have dedicated their lives to making us safer and promoting kindness and tolerance, is an inspiration to us all."
Responding to the Government’s announcement of details for a new Protect Duty also known as Martyn’s Law, cllr Nesil Caliskan, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Safer & Stronger Communities Board, said: “Councils working with their partners already carry out considerable work to protect and keep communities safe. The Government must now ensure that funding is made available to respond to the significant resource and capacity requirements needed to successfully implement Martyn’s Law.
“There should also be sufficient lead-in time, and guidance provided ahead of the legislation coming into force so that councils and others understand their new obligations and can prepare accordingly. In addition, government should provide clarity around how the new duty will be enforced. It is vital that measures to increase security continue to sit alongside investment in prevention programmes, that aim to stop people carrying out attacks, tackle extremism and build community cohesion and resilience.”