Martyn’s Law: Parliament to debate anti-terrorism security rules

Martyn Hett, 29, was one of 22 people killed during the attack at the end of an Ariana Grande concert on May 22 2017.

Martyn’s Law: Parliament to debate new anti-terrorism security rules for venues Figen Murray

New legislation, dubbed Martyn’s Law in memory of Manchester Arena bombing victim Martyn Hett, will be introduced to ensure stronger protections against terrorism in public places.

Mr Hett, 29, was one of 22 people killed during the attack at the end of an Ariana Grande concert on May 22 2017.

The new rules, which Mr Hett’s mother Figen Murray has long campaigned for, will cover all of the United Kingdom and require venues and local authorities to have preventative action plans against terror attacks, the Government said.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he is committed to working with Mrs Murray to improve security measures at public venues, with the Government planning to publish draft legislation in early spring.

Martyn’s Law will follow a tiered model linked to the type of activity taking place and the size of the expected audience, and will seek to improve how prepared a venue is without putting an undue burden on business.

A standard tier will apply to locations with a maximum capacity of more than 100 people. Venues will need to undertake low-cost effective measures such as training, information sharing, and completion of a preparedness plan.

An enhanced tier will focus on high-capacity locations. Those that can hold 800 or more will be required to undertake an additional risk assessment that will inform the development and implementation of a thorough security plan.

The Government will also establish an inspection and enforcement regime, issuing sanctions for breaches, and will provide statutory guidance and bespoke support.

Mrs Murray said she received the news on what would have been Mr Hett’s 35th birthday.

“I got a phone call off Rishi Sunak himself on Thursday morning, which was incredible because it was actually Martyn’s 35th birthday,” she said.

“The Prime Minister knew about the birthday, so he mentioned it at the beginning, which was rather nice of him.

“I said to him it was the best birthday present I could have hoped for for Martyn.”

She added that her son would be “tickled pink” if he were here to hear about the legislation.

“He would be tickled pink, I would say, he would be really touched,” she said.

“But I think, on a more serious note, he would be really pleased that something as important as this kind of legislation, in his name, is going to be saving lives in the future.”

Praising Mrs Murray’s campaign, Mr Sunak 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.

“I am committed to working with Figen to improve security measures at public venues and spaces and to delivering this vital legislation to honour Martyn’s memory and all of those affected by terrorism.”

Home Secretary Suella Braverman thanked Mrs Murray and her campaign for their “tireless efforts”.

“Protecting the public from danger is a key responsibility of any government. The terrorist threat we face is diverse and continually evolving, which is why this legislation is so important.

“I would like to thank Figen Murray and the Martyn’s Law campaign for their support in the development of this vital reform.

“Their tireless efforts have helped inform our approach and the heart-breaking stories from survivors and their families are a constant reminder as to why we must deliver on this commitment to work together to improve public security.”

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