A consultation has opened on new laws to make sure we are better prepared for, and protected from, terrorist attacks.
The new laws will scale up preparedness for terrorist attacks, making sure the public is protected without putting unnecessary burdens on smaller businesses.
Martyn’s Law will require premises to fulfil necessary but proportionate steps, according to their capacity, to help keep the public safe. It is named in tribute to Martyn Hett who was killed alongside 21 others in the Manchester Arena attack in 2017.
Under the proposed law, premises will be considered ‘standard tier’, meaning they have capacity of 100-799 or ‘enhanced tier’, with a capacity of 800 or more.
The consultation on the updated approach to standard tier, launched today, will seek views to make sure the new requirements do not place undue burdens on smaller businesses, while still protecting the public.
The consultation is open to the public until 18 March. It particularly seeks views from those responsible for smaller premises, especially those in the community and voluntary sector.
Security Minister, Tom Tugendhat, said: “Simple steps save lives. Martyn’s Law will help protect the British public from terrorism, and make sure public premises are better prepared in the event of a terror attack.”
“I want to make sure that our proposals are balanced and proportionate. That’s why our updated approach is easy to implement, and better tailored to individual businesses.”
“I’d encourage smaller premises to share their feedback on these crucial changes. Your feedback will help ensure that Martyn’s Law stands the test of time.”
The updated requirements for smaller businesses, set out in the consultation, are centred around outcomes rather than processes. For example, it will remove the requirement to complete any specific terrorism training.
Instead, those responsible for these premises will be asked to put in place procedures such as evacuation and lock-ins in the event of an attack.
The new ‘reasonably practicable’ approach is better suited to the wide range of organisations that will be within the scope of standard tier because they will assess and implement procedures that are suitable to their individual circumstances.
This aligns with other regulatory regimes, such as Health and Safety, which require reasonably practicable steps.
A Martyn’s Law regulator will be established to monitor compliance and advise premises within scope of the legislation. Premises within standard tier will be required to notify the regulator that they are within the scope of this legislation.
This revised approach is designed to be low to no financial cost, with associated costs largely driven by the time taken to communicate them to staff.
Following the conclusion of the consultation process, the bill will be introduced as soon as parliamentary time allows.