Editor, IFSEC Global

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James Moore is the Editor of IFSEC Global, the leading resource for security and fire news in the industry. James was previously Editor of Professional Heating & Plumbing Installer magazine.
February 27, 2020

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The State of Physical Access Control in EMEA Businesses – 2020 Report

Counter-terror

New ‘Martyn’s Law’ proposed to protect UK venues from terror attacks

The mother of one of the victims of the Manchester Arena attack has welcomed new proposals from the Government, known as Martyn’s Law, outlining that airport-style security checks could be introduced to public venues.

Figen Murray, whose son Martyn died in the attack back in 2017, has been campaigning for stricter security measures since the event. On 24th February, Brandon Lewis, the UK Security Minister, announced that the Government was fully behind the proposals, which include bag searches and metal detectors at large venues, such as concert and sporting arenas.

Martyn'sLaw-Wembley-20

Figen has welcomed these measures, which have become known as ‘Martyn’s Law’, whilst Manchester City Council has confirmed that that the principles would become part of its future licencing regulation. Commenting on the news, Figen said: “I’m happy they are taking me seriously and have decided to do something about it. I have worked my socks off. It’s a legacy for my son. I hope it’s going to be called Martyn’s Law. This is my contribution.”

The law is set to go into public consultation in the spring. Some of the requirements for public spaces may include:

  • engage with freely available counter-terrorism advice and training
  • conduct vulnerability assessments
  • mitigate risks created by the assessments
  • ensure a counter-terrorism plan is in place
  • local authorities to plan for the threat of terrorism

Writing in the Mail on Sunday, Lewis said: “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.”


Martyn’s Law commentaries

Kenny Long, UK Business Development Lead – Facial Recognition at Digital Barriers

“If security teams are going to adhere to these new regulations and meet the duty of care standards, they must take steps to increase their counter-terror preparedness. But, in the context of stadium management it’s not that easy, as simply incorporating additional security checkpoints, like metal detectors or x-ray scanners, in such high footfall environments can disrupt visitor flow – causing bottlenecks, queues and therefore potential delays. As a result, alternative solutions that can enhance security without impacting customer flow into venues should be taken into consideration.

“Facial recognition and body worn cameras are two technologies that fit these criteria, as they can add significant value to security whilst minimising the impact on guests. For instance, facial recognition systems analyse faces against watch lists of known offenders, thereby allowing security teams to closely monitor their activity without intruding on their personal space or privacy – and without storing any biometric data.

“Where a facial recognition system is largely a preventative measure, body worn cameras on the other hand can help venue staff or law enforcement better manage the aftermath of an incident. This is because body worn cameras can significantly improve communication and information sharing across an organisation, particularly when streaming footage in real-time. Transmitting live footage through body worn cameras gives venue staff and emergency responders a much clearer picture of nature and severity of an incident – which can be used to better inform their response plan.”

Evgenia Ostrovskaya, Business Development Director, Retail and Banking at Genetec

“If Martyn’s Law comes into effect, security teams will need to implement measures to improve counter terror preparedness and emergency response procedures. By using technology, they can increase situational awareness and continually audit the premises for any vulnerabilities.

“By integrating video surveillance, analytics, access control, and automatic number plate recognition into a single pane of glass, systems to spot any possible issues from the car park to the stands. This heightened level of situational awareness helps operators identify, react and resolve problems within minutes. With pre-defined response procedures, operators are guided through the right steps. All of this ensures an uninterrupted and safe experience for guests. It can also help with more mundane issues too, for instance if there’s a crowd bottleneck, a door being forced open, or a bag lying around, their security system will notify them so they can resolve an issue before it escalates.

“The main advantage of a security system like this boils down to improved communications. Being able to quickly share information across on-site staff is a powerful advantage, and means they have up to the minute information to mount an effective response. Having a better understanding of any incident also means staff can relay more accurate information to law enforcement, in turn bolstering their response plan too. All of this will help ensure security can contend with any threat and guests have an uninterrupted and safe experience.”

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