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August 24, 2023

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Martyn's Law

Former counter terrorism officer slams naivety of Home Affairs Select Committee scrutiny of Martyn’s Law Bill

Backing other Martyn’s Law campaigners including Figen Murray, a former counter terror police officer and advisor to the NPCC has argued that the scrutiny to the draft Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill by the Home Affairs Select Committee is “naïve and out of touch”.

MusicVenue-Public-23The Committee’s findings raised several concerns with the proposed legislation – otherwise known as Martyn’s Law. After receiving evidence from a broad spectrum of stakeholders, it questioned whether the Bill is proportionate to risk, as well as that the overall objective was more directed towards response than prevention.

It has called on the Government to reduce the proposed safety measures and base these on risk, as opposed to the size of a venue. It believes that such measures in the current draft of the bill would “place a significant and disproportionate burden on smaller venues, while failing to ensure adequate safety measures at all public events at risk of terror attacks”.

Campaigners, including Figen Murray, have since voiced their unease over the findings. They argue that the conclusions could lead to it being watered down, and consequently put more people and venues at risk of terrorist activity.

“Protecting the public has to be more of a priority”

Lloyd Major, CEO of Halo Solutions and former counter terrorism officer, has publicly backed the Bill and Figen Murray’s response.

“Figen Murray is absolutely correct in her assessment of the Martyn’s Law legislation and that the government must proceed with strong and robust legislation. Any weakening or reduction of the proposed measures in the draft Terrorism (Protection Of Premises) Bill, also known as “Martyn’s Law’, would potentially put the public at even greater risk of another terror attack, as terrorists would merely switch their tactics to focus on softer targets without such counter terrorism measures in place.

“Protecting the public from terror attacks has to be more of a priority. It is vital that all public venues and premises have counter terrorism measures and training in place to protect staff and members of the public against the threat of an attack.

“Any weakening of the proposed measures in the draft bill would be counterproductive to the very foundation of Martyn’s Law. Time and time again we hear the words ‘lessons will be learned’ and the reality is that lessons are rarely ever learned, and the same tragic mistakes are repeated.”

“Terrorism does not discriminate against a small pub or a large stadium venue. We have witnessed a dynamic range of attacks from the Soho pub bombings to the London Borough Market, Manchester Arena attacks and many more. It is our collective responsibility to all be more vigilant, prepared and aware of terrorism after the tragic impact of all these attacks.

“All business owners, live music venues, bars, pubs and restaurants need to work together collectively to protect the public and their staff against terrorism. We do it for health and safety, this is no different and certainly no more onerous or costly.”

“Having strong counter terrorism measures in place at stadiums because of a ‘perceived’ higher risk and greater threat will only shift the emphasis of a terrorist attack to focus on smaller ‘softer’ targets such as pubs, restaurants small live music venues, which would fly under the legislation radar of any counter terrorism initiatives, which is precisely what the select committee is asking the government to do. 

“Have MPs not understood the severity of incidents such as Hillsborough, the Manchester Arena bombing and the countless other foiled terror attacks? It is naïve to think that the proposed measures in the new pre-legislation of Martyn’s Law would fail to make a difference to public safety.

“You simply cannot compromise on public safety when you see the devastation caused by a terrorist incident. All businesses, no matter how small or large, have a moral duty of care and safety to their staff and the public to protect them against danger and the threat of terrorism.”

 


Find out the latest about Martyn’s Law and its legislative progress, here >>

In response to the inquiry findings, Halo Solutions’ (v5) crowd and event safety management software was made free for small businesses, pubs, live music venues and entertainment spaces where public capacity does not exceed 800 people, in an effort to help them address the anticipated measures that are expected to come into force.

 

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