Editor, IFSEC Global

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James Moore is the Editor of IFSEC Global, the leading online publication for security and fire news in the industry. James writes, commissions, edits and produces content for IFSEC Global, including articles, breaking news stories and exclusive industry reports. He liaises and speaks with leading industry figures, vendors and associations to ensure security and fire professionals remain abreast of all the latest developments in the sector.
February 26, 2021

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Public security

Consultation for Protect Duty opens seeking views on how to make the public safer

The public consultation for the Protect Duty has been opened by the UK Government, as it seeks views from stakeholders on how the incoming legislation can make the public safer at publicly accessible locations. 

PublicSecurity-ProtectDuty-21The Protect Duty, previously known as ‘Martyn’s Law’, is a new piece of anti-terrorism legislation, designed to ensure the public is better protected from a “multifaceted, diverse and continually evolving” terror threat. It follows a campaign from Figen Murray, the mother of Martyn Hett who sadly lost his life in the Manchester Arena terrorist attack in May 2017, who has highlighted the need to improve security standards in crowded public spaces and venues.

An Inquiry into the Manchester Arena attack is currently ongoing.

The Government has said it is “committed to improving the safety and security of public venues”, with the consultation set to consider how to “develop proportionate security measures to improve public security”.

The consultation is open to the public and is targeted at all those who own or operate publicly accessible locations that a ‘Protect Duty’ would potentially affect, including:

  • Venues
  • Organisations
  • Businesses
  • Local authorities
  • Public authorities
  • Individuals

A publicly accessible location has been defined by the Government as: “Any place which the public or any section of the public has access, on payment or otherwise, as of right or by virtue of express or implied permission”. This includes a wide range of venues, such as sports stadiums, festivals, hotels, pubs, casinos, high streets, retail centres, schools & universities, places of worship, parks, transport hubs and many more.

The consultation document has outlined 4 key questions that respondents and stakeholders need to consider, which are:

  1. Who (or where) should legislation apply to?
  2. What should the requirements be for those parties within the scope?
  3. How should compliance work?
  4. How should government best support and work with partners?

In the ministerial foreword for the consultation, James Brokenshire, Security Minister, said: “There is much good work already being done by many organisations, and I welcome these ongoing efforts. However, in the absence of a legislative requirement, there is no certainty that considerations of security are undertaken by those operating the wide variety of sites and places open to the public, or, where they are undertaken, what outcomes are achieved. This consultation considers how we could improve this position, through reasonable and not overly burdensome security measures.”

Responses can be given to the Protect Duty consultation here. 

The full document outlining the Protect Duty can be accessed, here. 

Read IFSEC Global’s related articles concerning the Protect Duty and Martyn’s Law for further debate:


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