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Martyn’s Law: new counter-terror rules to be introduced at UK venues

The law, named after Manchester Arena attack victim Martyn Hett, will introduce new measures to prevent similar atrocities.

By Nick Reilly

Martyn Hett's death has sparked calls for fresh anti-terror laws

New legislation known as ‘Martyn’s Law’ in memory of a victim of the Manchester Arena bombing is to be introduced next year to prevent terrorist atrocities in public places such as major music venues.

Martyn Hett, 29, was one of 22 people killed when a suicide bomber detonated a device at the end of an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena in 2017. In the wake of the atrocity, his mother Figen Murray has constantly campaigned for new measures to prevent similar attacks from occurring again.

Now, the government has confirmed that the new law, which is UK wide, will require venues and local authorities to draft preventative plans against terror attacks.

Draft legislation will be published in Spring 2023, with the Home Office vowing that it will ensure “better protection of the public”.

“The new duty will require venues to take steps to improve public safety, with measures dependent on the size of the venue and the activity taking place,” the Home Office said.

“Recent attacks demonstrate that terrorists may choose to target a broad range of locations. Martyn’s law will ensure that security preparedness is delivered consistently across the UK, ensuring better protection of the public.”

Martyn’s Law was developed after a public consultation found that those responsible for operating major accessible locations should enforce measures that will protect the public from attacks. There has also been engagement with security experts, attack survivors and charities.

As The Guardian reports, the legislation will follow a tiered model in accordance with the activity at a location. A standard tier will be applicable to locations with a maximum capacity of over 100, while an enhanced tier will focus on high-capacity locations to reflect the potential consequence of an attack.

Figen Murray said: “Martyn’s law isn’t going to stop terrorism, but common-sense security and making sure venues are doing all they can to keep people safe could mean fewer suffer what myself and the families of Manchester have had to endure.

“I welcome the government’s commitment to including smaller venues and working quickly on this legislation. It is vital we now take the necessary steps to protect ourselves and others wherever possible and I hope other countries learn from this groundbreaking legislation.”