Martyn’s Law

The campaign for Martyn’s Law legislation followed the Manchester Arena terrorist attack in 2017. It is counter terrorism legislation that aims to protect people from harm as a result of terror attacks.

The draft Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill – which is commonly referred to as Martyn’s Law and was formerly referred to as the Protect Duty bill – was published in May 2023. A consultation followed and the proposed Martyn’s Law was mentioned in the King’s speech in November 2023, indicating the government’s commitment to passing legislation to protect people from terror attacks in public places. The draft bill will now undergo a full legislative process, which may involve further changes to proposed law, however, the principles of an obligation to understand threat, vulnerability and risk, train personnel and remain vigilant are clear.

Martyn’s Law requirements – what we know so far

The draft Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill may undergo further amendments as part of the legislative process before Martyn’s Law becomes legislation. As the draft bill stands at the moment, your obligations will depend on the number of people attending your event or the capacity of your venue.

The proposed Standard Duty requires premises with a capacity of 100 – 799 to comply with Martyn’s Law by:

• Ensuring that relevant workers receive appropriate counter-terrorism training.

• Undertaking a terrorism evaluation to understand how best to respond in the event of a terrorist attack.

The proposed Enhanced Duty requires premises with a capacity of 800 or over to comply with Martyn’s Law by:

• Appointing a designated senior officer for the premises or event.

• Completing and regularly reviewing their terrorism risk assessment.

• Considering the types of terrorist act most likely to occur at or around their premises or event and the measures that might be expected to reduce the risk.

• Implementing ‘reasonably practicable’ security measures for proportionate risk mitigation.

• Keeping and maintain a security plan, which must be provided to the regulator with which the premises are registered.

Under the current proposals, regulators will have a range of sanctions to address non-compliance with Martyn’s Law, and will be able to impose penalties, including restriction notices or fines for events or premises. The penalties proposed for failing to comply with Martyn’s Law obligations could be up to £18m or 5% of worldwide revenue, whichever is higher. However, it’s important to note that complying with the proposed Martyn’s Law doesn’t have to be onerous or expensive, it could be as simple as carrying out a risk assessment, training your team and remaining vigilant. You can access free ACT (Action Counter Terrorism) and risk assessment templates at ProtectUK.

What is Martyn’s Law going to mean for me?

The goal of Martyn’s Law is to enable people to do the things they love, such as watching sport, attending outdoor events, shopping at markets and going to see their favourite bands play live music. We will all be positively affected by Martyn’s Law in the sense that it will enable us to enjoy all of those things with the confidence of knowing that our safety has been considered, with appropriate and proportionate measures in place to counter threat, vulnerability and risk.

If you operate a venue, organise events or are responsible for a publicly accessible location (PAL), you may have to comply with Martyn’s Law. Although Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill is not legislation yet, it’s important to understand that the threat is already present, so, rather than waiting for a legal obligation to mitigate risk, you can act now to prepare for Martyn’s Law.

Martyn’s Law UK – The facts so far

  • Martyn’s Law is proposed legislation to aid counter terrorism security at events and publicly accessible locations (PALs).
  • The draft Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill was published in May 2023 but it may be subject to amendments before it becomes law. The draft bill can be read in full here Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Draft Bill ( .
  • The legislation will be passed as the Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill, but is commonly referred to as Martyn’s Law after Martyn Hett, one of the 22 people killed by a terrorist attack at the Manchester Arena in 2017.
  • The draft bill was previously also known as Protect Duty – Martyn’s Law, Protect Duty and the Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill, are the same thing.
  • The proposed Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill will undergo a full parliamentary process before Martyn’s Law becomes mandatory.
  • It is a good idea to prepare for Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill now because the threat is already present and there is already a need to mitigate risk and protect people from harm, while we wait for Martyn’s Law to become a legal requirement.
  • Preparation for Martyn’s Law does not have to be expensive or onerous – it’s all about taking proportionate steps to understand and mitigate risk. Get in touch to find out more about how we can help you prepare.

How can I prepare for Martyn’s Law?

Although the Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill is not yet legislation, it is advisable to prepare now for when Martyn’s Law becomes a legal obligation. The current terror threat alert is ‘substantial’, which means that a terror attack is considered likely. It is important to consider how this threat affects the vulnerability of your event, venue or location now, and take steps to mitigate risk.

Here are some ways you can prepare for Martyn’s Law:

  • Understand the threat, vulnerability and risk affecting your event, venue or location with a thorough risk assessment.
  • Ensure that your team are suitably trained and can communicate effectively.
  • Put in place appropriate and proportionate security measures, based on expert counter terrorism advice.

Where can I learn more about Martyn’s Law?

Martyn’s Law is not legislation yet, but the draft has now been published and there is plenty of information that will help you prepare for Martyn’s Law and implement a best practice approach. There is a lot of hearsay and conjecture about Martyn’s Law, so make sure you consult sources of information you can trust, such as:

• The draft Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill

• The Protect UK website, which publishes the latest updates about Martyn’s Law and has lots of counter terrorism training and resources

• The government’s Martyn’s Law fact sheet

• The Manchester Arena Inquiry report

We can help you prepare for Martyn’s Law

As specialists in event security, with a turnkey plan, provide, protect approach to risk assessment, specification, and deployment, we can support you as you prepare for Martyn’s Law.

Or contact our team to discuss your needs.