How will Martyn’s Law impact pubs?

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Legal progression: the draft bill will be subject to pre-legislative scrutiny (image: Getty/JLGutierrez)
Legal progression: the draft bill will be subject to pre-legislative scrutiny (image: Getty/JLGutierrez)

Related tags Legislation Health and safety Poppleston allen

With the draft legislation for Martyn’s Law being published, The Morning Advertiser has looked at how the bill will affect operators.

The draft Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill lays out the requirements that under Martyn’s Law, venues and other organisations will have to meet to ensure public safety.

Martyn’s Law​ is a tribute to Martyn Hett, who was killed alongside 21 others in the Manchester Arena terrorist attack in 2017.

Measures in the draft legislation aim to bolster public safety by introducing proportionate new security requirements for a variety of public venues across the UK.

The draft bill will be subject to pre-legislative scrutiny by the Home Affairs Select Committee, ahead of formal introduction. It is based on a two-tier system.

Poppleston Allen associate solicitor Andy Grimsey outlined how the tiers work and how pubs are impacted.

Close consideration

He said: “While I am pleased we are now able to see some of the detail of the this draft legislation, there is a lot for operators to take in.

“Definitions of qualifying public premises and qualifying public events, whether the standard or enhanced duty apples and indeed any exceptions all need to be considered closely.

“However, most pubs will either fall into the standard tier (with a capacity of between 100 and 800) or none (below 100).

“Whether measures to protect venues carry explicit obligations and penalties for non-compliance (as in the standard and enhanced duties) or are voluntary (for non-qualifying premises below 100 capacity) Martyn’s Law marks a clear raising of the bar for operators regarding protecting their venues against the risk and effect of an act of terrorism.”

The Night-Time Industries Association (NTIA) has been working alongside the Home Office, NaCTSO and key stakeholders in the development of the bill.

Initial draft

NTIA chief executive officer Michael Kill said: “[We] are pleased to see the initial draft has taken into account some of our recommendations as well as considering proportionality, against effectiveness within a wide range of settings.

“Our priority throughout this is to keep people safe and protect public spaces across our sector from a potential terrorist attack.

“It is important through this process, we also deliver clear and concise guidance on the implementation of Martyn’s Law as well as address some of the fundamental issues around security resource shortages and adequate training prior to implementation.

“We would like to thank Figen Murray (mother of Martyn Hett) for her continued support and look forward to working alongside the Government and key stakeholders in creating safer spaces for people to enjoy our world-renowned hospitality and cultural sectors.”

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