In an era of increasing complexity and interconnectivity, a main concern revolves around ensuring the safety and security of public spaces for everyone who attends.
The constant threat of terrorism and acts of violence in crowded places has made it imperative to implement effective measures to safeguard individuals and communities, notably highlighted by the tragic 2017 attack at the Manchester Arena.
Under Martyn’s Law – highlighted in the King’s Speech and named in memory of Martyn Hett – owners and operators of venues and events must conduct a “comprehensive and publicly available” risk assessment, to identify and mitigate potential threats to public safety.
This includes assessing the fire safety risks associated with the venue or event, such as the number and location of fire exits, fire alarms, and emergency lighting. Any identified risks must be actively managed and measures put in place to reduce them.
Martyn’s Law also requires that venues and events have clear and effective communication plans in place for any emergencies, including fire emergencies. And have trained staff who are able to communicate clearly and calmly with the public, providing clear and accurate information on evacuation procedures and exit routes in the case of a fire.
Understanding Amthal’s Approach to Martyn’s Law
Martyn’s Law strives to support the legal enforcement of security and fire safety measures for venues.
The focus is on enhancing preparedness and response capabilities through the integration of technologies to mitigate the risks of potential terrorist attacks and other emergencies in crowded public spaces. This encompasses entertainment venues, shopping centres, sports arenas, education and healthcare facilities, and transportation hubs.
In practice, the comprehensive 56-page proposal covers various measures, ranging from defining eligible premises and events to their registration, terrorism risk assessment, and terrorism protection training.
Key points from the initial draft include:
- Establishment of Regulatory Authority: Introducing a Regulatory Authority empowered to conduct inspections and enforce compliance.
- Identification of Qualifying Premises and Events: Outlining qualifying premises and specifying applicable segments and categories of events.
- Registration Mandate: Emphasising the necessity for responsible parties to register qualifying premises with the designated regulatory body.
- Minimum Standards for Terrorism Risk Assessment: Setting minimal obligations for assessing and evaluating terrorism risk.
- Terrorism Protection Training Requirement: Mandating ongoing terrorism protection training for relevant personnel at qualifying premises.
- Updated Security Plans: Requiring enhanced premises and qualifying public events to periodically update their security plans.
- Enforcement Authority – Contravention Notices: Imposing significant consequences for non-compliance, including restriction orders and financial penalties.
- Financial Penalties: Allowing for the imposition of ‘appropriate and proportionate’ financial penalties on non-compliant entities.
The fundamental principle of Amthal’s approach to Martyn’s Law is to ensure proactive measures are taken to protect the public through complete and compliant security protection, considering various and bespoke potential threats to individual venues.
Benefits of Strengthening Security
Venues affected by Martyn’s Law have a responsibility to implement necessary protection, technologies, and strategies for compliance. This is not only a priority and duty of care to visitors but also a holistic approach to enhancing security and protecting against terrorism threats.
Installations must balance maintaining a welcoming environment with maximising data and analytics for quick and calm responses to unfolding situations.
Amthal actively collaborates with venues to ensure a thorough risk assessment and provide an essential toolkit for operators to adhere to the principles of Martyn’s Law.
The introduction of the new responsibilities placed on venues signifies a substantial step toward security in public spaces, emphasising preparedness and prevention. The collaboration between legislative initiatives Martyn’s Law and innovative security solutions supported by Amthal ensure total protection and guaranteed compliance, where communities can gather in spaces prioritising their safety amidst a dynamic threat landscape.
“In memory of the 22 men, women and children who sadly lost their lives as a result of this barbaric act and to those that bear the scars may you find some peace.”