Coventry security expert welcomes 'Martyn's Law' mention in King's speech - The Coventry Observer

Coventry security expert welcomes 'Martyn's Law' mention in King's speech

Coventry Editorial 12th Nov, 2023   0

A COVENTRY security expert has welcomed a ‘significant step forward’ on impending anti-terrorism legislation mentioned in the King’s speech.

And Marcus Gerrard, who is Director at city anti-terror bollard and barrier supplyer Safetyflex Barriers, has urged businesses in the region to ‘start conversations to improve their practices now’.

The Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill, known as ‘Martyn’s Law’, was one of 21 mentioned in the King’s Speech on Tuesday, November 7, signalling the Government’s intention to pass it into law in the coming year.

The bill will place a statutory duty on qualifying venues and events to take proportionate and reasonable measures to improve public safety and protect against the threat of terrorism.

It is named after Martyn Hett, who was one of 22 people killed by a terrorist attack as they left a 2017 Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena.

According to the Home Office, the legislation could impact 650,000 businesses in the UK, including hotels restaurants, stadiums and hospitals.

The new duty would apply to qualifying public venues which hold 100 people or more and are used for activities such as retail, food and drink, or entertainment; as well as public events with a capacity of at least 800 people.

Under the current draft – which is going through pre-legislative scrutiny – that could mean business owners creating anti-terrorism plans, staff undertaking terrorism protection training, or installing hostile vehicle mitigation such as bollards and barriers.

Mr Gerrard said: “Once implemented, this Bill will undoubtedly lead to the biggest shift in security that the industry has ever seen, and have a significant impact on a wide range of qualifying businesses operating in public locations.

“The terrorist threat we face is diverse and continually evolving, but making sure we are prepared as a country – and as business owners – is vital for national security.

“Businesses must start conversations to improve their practices now.

“What happened at the Manchester Arena in 2017 was a tragedy and this new law is owed to victims like Martyn Hett and others.”

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