Martyn’s Law introduced in Manchester to improve venue security

The law was first touted by the family of Manchester Arena bombing victim Martyn Hett

A new law requiring entertainment venues to increase security against threats of terrorism is to be written into future licencing regulations across Manchester.

Martyn’s Law — named after Martyn Hett, one of the 22 people killed in the 2017 Manchester Arena terrorist attack — will ensure that all venues across the city have their own specific counter-terrorism plan.

It yet to be made a statutory requirement by Parliament, but Manchester City Council has now confirmed that it will be fully discussed at a council meeting next week.

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“Initially this will have to be voluntary changes made by the owners of licensed premises,” a statement released on Tuesday (January 7) confirmed.

“However, given the significance of the terror attack on Manchester, and the depth of feeling in the wake of the attack, we would hope that the practices which underlie Martyn’s Law would be taken up with enthusiasm.”

In their statement, the council said it was developing a “scheme of best practice” for licensed venues and exploring how Martyn’s Law could be implemented.

The proposed law currently includes the following five requirements.

  • A requirement that spaces and places to which the public have access engage with freely available counter-terrorism advice and training.
  • A requirement for those places to conduct vulnerability assessments of their operating places and spaces.
  • A requirement for those places to mitigate the risks created by the vulnerabilities.
  • A requirement for those places to have a counter-terrorism plan.
  • A requirement for local authorities to plan for the threat of terrorism.

Figen Murray, the mother of Martyn Hett, said: “I am so pleased to see that Manchester City Council have embraced the principles of Martyn’s Law and are setting a brilliant example by introducing some of its principles.

“It feels like a recognition and deep respect for the bereaved families and the hundreds of injured people.

“I am certain that Martyn’s Law will save lives through the council applying simple common sense.”

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Martyn’s Law was first touted in April 2019, with Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham supporting calls from the victims’ families to tighten security at concert venues.

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