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Manchester to implement counter-terrorism measures at venues ahead of national legislation

Martyn’s Law, if adopted by the UK government, would compel local authorities and venues to have a clear plan for terrorism threats. Manchester will roll out a voluntary scheme early.


Manchester City Council will ask venues and public spaces to adopt new anti-terror security measures.


On 22 May 2017, a terrorist bomb went off at the end of an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena, killing 22 people and seriously injuring dozens more.


Figen Murray, whose 29-year-old son Martyn Hett died in the incident, has campaigned for the Government to introduce ‘Martyn’s Law’ legislation to improve security at all public venues.


UK Security Minister Brandon Lewis said that the prime minister, Boris Johnson, is "100 per cent" behind plans for airport-style searches at UK venues. No timetable has been set.


Manchester City Council said it plans to adopt Martyn’s Law early through licensing rules – initially on a voluntary basis.


Five requirements


The proposed Martyn’s Law seeks to create a coherent and proportionate approach to security. It would apply to any public places.


Under Martyn’s Law, it would be mandatory for local authorities to have a clear plan for mitigating terrorism threats.


For small venues, this could require an addition to their already mandated fire plan. Bigger, more complex venues would require a more holistic approach, a statement from Manchester City Council said.


Martyn’s Law consists of five requirements, that public spaces:

  • Engage with freely available counter-terrorism advice and training
  • Conduct vulnerability assessments
  • Mitigate the risks created by the vulnerabilities
  • Have a counter-terrorism plan
  • Local authorities would also need a plan for mitigating the threat of terrorism

Manchester Council will review the way in which it licences venues, to support adoption of the measures.


Government action


Figen Murray, 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."


"We are proud to work with Figen to lead the way on bringing in an improved culture of safety in this country, but we need the Government to take action."


Councillor Nigel Murphy, deputy leader of Manchester City Council, added: “We are proud to work with Figen to lead the way on bringing in an improved culture of safety in this country, but we need the Government to take action. Only they have the power to get Martyn’s Law onto the statute books and we hope it treats her campaign as a priority."


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