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Martyn’s Law–Where are we up to on the detail?

I am now getting clients asking me what the impact of Martyn’s Law will be and what are the timescales. It is very difficult to be precise at the moment as we are waiting clarification on the detail. This is very frustrating as the impact could be significant, particularly for larger capacity venues, and we need the detail as early as possible to properly advise and for operators to properly plan.

It is worth keeping an eye on the Home Office blog. This was last updated this month and appears to be updated relatively frequently.

The full title of the bill is The Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill and it featured in the latest King’s Speech in November. A recent consultation on the Standard Tier provisions was billed as “to ensure the Bill strikes the right balance between public protection and avoiding undue burden on smaller premises, such as village halls and other community venues.”

What do we know so far….

To be in scope of the provisions:

  • Premises and events must be accessible to the public.
  • Premises must be used for a purpose listed in the Bill (e.g. entertainment and leisure, retail, food and drink).
  • Have a capacity of 100 or more individuals.
  • Premises may be a building or outdoor locations which have a readily identifiable physical boundary and access by express permission.
  • Provision is made in the Bill for temporary events such as festivals that have express permission to enter and a capacity of 800 or more individuals.

How will it work?

The Bill will establish a tiered model, linked to the activity that takes place at a premise or event and its capacity:

Enhanced Tier – this tier will see additional requirements placed on high-capacity venues in recognition of the potential catastrophic consequences of a successful attack. This will apply to premises and events with a capacity of 800 or more individuals, for example, live music premises or events, theatres, and department stores. Those responsible for an enhanced duty premises or qualifying public events must:

  • notify the Regulator of their premise or event;
  • take ‘reasonably practicable’ measures that will reduce the risk of a terrorist attack occurring or physical harm being caused. The reasonably practicable test is utilised in other regulatory regimes e.g., Health and Safety, and will enable organisations to tailor their approach to the nature of the premises, and their activities and resources;
  • keep and maintain a security document, aided by an assessment of the terrorism risk, which must also be provided to the Regulator; and
  • if the responsible person is a body corporate, they must appoint an individual as the designated senior individual for the premise or event.

Standard Tier

In summary, those responsible for Standard Tier premises must:

  • Notify the Regulator that they are, or have become, responsible for premises within scope of the Bill (and so subject to the relevant requirements). This remains broadly in line with previous requirements.
  • Have in place procedural measures that could be expected to reduce, so far as reasonably practicable, the risk of physical harm to individuals at the premises in the event of an attack. These relate only to the procedures to be followed by people working at the premises in the event of an attack occurring or being suspected as about to occur. As the procedural measures are about procedures for responding to an attack or suspected attack, it is not expected or required that physical alterations be undertaken or additional equipment purchased for Standard Tier premises.
  • In contrast to the published draft Bill, there is no requirement to complete a specified form (the ‘Standard Terrorism Evaluation’) for Standard Tier premises or ensure that people working at the premises are given any specific training. However, as part of putting in place the procedural measures, workers will need to be sufficiently instructed or trained to carry them out effectively.


Worryingly, not having the detail yet, it suggest the Regulator will monitor compliance and advise premises within scope. The Regulator will have the tools to address non-compliance, including investigatory powers and monetary sanctions. I very much want to see the detail around this.

What strikes fear into advisors is the phrase “Dedicated guidance and support will be provided for Martyn’s Law, to ensure that those in scope have the required information on what to do and how best to do it. As part of this approach, we will expand the support available to those responsible for delivering security in public venues.” We all remember from Covid Regulations how we had very little time to get to grips with the Guidance documents, let’s hope that Government has learned a lesson from that.

 The conclusion is that we are lacking in detail to fully advise, however it is coming and the leisure sector needs to factor this on the horizon. We will continue to keep up with developments and report accordingly.