Trade bodies back changes to Martyn’s Law

By Gary Lloyd

- Last updated on GMT

Responses made on Martyn's Law: Emma McClarkin and Kate Nicholls
Responses made on Martyn's Law: Emma McClarkin and Kate Nicholls

Related tags Martyn's Law Government Legislation Health and safety ukhospitality Bbpa

Trade bodies have given their backing to the Government’s revised changes to Martyn’s Law, which will require businesses to increase their readiness to act should there be a terrorist attack.

UKHospitality (UKH) and the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) have both welcomed the new stance on the ‘standard tier’ portion of the bill that closed its consultation​ on Monday (18 March).

The bill, named in tribute of Martyn Hett who was killed in the Manchester Arena terrorist attack in 2017, will impose requirements in relation to certain premises and events to increase their preparedness for, and protection from, a terrorist attack by requiring them to take proportionate steps, depending on the size and nature of the activities that take place at the premises.

UKH confirmed support of changes in its response to the Home Office consultation. The trade body said the current approach was advocated and echoed by a Home Affairs Committee report last year.

The consultation sets out that ‘standard tier’ premises, with a maximum capacity between 100 and 799 people, will be required to have “procedural measures that could be expected to reduce the risk of physical harm in the event of a future attack”.

Top priority

UKH chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “Protecting our staff and customers is a top priority for hospitality businesses and we support the Government’s approach to enhancing this through Martyn’s Law.

“Achieving the aims of Martyn’s Law will always require significant collaboration between businesses, local authorities and other bodies, and I commend the Government’s revised approach to the standard tier, which recognises the flexibility this requires. This approach should also be reflected in the ‘enhanced tier’, to ensure Martyn’s Law can be implemented in a more proportionate and less burdensome way for all venues.

“There can be no ‘one size fits all’ approach to something as complex and important as this, something we have raised with the Home Office and it has listened to. This collaborative approach is the best way forward and we hope to continue working with the Home Office on developing sector-specific guidance at the relevant time.”

Meanwhile, the BBPA also welcomed the “more proportionate approach” for ‘standard tier’ venues but emphasised the need for a risk-based approach that ensures the safety of patrons without overly burdening low-risk venues such as rural pubs with unnecessary regulations.

Proportionate and practical

The BBPA’s response underscored its commitment to working collaboratively with the Government to ensure pubs have suitable security measures that protect customers and staff while not adding new layers of cost and regulation onto low-risk venues.

BBPA chief executive Emma McClarkin said: “We fully support the objectives of Martyn's Law and recognise the importance taking appropriate preparedness measures.

“It is also crucial though to consider the diverse landscape of our pubs, particularly those in rural areas with little chance of being targeted.

“We must ensure that any regulations introduced are proportionate and practical, avoiding unnecessary burdens on businesses already facing numerous challenges.”

The Morning Advertiser​ reported on Martyn’s Law in September 2023 when former counter-terrorism national co-ordinator Nick Aldworth talked to delegates at the MA Leaders Club​ in Bristol.

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