Preparing for Martyn’s Law: Enhancing Security Measures and Mitigating Risks

Life’s best moments are so often in shared public spaces; from the thrill of singing along to your favourite band at a concert, to supporting your football team to victory in a stadium.

The significance of identifying threats and mitigating risks cannot be understated. While rare, terrorist and criminal attacks pose genuine threats to events and any publicly accessible location where crowds gather. The current terror alert level, categorized as ‘substantial,’ indicates a likelihood of a terror attack.

Presently, event organizers bear a legal responsibility to ensure the well-being, health, and safety of individuals participating in or attending their events, as stipulated by the Health & Safety at Work Act. This encompasses conducting comprehensive risk assessments and establishing an action plan to be executed in the event of a major incident.

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In the aftermath of the tragic Manchester Arena attack in 2017, legislation has been developed to enhance event security.

Formerly referred to as Protect Duty, and famously known as Martyn’s Law in honour of Martyn Hett, one of the 22 victims of the Manchester Arena attack, this new legislation has been published as the Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill.

Although it is not currently enforceable, its implementation is forthcoming. Meanwhile, malevolent forces will not wait for the enactment of Martyn’s Law.

That is precisely why it is crucial to seek expert guidance and promptly adopt best practices in risk assessment and risk mitigation.

Emphasising the importance of identifying threats and mitigating risks, the revised text acknowledges the gravity of the situation while conveying the need for immediate action and adherence to expert advice and industry-standard risk management practices.


Unveiling the Details of Martyn's Law

Martyn’s Law introduces a pivotal legal obligation to enforce protective measures that safeguard both individuals and assets from the ever-present threat of a terrorist attack. These measures are carefully tailored to align with the identified risks, ensuring a proportional response.

Compliance with the Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill, and thereby Martyn’s Law, hinges on the scale of your event or the capacity of your venue. For standard duty premises accommodating 100 to 799 individuals, adherence to Martyn’s Law necessitates the following actions:

  1. Equipping relevant personnel with appropriate counter-terrorism training.
  2. Conducting a thorough evaluation of terrorism risks to determine the most effective response in the event of an attack.
  3. Enhanced duty premises with a capacity of 800 or more must meet Martyn’s Law requirements by undertaking the following:
  4. Designating a senior officer responsible for overseeing security measures at the premises or event.
  5. Completing and regularly reviewing a comprehensive terrorism risk assessment.
  6. Identifying the most probable types of terrorist acts that may occur within the premises or its vicinity, and implementing measures aimed at mitigating such risks.
  7. Deploying security measures that are reasonably practicable and proportionate to the identified risks.
  8. Maintaining a robust security plan, which must be provided to the regulatory body overseeing the registered premises.


Martyn’s Law represents a crucial shift towards ensuring the safety and security of individuals and venues, with tailored obligations based on the size and nature of the event or premises. By adhering to these provisions, it will reinforce the collective commitment to mitigating risks and creating an environment that fosters safety, peace of mind, and resilience against potential threats.

Addressing Noncompliance and Ensuring Preparedness for Martyn's Law

Regulatory bodies hold a range of sanctions at their disposal to address instances of noncompliance with the Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill. These penalties may include the issuance of restriction notices or fines for events or premises found to be in violation. The proposed penalties for failing to fulfill obligations under Martyn’s Law can reach a maximum of £18 million or 5% of worldwide revenue, whichever amount is higher.

To ensure compliance with the forthcoming Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill and Martyn’s Law, it is highly recommended to promptly seek guidance from counter-terrorism and event security experts. By doing so, you can effectively conduct risk assessments and implement appropriate security measures, aligning with the proportionate requirements outlined in the legislation.

Additionally, it is advisable to enhance your understanding of the draft Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill and leverage the insights gathered to inform the formulation of Martyn’s Law. The comprehensive draft bill is available for your reference, providing a detailed overview of the proposed legislation. The government’s Martyn’s Law fact sheet offers valuable insights as well. Furthermore, the Manchester Arena Inquiry serves as an excellent resource, summarizing the lessons learned and aiding in the evaluation of your own risk factors. Stay updated with the latest information on Martyn’s Law through the Government’s Protect website. The Purple Guide also offers valuable guidance on counter-terrorism measures.

Amid discussions about the venues and locations affected by Martyn’s Law, it is crucial to acknowledge that the level of threat is not limited to specific types or sizes of events. All venues, events, and locations where crowds congregate must proactively mitigate risks and fulfil their responsibilities. Irrespective of whether venues or events fall within the specific parameters of Martyn’s Law, this legislation should serve as a baseline for best practices across the board.

By emphasising the consequences of noncompliance, the need for expert advice, the availability of informational resources, and the overarching responsibility to mitigate risks, the revised text seeks to encourage preparedness, compliance, and a proactive approach towards security in light of Martyn’s Law.

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Understanding Threat, Vulnerability, and Risk

Comprehending the intricacies of threat, vulnerability, and risk pertaining to your event allows for the implementation of security measures that are proportionate and cost-effective, while considering your operational requirements.

It is important to explore solutions that align with your specific needs, ensuring a balanced approach where security considerations are weighed against the event’s viability.

When conducting threat, vulnerability, and risk assessments, it is advisable to engage the expertise of experienced professionals.

We would recommend verifying the qualifications and expertise of your chosen expert, and seeking references as part of your due diligence process.

At your organisation, you should deploy two risk assessment methodologies to address your security needs:

  1. Threat, Vulnerability, and Risk (TVR) Assessment: This assessment focuses on the factors unique to your event, venue, or location, allowing for the management of risks through physical measures, efficient resource planning, and heightened vigilance.

  2. Vehicle Dynamics Assessment (VDA): This assessment analyzes the potential use of vehicles as a means of attack on your venue or location. It evaluates the likely speed of travel for vehicles of different sizes, enabling proactive measures to mitigate such risks.


By emphasising the importance of understanding threat, vulnerability, and risk, and the value of engaging professionals with relevant experience, the revised text aims to highlight the significance of comprehensive assessments and tailored security measures to ensure the safety and success of your event or venue.

Key Points to Remember:

Proactive Action: Don’t wait for legislation; take immediate steps to comprehend the necessary measures for mitigating risks and safeguarding people and assets against terror attacks and vehicle incursions.

Expert Advice: Seek guidance from professionals who possess extensive experience and uphold high standards of knowledge. It is advisable to verify their expertise through references whenever possible.

Proportionate Security Measures: Ensure that security measures are aligned with operational considerations and proportionate to identified risks. The focus should be on mitigating specific risks rather than simply investing in high-value mitigation (HVM) solutions.

Incident Response Plans: It is crucial to ensure that event management staff thoroughly understand your incident response plans and are adequately trained to execute them effectively during emergencies.

Knowledge Gathering: Utilise available resources such as The Purple Guide and the Protect UK website to gather valuable insights and information relevant to enhancing security measures.