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This week, the much anticipated Martyn’s Law Draft Bill was published. We've summarised all the key points to save you from wading through the comprehensive 56 page document.


For starters, it is not called The Protect Duty which was the working title during the consultation period, but the Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Draft Bill. But, is still referred to as Martyn's Law.

It will now start its passage through the House of Commons and Lords and may be amended during this process, but the thrust of the proposed Bill is now clear.

Which premises are proposed to fall under the Act?

It is broad and covers spaces where the public has access. The first level starts at spaces that have a capacity of between 100 and 799 people and an enhanced level for spaces with a capacity of over 800. There are several provisions for defining capacity and parts that are to be disregarded. These include private dwellings (blocks of flats etc), offices and some specific transport facilities.

The draft act covers in detail what are considered "qualifying premises.” They include shops, places where food and drink are sold (pubs etc), entertainment is quite encompassing and covers plays, music events and cinemas, sports grounds, recreation and leisure facilities, libraries galleries and museums, exhibition halls, visitor attractions, hotels, places of worship, hospitals, some transport hubs, childcare, primary and secondary education, further and higher education and public authorities.

In addition to actual premises, certain public events are covered. These may be an event in a public space or in a building not listed as a qualifying premise and cover outdoor events such as festivals.

What is the role of the Regulator and do the qualifying venues need to be registered?

There will be a regulator, which will be a public regulator, covered by regulations determined by the Secretary of State.

Qualifying premises will need to be registered by the 'responsible person' and there is a requirement for notification of public events. The information required is set out in broad terms but will be decided by the regulator.

Terrorism evaluation required

The scope covers the requirements for a standard terrorism evaluation and for an enhanced terrorism risk assessment.

Both need to be updated every 12 months or when any material changes are made to the premises. The purpose is to have the responsible persons fully consider the terrorism risk to the premises or event. For a large public event, the terrorism risk assessment must be completed at least 3 months before an event, but, has a provision for events that are quickly organised.

What are the training provisions?

For relevant workers, the responsible person has to ensure they have received terrorism training. The 'relevant' worker is defined as someone who works at, or, is hired to work at a premises or event and has responsibilities that are appropriate.

That appears to be wider than just security staff. They should be trained before, or as soon as they are appointed to the role and will need to have 12-monthly refresher training.

The content of the terrorism training is set out to cover the key elements in broad terms, but it must be appropriate to the size and other specific characteristics of the premises or event. This, therefore, implies that general training is not sufficient.

What are the security measures required?

The objective is to:

  1. Reduce the risk of acts of terrorism occurring and;
  2. Reduce the risk of physical harm to individuals should a terrorist act occur, at or in the immediate vicinity of a qualifying premises or event

Prevention measures include:

  • Monitoring and controlling access and movements in and out of the premises or event
  • Procedures if an attack occurs and security control of information that might be useful for those planning an attack. That would likely require secure control of floor plans, evacuation protocols and details of the security technology.

There needs to be procedures for:

  1. Alerting the emergency services
  2. Alerting persons at, or near the premises or event
  3. Evacuation, if it is safe to do so
  4. Lockdown and bringing people in the immediate vicinity into the event if it is safe

Designated Senior Officers

The 'Responsible Person' must ensure that there is a designated Senior Officer of an enhanced protection premises or qualifying public event and the regulator must be notified of the name and contact details of that person.

Note: The Responsible Person can be an individual or a corporate body.

Security Plans

The 'Responsible Person' for enhanced duty and qualifying public events must ensure there is a Security Plan and that it is submitted to the Regulator.

The form of the plan will be set out by the Secretary of State later but must include:

  • Prescribed information about the premises or event
  • Prescribed information about the person responsible for the premises or event
  • The identity and contact details of the designated senior officer for the premises or event
  • Prescribed information about the terrorism risk assessment of the premises or event
  • Prescribed details of the measures in place in relation to the premises or event
  • Prescribed details of any proposals for putting in place measures in pursuance of that duty (that are not already in place)
  • Prescribed details of terrorism protection training.

Other matters and mechanisms including penalties

There are provisions for going to a tribunal to determine a dispute over which category a premises or event falls into, and investigatory powers that include control over the rights to enter premises for investigation and enforcement.

The enforcement section covers contravention and restriction notices, the duration of notices and the appeals procedure. There are monetary penalty mechanisms set out and methods of determining a penalty.

The maximum, amount of a fixed penalty for a standard duty premises is £10,000 and for an enhanced duty premises or event is the greater of £18 million or 5% of world turnover.

There is a section on the appeals procedure and recovery of penalties.

Offences are listed that include false information and have specific implications including summary conviction and imprisonment. Implications for wrongdoing are set out for individuals, directors, partners, Boards and the corporate body.

A section deals with data protection in the usual way.

Licensing of premises at heightened terrorism risk

Finally, there is a category that is given special attention to the licensing of premises at heightened terrorism risk. There is a separate schedule that amends the Licensing Act 2003 to make provisions about the disclosure of plans of premises considered to be at heightened risk of being a target of terrorist activity.

What's Next

The draft bill has been laid before the House and will now receive pre-legislative scrutiny by the Home Affairs Committee - a cross-party committee of MPs responsible for scrutinising the work of the Home Office.

The provisions laid out in the draft bill Martyn's Law are far-reaching, once reviewed and ratified by the UK Government they will require significant change from those responsible for managing the qualifying premises.

If your premises is planned to fall under the legislation outlined in the Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Draft Bill, now is the time to start considering how you can meet the compliance requirements.