Martyn's Law

UK Businesses Unprepared for New Terrorism Legislation in Martyn’s Law

Is your business aware of Martyn’s Law, the new anti-terrorism legislation being brought in later this year?
Are you prepared? Are you fully informed about what you need to do?
Proposed legislation known as Martyn’s Law—named in memory of Martyn Hett, a victim of the 2017 Manchester Arena terrorist bombing—is expected to be law by the end of this year and aims to implement stricter regulations for all UK businesses when it comes to protecting against terrorist attacks.
Under this law, a wide range of businesses and venues will be required to enhance their safety and security measures, but only half of UK businesses are even aware of the law and don’t release that not complying with it could lead to hefty fines of up to £18 million or a potential loss of 5% of their income.
Plus, at the moment, only a quarter of UK businesses are confident they will fulfil the requirements of the new law.

What is Martyn’s Law and how will it affect your business?

Martyn's Law is designed to improve the safety of public spaces by mandating that businesses and organisations take steps to protect people from terrorist attacks. It applies to a wide range of publicly accessible places, including entertainment venues, shopping centres, sports stadiums, transport hubs, food and drink outlets, museums and galleries, visitor attractions, temporary events and places of worship. It includes any venue with a capacity of over 100 and any public event with more than 100 people in attendance.
The core objective is to ensure that these locations have appropriate and proportionate security measures in place to mitigate the risk of attacks and respond effectively if an incident occurs.
The government estimates that over 928,000 venues will fall under this legislation.

Directors and officers

Directors and officers will be directly accountable for ensuring that their organisations comply with the requirements of Martyn's Law. Non-compliance could expose directors and officers to personal liability.
If it’s found that directors and officers neglected their duties or failed to take reasonable steps to protect the public, they could face fines or even criminal charges. Directors and officers will need to incorporate Martyn's Law compliance into their corporate governance frameworks.

What are the key requirements of Martyn's Law?

  • Risk assessment and planning

Businesses will be required to conduct thorough risk assessments to identify potential vulnerabilities to terrorist attacks. This includes evaluating entry points, gathering spaces and other areas that could be targeted. Based on these assessments, businesses must develop and implement appropriate security plans.
  • Staff training

Employees must receive training to help them recognise suspicious behaviour, understand emergency procedures and respond appropriately in the event of an attack. This training is crucial for ensuring that staff can act swiftly and effectively to protect themselves and the public.
  • Physical security measures

Depending on the level of risk, businesses may need to enhance their physical security infrastructure. This could involve installing CCTV cameras, metal detectors and access control systems, as well as employing security personnel. The specific measures will vary based on the size and type of venue.
  • Incident response plans

Businesses must develop and regularly update their incident response plans. These plans should outline the steps to be taken during different types of emergencies, including terrorist attacks. Coordination with local emergency services is also essential to ensure a cohesive response.
  • Regular drills and exercises

Conducting regular drills and exercises is a key component of preparedness. These activities help to ensure that staff and management are familiar with emergency procedures and can execute them effectively under pressure.

Implications for UK businesses

The introduction of Martyn's Law represents a significant shift in the responsibilities of businesses operating in public spaces. While the primary goal is to enhance public safety, the law will also have several further implications for businesses:
  • Increased operational costs

Implementing the required security measures will likely result in increased costs for businesses. This includes expenses related to risk assessments, staff training, security infrastructure and ongoing maintenance. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) may find these costs particularly challenging.
  • An administrative burden

Compliance with Martyn's Law will necessitate a significant administrative effort. Businesses will need to maintain detailed records of risk assessments, training sessions, security measures and incident response plans. Regular audits and inspections may also be conducted to ensure compliance.
  • Legal and insurance implications

Non-compliance with Martyn's Law could result in legal penalties, including fines and sanctions. Additionally, businesses may face higher insurance premiums if they are deemed to be at greater risk due to inadequate security measures.

Preparing for Martyn's Law

To prepare for the implementation of Martyn's Law, all UK businesses should take proactive steps now. These include the necessity to:
  • Stay informed

Keep abreast of the latest developments related to Martyn's Law and any official guidance issued by the government.
  • Conduct preliminary risk assessments

Begin assessing potential vulnerabilities and identify areas where security measures need to be enhanced.
  • Engage with security experts

Consult with security professionals to develop a comprehensive security plan tailored to your specific needs and circumstances.
  • Invest in training

Ensure that all employees receive appropriate training to recognise and respond to potential threats.
  • Review and update procedures

Regularly review and update your incident response plans and conduct drills to ensure readiness.

Don’t be caught unprepared! Martyn’s Law is coming!

Martyn's Law represents a critical step towards safeguarding public spaces in the UK. By understanding its requirements and taking proactive measures, businesses can contribute to a safer environment for all and navigate the challenges associated with this important incoming legislation.

Ascend can help!

Do you need help with navigating the implications of Martyn’s Law? Are you considering how your business’s insurance premiums will be affected? Get in touch with our team of experts at Ascend today on 01245 449060 or email

Other blogs which may be of interest:

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Any questions? Please don’t hesitate to contact one of our team.  | Office: 01245 449060

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