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Government publishes response to Protect Duty Consultation

Consultation covered possible legislation regarding venues’ preparedness for terrorist attacks

The government today has published its response to the Protect Duty public consultation, which ran from 26 February to 2 July 2021.

The Protect Duty has been championed by victims’ groups, including the Martyn’s Law campaign, which was established by Figen Murray following the tragic loss of her son, Martyn, in the Manchester Arena attack in 2017.

The government’s response can be found here

Nearly 2,800 responses were received from a variety of organisations, sectors and campaigners, with, according to the government, the majority supporting the government’s proposals to introduce stronger measures, including a legal requirement for some public places to ensure preparedness for and protection from terrorist attacks.

There is currently no legislative requirement for organisations or venues to consider or employ security measures at the vast majority of public places. The consultation sought views from private and public sector partners on a requirement for certain publicly accessible locations to implement security measures, without placing undue burden on smaller businesses, and what support would be required from government.

The government says it will continue to engage with a range of stakeholders and other government departments as well as using the feedback from the consultation to further develop the legislation, which will be introduced to Parliament at the earliest opportunity.

The government further announced a new interactive online platform, to be launched this year, which will provide a central digital location for advice, guidance, e-learning and other helpful content for organisations.

The government published some key conclusions from the consultation, including:

  • 7 in 10 respondents agreed that those responsible for publicly accessible locations should take appropriate and proportionate measures to protect the public from attacks. This included ensuring staff were trained to respond appropriately.
  • That venue capacity should determine when the duty applies. Most respondents felt that larger organisations should be taking proportionate action to ensure people are protected. There was an understanding that small and medium sized enterprises should not face the same requirements as larger venues and that all measures should be proportionate to the size of each organisation.
  • Very strong views were expressed regarding the need for accountability, such as the need for clear roles and responsibilities, particularly amongst event organisers, and those at senior level within venues and organisations.
  • Half the respondents were in favour of an inspectorate that would identify key vulnerabilities and areas for improvement, as well as share best practice. There was also an even split of those who were supportive of the use of civil penalties to ensure compliance to the duty.

The government Press Release can be found here

For more information, contact licensing Partner, Andy Grimsey at a.grimsey@popall.co.uk or call 07976 844 093

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