Martyn’s Law: Safeguarding public spaces with comprehensive security

Almost seven years after the event, the impact of the 2017 Manchester Arena bombing still weighs heavily. The event has prompted the UK to undergo significant legislative changes to enhance national security, improve intelligence-sharing mechanisms, and bolster counter-terrorism measures. The most recent development is Martyn’s Law, which was confirmed as coming into law in the King’s Speech in November 2023. 


Martyn’s Law, also referred to as The Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill, is a response to the tragic events of the Manchester Arena bombing, and represents a crucial step forward in ensuring the safety and security of publicly accessible locations. Advocated by Figen Murray, the mother of Martyn Hett, who tragically lost his life in the bombing, this legislation aims to strengthen security measures in public spaces across the UK. 


The introduction of Martyn’s Law is a commitment to preventing similar incidents in the future and underscores the need for businesses and venues to implement robust security protocols. Once passed into law, it will compel businesses to develop action plans and assess potential terror attack risks.


Currently, the government is seeking public views via a consultation to ensure the bill strikes the right balance between public protection and avoiding undue burdens on smaller premises. As it stands, businesses with a capacity of more than 100 people (standard tier) will be required to implement measures such as training and evaluation. 


Venues with a capacity of more than 800, or those with over 250 employees, will have increased responsibility, including risk assessments and more detailed security plans. The draft bill also proposes a strict inspection and enforcement regime, including sanctions for breaches.


In response to the confirmation of Martyn’s Law, Newmark Security, with its subsidiaries Safetell and Grosvenor Technology, is taking a proactive stance to improve public safety and protection against terrorism. Our commitment extends beyond mere compliance, emphasising a dedication to fortifying security measures and contributing to the overall preparedness of public spaces.


Enhancing physical security


Safetell recognises the profound impact Martyn’s Law could have on over 650,000 UK businesses. As detailed, the bill suggests varying levels of responsibility based on venue capacity, potentially requiring mandatory physical updates. To navigate these changes effectively, companies should review existing plans, promote awareness, and keep informed about when the legislation will be formally passed into law. 


Entrance Control is a central component of Safetell’s approach, encompassing security portals, speed gates, full-height turnstiles, tripod turnstiles, swing gates, rotating doors, and security pass doors. These products address the specific requirements outlined in Martyn’s Law, offering a range of security resistance levels and customisation options to cater to diverse business needs.


Safetell encourages businesses to conduct thorough security assessments, aligning them with Martyn’s Law requirements. Assessments should focus on potential risks and vulnerabilities and implement preventive measures. Companies can proactively address security gaps and create robust action plans by completing a comprehensive evaluation.


Proactive risk mitigation


Martyn’s Law, in its current draft, emphasises the importance of risk assessments for different tiers of businesses. Safetell advises organisations to adopt proactive risk mitigation strategies, such as installing mandatory physical updates like bollards, intruder detection technology, tactical CCTV, and secure entrances. These measures enhance security and align with potential future legal requirements.


Martyn’s Law also underscores the significance of collaborating with local authorities and law enforcement to ensure a cohesive and coordinated approach to security. Sharing insights, conducting joint drills, and staying abreast of evolving threats can enhance preparedness and response capabilities.


Access Control in focus


As an industry innovator, Grosvenor Technology welcomes Martyn’s Law as a progressive step to enhance security in public spaces. The legislation highlights the importance of access control in mitigating the impact of terrorist attacks. Grosvenor highlights two critical focus areas for building security systems: maintaining premium quality security and providing comprehensive access management.


Grosvenor’s product range significantly emphasises uncompromised security, empowering building managers to address potential vulnerabilities proactively. Issues like card cloning are highlighted as potential risks, prompting a call to consider upgrading legacy systems with robust encryption-driven hardware and software.


Comprehensive access control emerges as an essential element, encompassing features such as lockdown functionality, anti-passback systems, personnel tracking, safe corridors, secure access for emergency services, and seamless integration with other security systems.


The JanusC4 system aligns with Martyn’s Law requirements, providing a robust solution for evolving security needs. Ongoing development focuses on refining and improving products, ensuring the company stays ahead in meeting the demands of a changing security landscape.


Supporting the introduction of Martyn’s Law


Martyn’s Law is about more than just products; it’s about protecting people, developing comprehensive security plans, robust processes, and thorough staff training. The company pledges dedicated support to its customers, recognising the importance of collaborative efforts to implement the law successfully.


After the Manchester Arena tragedy, Martyn’s Law emerges as a crucial initiative to fortify public spaces against potential threats. Through its subsidiaries, Safetell and Grosvenor Technology, Newmark Security stands ready to help organisations upgrade their security.