Museums and galleries will be required to increase their preparedness for terrorist attacks under new legislation proposed by the UK Government.
The government has published the draft Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill, also known as Martyn’s Law after Martyn Hett, one of the 22 victims of the Manchester Arena terrorist attack in 2017.
Martyn’s Law will apply across the whole of the UK and has been developed following extensive consultation with the public, businesses and campaign groups. To date, the UK’s approach to this type of security has been voluntary. The proposed law will place a new requirement on those responsible for certain publicly accessible locations to consider the threat from terrorism and implement mitigation measures.
The proposals will apply to public premises, including museums, galleries and other visitor attractions, that have a capacity greater than 100 individuals. The legislation sets out to two tiers: a standard tier for venues with a capacity of 100-799 people, and an enhanced tier for venues with a capacity of 800 plus.
Standard tier premises will be required to undertake basic, low-cost activities to improve their preparedness, including terrorism protection training and evaluating the best procedures to put in place in order to minimise impact.
Enhanced tier premises and events have further requirements in recognition of the potential consequences of a successful attack. This will include appointing a designated senior officer who must regularly review the security of the venue. The government is currently considering which body will act as the regulator, and premises and events that meet the criteria will be required to register. An inspection and enforcement regime will be established to promote the requirements in each tier.
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