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There have been more than a dozen serious terrorist incidents in the UK within the last six years, beginning with the 2017 London Bridge attack.

In 2022, following the recommendations of inquests, inquiries, public consultation and campaigning, the Government released details for a ‘Protect Duty’ to be introduced into law across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. This duty has also been referred to as ‘Martyn’s Law’. Martyn Hett was one of 22 killed in the Manchester Arena terror attack. His mother, Figen Murray, has campaigned extensively for the legislation.


The Protect Duty will affect premises where qualifying activities take place. This is likely to include:

  • Entertainment and leisure outlets
  • Retail premises
  • Food and drink establishments
  • Sports grounds
  • Visitor attractions
  • Places of worship, health and education

The premises may be either a building or a location that has a defined boundary and will include sites where temporary events take place. The duty will not apply to premises where the maximum capacity is less than 100.

It is likely that once introduced, the legislation will identify a ‘Duty Holder’. This is usually someone who is in significant control over the premises, for example the owner or tenant.

Maximum Capacity 100+

For those premises who have a maximum capacity of 100-799 persons, Duty Holders will be required to ensure staff are trained and aware of likely attacks and how to respond.A regularly reviewed plan should also be in place, which details the response to various types of attack. Response plans and training will need to be regularly reviewed and practiced.

Maximum Capacity 800+

Larger premises will be expected to carry out threat and risk assessments taking account of information available from the Government and Police and ensure appropriate mitigating measures are considered and implemented. Due to the larger capacity of the venue, these may include larger scale measures such as search and screening processes, security staff trained in hostile behaviour detection and access control measures.

Such a law will inevitably create a significant legal responsibility for many businesses and organisations, but more is likely to be known when draft legislation is published, later in the year. In the meantime, please call the legal advice helpline for assistance with any queries you may have relating to the Protect Duty.


Disclaimer - all information in this article was correct at time of publishing.


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