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Bomb victim’s mother supports counter-terrorism training

Figen Murray has given her support to the University of Cumbria’s new counter-terrorism risk management course.

Figen, whose son Martyn Hett was killed in the 2017 terror attack which claimed 22 young lives at the Manchester Arena, paid tribute to the university’s vision, explaining that terrorism was a threat the country had to live with and that robust safety legislation was vital.

She said it was imperative that people who worked in safety, counter-terrorism and security had the opportunity to receive expert training in risk management.

Having recently heard evidence at the Manchester Arena inquiry, Figen is pursuing government adoption of Martyn’s Law, which is asking for mandatory vulnerability assessments and proportionate security mitigation at venues to boost safety. Although progress has been stalled by the coronavirus epidemic, Manchester City Council has already said it will adopt the recommendations.

Figen Murray said: “I am hopeful this [Martyn’s Law] is going to be launched soon and what the university is doing dovetails perfectly. Terrorism is a modern-day menace we all have to live with. Up to the point where we were devastated as a family, I thought it only happened on the news and in films. I never thought we would become the news.

“Although the chances of being involved in an attack are rare, they are totally destructive on the families unlucky enough to be caught up in them. The threats are there and I firmly believe the public should have increased awareness of personal safety. The more in-depth specialist training we have means we stand a better chance of dealing with terrorists more effectively. I would like other universities to follow Cumbria’s lead and for these courses to be available across the county.”

Course leader, Edward Grant, said Figen Murray’s appearance at the start of the Advanced Diploma in Counter-Terrorism Risk Management course signalled strong messages to students.

Figen Murray will be speaking at our next CTB365 event, taking place on 8 October. Alongside former National Counter Terrorism Coordinator Nick Aldworth, Figen will be speaking about Martyn’s Law and new potential legislation for public places.

Figen is the 2020 winner of the Outstanding Contribution to Counter Terrorism Award, part of the annual Counter Terror Awards.You can read our Q&A with Figen here.

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