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'Martyn's Law' legislation put on hold due to coronavirus

Plans for 'Martyn's Law' to better protect the public from terrorist attacks in crowded areas like bars and restaurants have been put on hold due to coronavirus.

Figen Murray, the mother of Manchester Arena bombing victim Martyn Hett, said the government remained fully committed to the new legislation in memory of her son. Ministers are to seek views from a 'broad range' of organisations including business, public authorities, the security industry and campaign groups to fine tune details of the legislation.

The law for public venues and crowded spaces, which would be known as the Protect Duty, was due to go out to public consultation in the spring. It would mark a legal duty, set out in primary legislation, for venue operators and owners to consider the risk of a terrorist attack and take proportionate and reasonable measures to prepare for, and protect the public, from such an attack.

Proportionate and reasonable measures could include increased physical security, having training in place, incident response plans and exercises for staff on what to do during an attack.

Manchester and the world is observing the third anniversary of the Arena atrocity today, which claimed 22 lives and left many hundreds more injured.

The law has five key requirements:

- A requirement that spaces and places to which the public have access engage with freely available counter-terrorism advice and training.

- A requirement for those places to conduct vulnerability assessments of their operating places and spaces.

- A requirement for those places to mitigate the risks created by the vulnerabilities.

- A requirement for those places to have a counter-terrorism plan.

- A requirement for local authorities to plan for the threat of terrorism.

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