The impact of Martyn’s Law on Clubs

Named after Martyn Hett, one of the victims of the 2017 Manchester Arena bombing, Martyn’s Law will likely be implemented in early 2024. The new law requires all publicly accessible venues with a capacity of more than 100 to draw up preventative action plans against terror attacks, assessing the potential risks, dangers, and scenarios in order to improve protection of the public.

The introduction of Martyn’s Law is intended to enhance protection from terror attacks for businesses via a tiered approach, meaning venues need only take proportionate measures dependent on their potential risk or exposure.

It also aims to encourage preparedness when faced with potential terror incidents if the worst does happen, to ensure venues and business owners are able to protect their staff, their customers, and the public.

What are the tiers & how will it affect my venue?

Standard Tier Venues

Most venues will fit into the ‘Standard’ tier – this includes any venues to which the public has access and a capacity of between 100 – 799. This tier is expected to require that businesses undertake a terrorism evaluation, ensure staff are trained on how to deal with an incident as well as taking mitigation steps such as a lockdown or evacuation plan that you can action should an incident occur in or around your venue.

Enhanced Tier Venues

Larger venues with a capacity of 800 or more, such as live music venues, theatres or festivals, will be required to take more in-depth action.

These venues will need to undertake an enhanced terrorism risk assessment and put in place appropriate mitigation steps. In addition, these venues will need to produce, maintain and rehearse dedicated security plans to ensure that any plans can be actionable if the worst does happen.

Finally, they will likely be required to appoint a Senior Officer (similar to a Health & Safety ‘Competent Person’) who will be responsible for overseeing implementation of anti-terrorism plans and procedures.

Smaller venues

If your venue has a capacity of less than 100 people, then there will be no legal requirement to have a plan in place. However, it would be sensible to put Standard Tier protections in place on a voluntary basis to help bolster the safety of your venue, staff and customers.

When do I need to be ready?

There isn’t yet a confirmed timeline, but it’s anticipated that the law will go live in Spring 2024. It’s recommended that venues put plans in place as soon as they can, so they’re prepared when the law does come into effect. There will be legal enforcement and sanctions for any venues that don’t comply, so it’s important to be ready!

It’s important to note that whilst we know a lot about what Martyn’s Law will entail, the final wording of the law hasn’t yet been published. So beware of businesses offering to make you ‘Martyn’s Law’ compliant. Without the final wording, this simply isn’t possible, so don’t spend money on services that might be redundant! Simply bear in mind the anticipated changes and put a plan in place so you know how you’ll be able to respond to them.

You can find out more about the background of this legislation and why it’s being implemented in our Martyn’s Law Guide.