NALC submits written evidence on Martyn's Law


The National Association of Local Councils (NALC) has submitted written evidence to the Home Affairs Committee, which is undertaking pre-legislative scrutiny of the Draft Terrorism (Prevention of Premises) Bill.

In the evidence, NALC has supported the government's aim of making the public safer at publicly accessible locations and security measures but stressed that interventions should be reasonable, affordable, and proportionate. While NALC is keen to work with the government on the Bill, it is concerned about the lack of engagement with the local council sector. NALC also highlighted the impact the legislation would have on councils as organisers of events covered by the duty, the lack of an impact assessment including costs, concerns about the capacity thresholds being used and the need for proportionality, especially of risk, lack of clarity on the regulator and enforcement, the need for a communications campaign and dedicated programme of support and guidance, and an extensive lead in time to allow councils to prepare.

NALC concerns are included in the Home Affairs Committee's response published on 27 July 2023. The committee has warned the draft bill fails to address the real risk of terror attacks and that small venues face implementing costly measures while larger venues fall out of scope. It calls for the legislation to be introduced in stages (with larger venues first), further research to assess the threat to small organisations and venues, adequate funding to be in place, a communications campaign and comprehensive proposals for the regulator.

The Bill sets out requirements that venues and organisations must meet to ensure public safety. The proposed legislation is known as Martyn's Law in tribute to Martyn Hett, who was killed alongside 21 others in the Manchester Arena terrorist attack in 2017 and whose mother, Figen Murray, has since campaigned for greater security at venues.

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