New Laws To Make Us Safer

Laws making event venues and public spaces safer are on the cards for the UK.

The Home Office will be consulting on “Martyn’s Law” which has been campaigned for by the mother of a victim of the Manchester Arena attack. The law would make “airport style security” at large events, such as metal detectors and mandatory searches. Those measures are currently used at some venues, but are up to the venue or event management.

“The new law would require owners and operators to consider the risk of an attack and the plans they have in place to either help prevent it happening - or to manage the aftermath,” explains the BBC. “The duty could include obligations to review and improve not only the physical security of a location, but also how well staff members are trained to deal with an incident.”

 

Training for event staff

The Independent reports that these new laws could also make it mandatory for staff at events and public spaces to receive “terror attack training” so they know what to do in case of an emergency.

“(Measures) could include increased physical security, as well as training for staff on incident response plans and exercises on what to do during an attack, the department said.”

 

Ongoing threat of terrorism

Terrorism within the UK continues to be a source of concern to many, and while many attacks are being intercepted and prevented, there are still a few getting through, such as last year’s knife attack near London Bridge.

Analysts have noted that the announcement follows close on the heels of a woman being convicted for planning an attack on St. Pauls Cathedral in London, and that while this is a shocking prospect, different venues require different types and levels of security.

“Supporters of the law say the goal is to make it scaleable - ensuring that all businesses where the public congregate have considered the risks, rather like they do already for fire, so they know how to respond were the worst to happen,” says Dominic Casciani of the BBC.

Current safety situation  

The nature of terrorist attacks here and abroad has shown a shift from larger, co-ordinated plans to “lone wolf” attackers who act alone or have limited contact with a terrorist organisation.

This can be seen in recent incidents, but what can unfortunately also be seen is the amount of pain and chaos one person can cause. In addition to the victims of the attacks – whether the weapon was a knife, a gun, an explosive device or a vehicle – many more are affected when entire neighbourhoods and city blocks get cordoned off, transport is halted or shut down. The knock-on effect to individuals and businesses has been huge.

Head of Counter Terrorism Policing, Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, summed up the situation saying, “Terror attacks can happen anywhere, and at any time. To deliver a protective security system which best defends against the wide range of threats we face, we need the whole of society – including business and the private sector – to contribute to that effort."

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