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‘Martyn’s Law’ bill proposed in Queen’s Speech

by Cameron Roberts

Long-discussed security legislation Protect Duty, otherwise known as Martyn’s Law, was one of the 38 proposed bills in the Queen’s Speech on 10 May.

The bill aims to introduce new security requirements for certain public locations and venues, with the goal of protecting people from terrorist attacks. The action points from the bill include the requirement for venues and spaces to plan and implement mitigation measures in case of a terror attack.

The bill also touches upon an inspection and enforcement regime, aiming to ‘educate, advise and ensure compliance with the Duty.’

A driving factor behind the proposal is the fact that counter terrorism security efforts often fall in the pecking order when compared to other, legally required, activities, states the draft bill. Plus, during the consultation for the bill, seven in 10 respondents agreed that ‘those responsible for publicly accessible locations should take appropriate and proportionate measures to protect the public from attacks.’

In the proposed bill, campaigner Figen Murray, whose son Martyn lost his life in the Manchester Arena attack, is mentioned as part of the team developing proposals for Protect Duty.

Murray told Manchester Evening News: “Today is a very special day as the Protect Duty legislation was mentioned in the Queen’s speech, which is a massive step forward in the right direction. We can now see the end in sight.

“This is very significant. The memorial being opened put together with that news, was really quite fitting. Sadly, the legislation has not quite been passed by the fifth anniversary but hopefully by the next anniversary everybody when out and about will be safer than they were before.”

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