Information about Martyn’s Law

ASVA has had a few members contact us over the last week with queries relating to the introduction of Martyn’s Law, asking for any insights into the upcoming UK wide legislation which is being put forward to ensure stronger protections against terrorism in public places. The legislation will impose a duty on the owners and operators of certain locations, including visitor attractions, to increase their preparedness for and protection from a terrorist attack by requiring them to take proportionate steps, depending on the size and nature of the activities that take place there.   

The first thing to note is that the legislation has not yet passed through Parliament and there is no date set as of yet, for when it will come into law. It is also not necessarily the case that there will be a specific new bill as such, as it may simply be the case that Martyn’s Law is incorporated into existing Health & Safety legislation. However, it is important to note that Martyn’s Law is certainly coming and that it will apply to any visitor attractions with a capacity of more than 100 people.  

A handy Martyn’s Law factsheet has been published detailing what Martyn’s Law is, what it will do, how it will work and who it will apply to.  

Members should be aware that there are going to be two tiers to the law – a Standard Tier for venues with a capacity of 100 – 799 and an Enhanced Tier for venues with a capacity of 800 plus.  

For the standard tier, for the venues with a capacity of fewer than 800, the ask appears to be quite a light touch. These venues are asked to complete free counter terrorism training, cascade any relevant information to staff and have some form of a preparedness plan, looking at what the venue does to ensure that it is secure, and that staff are prepared for any threats. There does not appear to be a need for you to document your measures taken or preparedness plan for Standard Tier compliance, as it does not appear that you will be audited on it. However, ASVA would advise that the best practice is that you do have a written preparedness plan.  

At the Enhanced Tier, where you run a venue with a capacity of more than 800, you are going to be obliged to have a risk assessment and a security plan which can be audited. This will include written evidence of staff training and written evidence of the processes and procedures that you have in place.   

If you are looking for support, you can contact your local police force for advice and guidance on counter terrorism training and risk assessments. There are also a number of free counter terrorism courses available online such as this one promoted by the UK Government. The UK Government has also stated that dedicated guidance and support will be provided in due course for Martyn’s Law, to ensure that those in scope have the required information on what to do and how best to do it. A new online platform has been developed by the National Counter Terrorism Security Office (NaCTSO), Home Office and Pool Reinsurance to support all those seeking to enhance their protective security. ProtectUK is a central, consolidated hub for trusted guidance, advice, learning and engagement with experts in security and Counter Terrorism. It will serve as the ‘go to’ resource for free, 24/7 access to the latest information on protective security and will be regularly updated with new engaging content and increased functionality.  

If anyone has any concerns or would like to discuss how Martyn’s Law may impact on your business, please contact our CEO, Gordon Morrison, at