Consultation: Martyn’s Law Standard Tier

The government has commenced consultation on the Standard tier within the proposed Martyn’s Law.

This is an upcoming piece of legislation for owners and operators of venues and public spaces, that will require venues to put in place measures to keep the public safe from a terrorist attack. The level of measures required is based upon the capacity, size of venue and nature of activity taking place.

The legislation is focused around two tiers:

  • Standard: Those venues with a capacity of more than 100 (though less than 800)
  • Enhanced: Those venues with a capacity of more than 800

The measures proposed apply to all venues with a capacity of 100 or more, though best practice would be to also apply the guiding principles equally to all venues with a capacity of less than 100, and for every premise and organisation to review the guidelines and existing counter terrorism assets and training available. ProtectUK provides good examples and guidance that can be used now to prepare.

A draft Bill setting out the Government’s proposed approach was published in May 2023 and the Home Affairs Select Committee (HASC) was asked to conduct scrutiny of the draft Bill, from which a report was produced on 27 July 2023 on the proposed measures.

Subsequently a review was made to the Standard Tier proposing changes to ensure that requirements are proportionate and clear, whilst ensuring that they achieve their primary objective: to implement simple procedures which could reduce harm and save lives in the event of an attack.

Those responsible for such premises will be required to undertake simple, yet effective, activities to improve protective security and preparedness.

The Government have now launched a Martyn’s Law consultation to ensure the public can share their views on these proposals for the Standard Tier, prior to the legislation’s introduction to Parliament, with this consultation running from 5 February 2024 to 18 March 2024. The online consultation can be accessed here and following the conclusion of the consultation process, the Bill is expected to be introduced as soon as Parliamentary time allows.

You can find the consultation paper here, which provides useful clarification and guidance on the proposed changes.

Much remains the same, for example, the capacity requirements have not changed, with changes designed to encourage compliance with no-cost, low-cost measures which will provide meaningful outcomes.

The Government’s revised proposal is a requirement for those responsible for Standard Tier premises to have in place such procedures that may be expected, so far as reasonably practicable, to reduce harm to the public and staff at the premises in the event of a terrorist attack. This will include procedures for:

  • Evacuation – how to get people out of the building,
  • Invacuation – how to bring people into the premises to keep them safe, or move them to safe parts of the building,
  • Lockdown – how to secure the premises against attackers, e.g. locking doors, closing shutters and using barriers to prevent access,
  • Communication – how to alert staff and customers and move people away from danger.

Which type of premises will it apply to?

The main requirements of the proposed legislation would apply only to certain premises that meet specified conditions. The main qualifying conditions are their capacity is 100 or more individuals, and they are wholly or mainly used for one or more specified uses, falling into the following categories:

  • Retail, e.g. stores or shopping centres
  • Hospitality and nightlife, e.g. bars, pubs, restaurants, cafés, and other public/night clubs
  • Entertainment, e.g. theatres, cinemas, and concert halls and arenas
  • Sports grounds
  • Recreation and leisure, e.g. public sports/leisure centres, ice rinks and gyms
  • Public libraries, museums and galleries
  • Public conference centres, exhibition halls and other venues for hire
  • Visitor attractions
  • Hotels, holiday parks and similar holiday accommodation
  • Places of worship
  • Healthcare
  • Education and childcare
  • Public transport, including train stations, ports and airports; and
  • Public services and facilities.

The requirements will not apply to premises that meet the above conditions if either:

  1. They are subject to a specified transport security regime; or
  2. They comprise a public park, public garden or recreation or sports ground, where no payment is taken for entry nor any check carried out.

It is proposed that places of worship will be Standard Tier premises, irrespective of their maximum capacity, unless they charge a fee for admission and premises that are used for childcare or primary, secondary or further education (but not higher education) will also fall within the Standard Tier even if their capacity is 800 or over.

Consultation: Martyn’s Law Standard Tier

What must premises put in place?

In summary, those responsible for Standard Tier premises must:

  • Notify the Regulator that they are, or have become, responsible for premises within scope of the Bill (and so subject to the relevant requirements).
  • Have in place procedural measures that could be expected to reduce, so far as reasonably practicable, the risk of physical harm to individuals at the premises in the event of an attack. These relate only to the procedures to be followed by people working at the premises in the event of an attack occurring or being suspected as about to occur. As the procedural measures are about procedures for responding to an attack or suspected attack, it is not expected or required that physical alterations be undertaken or additional equipment purchased for Standard Tier premises.
  • Unlike the published draft Bill, there is no requirement to complete a specified form (the ‘Standard Terrorism Evaluation’) for Standard Tier premises or ensure that people working at the premises are given any specific training. However, as part of putting in place the procedural measures, workers will need to be sufficiently instructed or trained to carry them out effectively.

How does this approach differ from the original published Bill?

  • The requirement for specific terrorism protection training has been removed. This required certain individuals to complete training that was not limited to the carrying out of procedures in the event of an attack. Now, those responsible for Standard Tier premises must ensure that sufficient training is provided for their procedural measures to be put in place effectively. Information on appropriate training will be included in guidance.
  • The requirement to complete the Standard Terrorism Evaluation has been removed. Instead, the requirement is simpler and more meaningful in requiring that reasonably practicable procedures to follow in the event of an attack are in place at Standard Tier premises. A template will remain available as part of guidance on the proposed requirements, guiding users through their consideration of the appropriate procedures for their premises.

Guidance to help implement required measures

Guidance will help those subject to the requirements develop effective procedures that are suitably tailored to their circumstances and resources and help them in developing and implementing policies, procedures and plans that are reasonably practicable for their own organisation.

  • Guidance will be available on ProtectUK and will support users in further understanding the types of terrorist attacks that could occur at their premises.
  • Guidance will also include optional templates, building upon the previously published Standard Terrorism Evaluation. The templates will guide organisations through a step-bystep process to consider CT procedures for their premises.

There is expected be a significant period prior to the implementation of the legislation following Royal Assent, likely to be at least 18-24 months, to allow sufficient time for those responsible for premises and events in scope to understand their new obligations, and to plan and prepare.

Whilst waiting for the final guidance and regulations to be provided, businesses and organisations should prepare now, by understanding the expected requirements.

We will add this new content onto our website and update as and when new legislation and guidelines issued.

Consultation Questions

In the meantime, the online questionnaire includes 13 key questions, as shown below.

We are happy to offer our BID members the opportunity to discuss these survey questions in an online discussion with us and following that we can submit a BID response on behalf of our members. Should this be of interest, please email us.

  1. To what extent do you agree or disagree that those responsible for premises within the Standard Tier should have a legal obligation to be prepared for a terrorist attack?
  2. To what extent do you agree or disagree that ‘the revised requirements for the Standard Tier are more appropriate for the broad spectrum of premises in scope, as outlined at paragraph 18 (e.g. village halls to a 799-seater theatre), than the previous requirements outlined in the Draft May 2023 Bill’ (key changes outlined at paragraphs 40 and 41)?
  3. How successful, if at all, do you think the revised Standard Tier requirements will be at improving feelings of safety for staff and visitors at premises within the Standard Tier?
  4. How easy or difficult do you think it will be for those responsible for Standard Tier premises to take forward the revised requirements (outlined in paragraph 18)?
  5. What unintended consequences, if any, do you think could result from taking forward the revised Standard Tier requirements?
  6. How concerned, if at all, are you that the cost of meeting the Standard Tier requirements will affect your organisation’s financial ability to continue operating?
  7. Given this cost assessment, how would you think any costs of the Standard Tier should be met?
  8. Do you think the new approach to training places more or less burden on Standard Tier organisations compared to the previous approach (as outlined in paragraphs 40 and 41)? By “burden”, we mean any burden including financial, time, effort or other.
  9. We’d like to hear about any other procedures that could be utilised in Standard Tier premises were a terrorist attack to occur further to the above (i.e. other than evacuation, invacuation, lockdown and communications procedures).
  10. Do you think the Standard Tier procedures in Martyn’s Law place more or less burden on Standard Tier premises compared to procedures for Health & Safety and Fire Safety? By “burden”, we mean any burden including financial, time, effort or other.
  11. If volunteers work at your premises, who is responsible for planning Health & Safety and Fire Safety policies and procedures?
  12. If volunteers work at your premises, what arrangements do you make for training on Health & Safety and Fire Safety?
  13. How does training on Health & Safety and Fire Safety for volunteers differ, if at all, from that for paid employees?