Ian Pugh Director of PAL Protect, the consultancy division of Anchor Group Services provides an update on the protect duty law and the benefits of SHORE accreditation
Figen Murray is the mother of Martyn Hett who, at 29 years of age, was tragically killed in the terrorist attack at Manchester Arena in May 2017. Figen has been campaigning for the introduction of legislation in requiring public spaces, entertainment venues, places of worship, museums, education establishments and government buildings to better protect employees, visitors and the wider public from terrorist attacks.
Supported by leading figures within the Security and Policing community, Murray’s determination and passion to see legislation passed has resulted in HM Government publishing the Terrorism (Protection of Premises) draft bill or commonly known as the Protect Duty/Martyn’s Law.
The “Protect Duty” once passed into law will place requirements on organisations who own or who operate qualifying public places to evidence that they are managing those places safely in deterring and minimising the threat and impact of terrorism to the public.
Some key elements of the draft legislation are:
- The law will apply to premises with a capacity of more than 100 persons
- Premises with a capacity of 800 persons or more will be classed as enhanced duty premises
- The law will apply to premises with both express permissions to enter and implied permission to enter
- The law will apply to premises within premises i.e., shops in shopping centres if capacity is over 100 persons
- The law will apply to owners of the premises but responsibilities for compliance are likely to apply also to operators of the premises
- A standard terrorism evaluation will be required for each qualifying premises
- Enhanced premises will require an enhanced terrorism risk assessment to be completed
- There will be a duty to provide terrorism training to persons working in qualifying premises
- A person must be appointed by the qualifying premises as the designated senior officer to ensure that all reasonable measures have been taken in accordance with the legislation
- Premises must have a security plan in place
- Requirement for persons working within a qualifying premises to co-operate with the qualifying premises
- Contravention and restriction notices will apply for non-compliance
- Penalty notices will be enforced if breaches of the legislation are identified
The bill has been scrutinised by the Home Affairs Select Committee who published their findings on the 27th July and in their report they raised their concerns about the proportionality of the bill, especially in relation to small business and voluntary organisations and whether the provisions in the bill will adequately reduce the threat of terrorism. They also felt that there were areas of the bill that could be improved upon.
The commitment from Figen Murray and others who have been instrumental in getting this far remains and they are encouraging individuals and organisations to write to their constituent MP to encourage the Government to continue with this draft legislation and pass it into law.
PAL Protect Consultancy a division of Anchor Group Services fully supports work undertaken to create the Protect Duty legislation and as a Director of PAL Protect, in my previous role as Group Head of Security at intu plc was involved with the initial consultations with the Home Office around the proposed bill.
PAL Protect have recently been announced as the only UK Partner for SHORE Certification, the only Global solution for evaluating and certifying operational risk with the Safe Asset Group.
SHORE stands for SAFE, Hospitality, Offices, Retail and Exhibitions. It delivers confidence to organisations that their management processes and risk management strategy is protecting not only their asset but their employees and the public who may visit or stay in them in providing a safe environment.
Major asset owners and property managers in Europe and across the world have for some time now seen the benefits of having an external review to measure the optimum performance of their asset by adopting SHORE.
SHORE will work alongside any legal requirements that may come from the Protect Duty in the UK if it is passed into law in providing evidence that all aspects of an organisations risk resilience strategy is assessed, evidencing that all management process are in place to mitigate and manage all risks and not just the threat of terrorism.
I would encourage UK Asset owners and operators to engage to understand more and follow their European and Global colleagues to achieve SHORE Certification and demonstrate that they already own and operate safe places whilst awaiting the outcome of the Protect Duty proposed draft legislation.
Following on from the publication of ‘Safe Shores’ it was announced on the 7th November in the Kings Speech that the Terrorism ( Protection of Premises ) bill has been included in the programme of proposed legislation setting out the government’s priorities for the final legislative programme before the next general election.
A further public consultation will now take place ensuring proportionality in balancing any burden on business against keeping people safe.