In response to growing concerns over public venue security and the need for proactive risk management, the United Kingdom is gearing up to implement the Protect Duty (Martyn's Law).
By emphasising comprehensive emergency planning, counter-terrorism preparedness, and stringent risk assessment protocols, Martyn's Law intends to establish a safer environment for attendees at public events, especially during large gatherings. As the United Kingdom moves closer to the anticipated implementation, organisations planning events face an essential juncture to redefine their security strategies, understand their obligations in relation to the legislation, ensure compliance where it is required, and prioritise the wellbeing of all participants, attendees and employees.
What is Martyn's Law?
Martyn's Law, a proposed piece of legislation aimed at enhancing the security of large gatherings such as conferences, concerts, and sporting events, specifically addresses security concerns stemming from terrorist threats. In its current format, it mandates event organisers and organisations to conduct comprehensive security assessments, provide counter-terrorism training for venue staff, and establish effective emergency response plans for events with over 100 attendees. Although Martyn's Law is presently under review, its potential impact on event organisers and venues is substantial.
In light of the ongoing review of Martyn's Law, it is anticipated that the principles surrounding the Duty to Protect will undergo revisions. Nevertheless, the threat of terrorism remains constant, and International SOS is well-equipped to support organisations regardless of the final form of the legislation. They can assist in ensuring the safety of staff, participants, and guests to the fullest extent possible, irrespective of whether compliance with the law is mandatory or voluntary.
The Impact for Organisations Planning Events
As the implementation of Martyn’s Law approaches, event organisers should proactively assume increased responsibilities to ensure attendee safety and minimise risks. Non-compliance may result in penalties and potential damage to reputation. Consequently, companies must proactively implement robust security measures, conduct risk assessments, and establish comprehensive emergency protocols and training for their staff. Meeting these obligations necessitates professional expertise and support.
While the legislation is focused on the United Kingdom, the principles could be considered effective for mitigating threats for events hosted in other countries, establishing a framework for best practice event risk management.
How Can Organisations Plan and Prepare for This?
To effectively prepare for Martyn's Law and fulfill their Duty of Care, organisations must take several crucial steps:
- Security Risk Assessment: Conduct a comprehensive security risk assessment for each event, identifying vulnerabilities and potential threat scenarios.
- Implement Security Measures: Based on the risk assessment, introduce security measures including but not limited to: bag checks, metal detectors, and access control procedures.
- Emergency Response Planning: Develop and rehearse emergency response plans, ensuring staff are well trained and aware of their roles during incidents.
- Communication and Information Sharing: Establish effective communication channels with local law enforcement and emergency services for improved response coordination.
- Training and Awareness: Provide thorough training for staff to recognise and respond to potential threats effectively.
How International SOS Can Support
International SOS, renowned for security consulting and risk management expertise, proves a valuable partner in organisations' Martyn's Law preparation. For decades we have been supporting our clients safely manage large scale events and conferences, leveraging the power of our experts and our network of security and medical partners. Based on our long-standing expertise and experience, we recommend organisations consider the following support:
- Security Consulting: International SOS can provide in-depth location-based security assessments, offering tailored recommendations to enhance event security based on the risk characteristics of the location and the unique needs of the event you are hosting
- Training and supporting event staff: International SOS can provide tailored training programmes for employees, equipping them to identify and respond to security threats effectively.
- Emergency Response Planning: International SOS assists in developing and refining medical and security emergency response plans that align with organisations' risk profiles and local regulations.
- Crisis Management Support: In the event of a security incident, International SOS provides real-time crisis management support, helping organisations mitigate risks and protect attendees.
Partnering with International SOS can help your organisation navigate the legal requirements of Martyn’s Law, and align to the Duty to Protect, ensuring you stay compliant whilst keeping your event attendees and staff safe.