In preparation for the introduction of Martyn’s Law, Liz Cummins, Managing Director, London Security Solutions at Bidvest Noonan, held a conference that brought together over 100 stakeholders and subject matter experts such as Figen Murray to discuss the implications for the industry. We asked Liz about the Law and key takeaways from the conference.
Q: What are the key components of Martyn’s Law?
A: The Law will require stronger partnerships between the property management sector, their security partners, and law enforcement agencies. It will also require joint risk assessments and the implementation of proportionate security measures to maintain public safety.
Speaking at our event, Figen explained that her proposal set five straightforward measures that we should follow to maintain public safety. These include engaging in free counter-terrorism guidance and training, conducting terrorism risk assessments, mitigating any risks identified in these assessments, working with local authorities to create a strategy, and establishing a counter-terrorism action plan.
Q: Why is this Law important?
A: The introduction of Martyn’s Law is a crucial step towards ensuring public safety in the UK, and it carries profound implications for the security professionals and public venues across the UK.
There is an ever-present threat of terrorism. The UK has experienced several terrorist attacks resulting in fatalities since the Manchester Arena tragedy, underscoring the need for better security measures. This creates a need for new ways to respond. It is our responsibility to ensure the safety and well-being of those around us, and by operating in compliance with Martyn’s Law, we can do just that. Martyn’s Law will help prevent terrorist attacks and reassure occupiers, clients, and visitors that they are safe when attending public venues and events. Martyn’s Law will help us prevent acts of terrorism, reassure the public, and increase safety and security.
Q: Does technology have a role to play?
A: Yes, as in many fields, technology can be a real enabler. Although older technologies such as access control systems and vehicle barriers are still very important, there are new technologies which offer lots of promise. For example, facial recognition technology advances are already helping police to identify and apprehend suspected terrorists, while big data and machine learning help analyse and interpret vast amounts of information in real time, keeping potential threats at bay.
At the conference, we also examined the ProtectUK app, which is hailed as a central hub for counter-terrorism and protective security advice. The app assists users in identifying vulnerabilities and linking them to the best resources to ensure their security measures are in place.
However, technology alone is not enough. Other measures will be needed such as improved training to ensure security teams are familiar with new procedures and can respond effectively in emergency situations.
Q: What kind of training will need to be provided?
A: Venue operators and their security partners may need to provide their teams with additional and proportionate training in security procedures, emergency response, and communication with visitors and law enforcement officials. This could include identifying potential security risks, responding in emergency situations, and using new security technologies or measures introduced. Additionally, staff should be trained in basic first aid and emergency medical procedures to ensure they are prepared to handle any injury situations. I believe it is important to be proactive in areas like this. For example, our team at Battersea Power Station has undergone specialised training including First Person on Scene training. This enables the team to assess and treat individuals who are experiencing serious medical emergencies, helping to ensure the safety and well-being of people using the area.
Q: How can property owners and operators prepare for Martyn’s Law?
A: Property owners and operators can start by conducting risk assessments of their public spaces to identify any potential security risks and areas that may need improvement. They should also consult with security experts and law enforcement officials to ensure they are taking appropriate measures to secure their public spaces. Staff training should focus on the new law’s requirements, including security procedures, emergency response, and communication. Finally, property owners may want to invest in additional security measures to enhance their public spaces’ safety.
Although implementing new counter-terrorism measures will require an investment of time and resources, the benefits of increased safety and security cannot be overstated. Ultimately, the implementation of the Law is an essential step forward in ensuring public safety in the UK.