Martyn’s Law – New duties for public premises

The Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill, also known as ‘Martyn’s Law’ or the ‘Protect Duty’, will be a new piece of anti-terrorism legislation which aims to ensure the public is better protected from terrorist threat. The law will extend to the entire UK.


The Protect Duty is part of the Government’s response to the Manchester Arena Inquiry, which recommended the introduction of legislation to improve the safety and security of public venues. It is also known as ‘Martyn’s Law’, after one of the victims in the Manchester Arena attack.

What will it do?

The draft Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill, which was published on 2nd May 2023, would make it a legal duty for those responsible for qualifying public premises to consider the threat from terrorism and implement appropriate and proportionate mitigation measures.

Qualifying public premises

Premises that meet the following criteria are considered qualifying public premises.

  • The premises is a building or event with a defined boundary.
  • A qualifying activity takes place at the location.
  • The public has access to the premises or a part of the premises.
  • The maximum occupancy of the premises meets a specified threshold; either 100+ or 800+.

Qualifying public events are events that meet the above criteria and have a maximum capacity of over 800 people.

Qualifying activities include entertainment and leisure, retail, food and drink, museums and galleries, sports grounds, public areas of local and central government buildings (e.g. town halls), visitor attractions, temporary events, places of worship, health, and education.

A tiered approach

Qualifying public premises will be split into 2 tiers:

  • Standard tier – maximum occupancy over 100 people at any time; or
  • Enhanced tier – maximum occupancy over 800 people at any time.


All qualifying public premises would be required to have a designated responsible person, responsible for registration of the premises with the regulator. The person responsible for a qualifying public event must ensure also the regulator is notified of the event.

Other duties for premises will vary, depending on the tier.

Standard tier premises would be required to:

  • ensure relevant workers are given appropriate terrorism protection training;
  • undertake a standard terrorism evaluation covering how best to respond in the event of a terrorist event, (e.g. procedures to evacuate the premises);
  • ensure the standard terrorism evaluation is reviewed at least annually; and
  • ensure a copy of the standard terrorism evaluation is available to any worker.

In addition to the above, enhanced tier premises and qualifying events would be required to:

  • appoint an individual as the designated senior officer;
  • complete a terrorism risk assessment;
  • review the terrorism risk assessment at least every 12 months;
  • prepare and maintain a security plan in relation to the premises or event;
  • ensure that reasonably practicable measures are in place to reduce the risk of acts of terrorism occurring and reduce the risk of physical harm to individuals if acts of terrorism were to occur at, or in the immediate vicinity of, the premises or event.

For qualifying public events, the terrorism risk assessment must be completed at least 3 months before the event start date, unless the event was first advertised less than 3 months before the start date.

The terrorism risk assessment must consider what types of terrorist act are most likely to occur at or around their premises or event and the ‘reasonably practicable’ measures that might be expected to reduce the risk of such an act occurring, or the risk of physical harm to individuals as a result of such an act.

Terrorism protection training

The responsible person would be required to ensure all relevant workers receive adequate terrorism protection training in relation to the premises or event. The training must be undertaken at least every 12 months.


The Bill gives the fines for consequences of noncompliance for standard tier premises as up to £10,000, and for enhanced tier premises up to £18 million or 5% of the organisation’s revenue, whichever is greater.

Currently, there is no date confirmed for when the draft Bill will be officially transposed into law; however, once this happens there will be a lead time to allow those covered by the duty to prepare.