The British government’s draft Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill is now available for pre-legislative scrutiny, and terrorism reinsurer Pool Re has been quick to react.
To be known as Martyn’s Law (previously Protect Duty), the proposed legislation aims to improve public safety and national security by protecting public premises and events against the treat of terrorism. The goal is to require those responsible for certain premises and events to implement appropriate and proportionate mitigation measures.
Welcoming the development, Pool Re chief executive Tom Clementi said in an emailed release: “The government’s announcement that it has published its draft Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill is a crucial step in enhancing the protection of the UK’s publicly accessible locations from terrorist attacks.
“Pool Re will support the government and insurance industry with the implementation of Martyn’s Law, by providing information and education regarding what businesses and organisations need to do to prepare for its introduction.”
It was noted that the legislation may apply to more than 300,000 premises across the UK. Qualifying premises will be divided into two tiers, standard and enhanced, and will have their corresponding requirements under Martyn’s Law.
Figen Murray OBE – mother of Martyn Hett, who was among those killed in the Manchester Arena terrorist attack in 2017 – also called the progress an important step forward to a safer country.
“Martyn’s Law will end the ridiculous situation where venues have legal obligations for how many toilets they have but no obligation to keep their customers protected,” stated Murray. “Of course Martyn’s Law won’t stop all terror attacks, but it will make crowded places better protected and prepared, and make the terrorists’ job that bit harder.”
Meanwhile, Pool Re will be offering advice to brokers and insurers on the legislative requirements where appropriate. Resources will be available at poolre.co.uk/martyns-law/.
Ahead of formal introduction to Parliament, the draft bill will be scrutinised by the Home Affairs Select Committee.
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