Home Office launches public consultation on Martyn’s Law Standard Tier

06 February 2024

The Home Office has announced the beginning of a public consultation on the scope and application of the Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill, known as Martyn’s Law, for Standard Tier properties. The Standard Tier is expected to apply to publicly accessible properties undertaking qualifying activities such as providing retail or leisure, with a capacity of 100-799.

Following concerns raised by the Home Affairs Select Committee that the draft legislation may place an undue burden on smaller businesses and voluntary organisations, the proposals for Standard Tier premises have been amended. In summary, these changes will mean in-scope Standard Tier premises are required to:

    1. Notify the Regulator that they are, or have become, responsible for premises within the scope of the Bill (and so subject to the relevant requirements).
    2. Have in place such procedures that may be expected, so far as reasonably practicable, to reduce harm to the public and staff at the premises in the event of a terrorist attack, including evacuation, invacuation, lockdown and communication. It is not expected or required that physical alterations be undertaken, or additional equipment purchased for Standard Tier premises.
    3. There is no requirement to complete a specified form (the ‘Standard Terrorism Evaluation’) for Standard Tier premises or ensure that people working at the premises are given any specific training. However, as part of putting in place the procedural measures, workers will need to be sufficiently instructed or trained to carry them out effectively.

The public consultation reflects government intention to ensure measures strike a correct balance between public protection for Standard Tier premises and offers an opportunity to provide feedback on the draft legislation. Pool Re strongly encourages eligible properties, Pool Re members, and the wider insurance market to respond to this consultation process.

The consultation phase started on Monday 5 February and will run until Monday 18 March 2024 closing at 23:59, and can be accessed at the following link: Martyn’s Law: standard tier consultation – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

As outlined in Pool Re’s Annual Threat Report, it is almost certain that terrorist attackers maintain the intent to commit indiscriminate mass casualty attacks in the UK by targeting Publicly Accessible Locations. Anywhere, any target and any weapon tactics remain a hallmark of terrorist attack methodology in the UK, and as experienced during the 2017 London Bridge attack, smaller venues such as pubs can get caught up in an attack, whether or not directly targeted.

The consultation provides an opportunity to shape forthcoming legislation, to ensure premises are proportionately prepared to respond to a terrorist attack, without placing significant cost or bureaucratic burden on business.

Guidance will be available on ProtectUK, and Pool Re will continue to provide further updates on the Martyn’s Law Hub.