The new law would see the British public better protected against terrorist attacks

One of the UK’s most experienced counter-terrorism and security experts is offering free advice to event organisers about the impact of imminent changes to the law which would improve the safety of venues and public spaces.

Niall Griffin, a former police inspector and Counter-Terrorist Security Co-ordinator, is offering advice in relation to Protect Duty and what it means for event organisers.

Also known as Martyn’s Law, it was established in honour of Martyn Hett, one of the 22 victims tragically killed in a terrorist attack at the Manchester Arena in 2017. 

There is currently no legislative requirement for organisations or venues to consider or employ security measures at the vast majority of public places. 

The new law would see the British public better protected against terrorist attacks.

In January, the government published its response to a Protect Duty public consultation, which ran between February 26 and July 2, 2021.

In total, 2,755 responses were received from a variety of organisations, sectors and campaigners, with the majority supporting the government’s proposals to introduce stronger measures.

Seven in 10 respondents agreed that those responsible for publicly accessible locations should take appropriate and proportionate measures to protect the public from attacks. This included ensuring staff were trained to respond appropriately.

Now employed by leading security barrier supplier, Hardstaff Barriers, Niall Griffin has backed Protect Duty since it was first proposed and personally responded to the public consultation.

Following his 30-year policing career and now a Chartered Security Professional, Niall is thought to be one of the most knowledgeable counter-terrorism specialists working in the temporary hostile vehicle mitigation (HVM) barrier industry.

Being admitted to the Register of Chartered Security Professionals is considered the gold standard of competence in security practice and recognises the highest standards of professionalism and ongoing proficiency.

Niall said: “There is no doubt that the ‘Protect Duty’ is a huge step in the right direction and one which the security industry has been crying out for.

“The proportionality part of Martyn’s Law is very important – not all sites and venues are the same, so a blanket approach would be counterproductive.

“This must be proportionate with individual business models, but there is no reason why anyone who runs any sort of event that welcomes people in at a publicly accessible location wouldn’t have to comply with this.” 

Protect Duty proposes five key requirements:

1.     A requirement that spaces and places to which the public have access engage with freely available counterterrorism advice and training.

2.     A requirement for those places to conduct vulnerability assessments of their operating places and spaces.

3.     A requirement for those places to have a mitigation plan for the risks created by the vulnerabilities.

4.     A requirement for those places to have a counter-terrorism plan.

5.     A requirement for local authorities to plan for the threat of terrorism.

Event organisers can access free advice from Niall Griffin in three ways: 

  • Watching his brand new video interview (above) in which he offers a range of useful advice and information about Protect Duty and how it will affect the organising of events and the management of public spaces
  • Speaking to Niall in person at the Event production Show 2022, on March 8 and 9, 2022, at ExCel London, at the Hardstaff Barriers stand C12E. Niall will also be giving out free copies of his latest Protect Duty advice guide

Hardstaff Barriers is the sole UK distributor of Pitagone HVM products; manufacturer, supplier and installer of the MASS VRS system and the licenced supplier and installer of SurfaceGuard, made in Great Britain. Hardstaff is also the National Barrier Asset (NBA) contractor for The Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC).