The UK to legislate Martyn’s Law to ensure stronger protections against terrorism in public places

UK sports fans and concert goers are welcoming the news that the UK government is to introduce new legislation to tighten security at venues. The new law – Martyn’s Law (formerly ‘Protect Duty’) – is named in honour of Martyn Hett, a lifelong supporter of Manchester United, who tragically lost his life alongside twenty-one others in the Manchester Arena attack in 2017.

Martyn’s Law will reduce the risk to public safety by requiring venue operators to consider the threat from terrorism and implement appropriate security risk mitigation measures. Martyn’s Law is a testament to the tremendous efforts of individuals and organisations campaigning to make public venues a safer environment for everyone.

In response to questions around the need for Martyn’s Law, the UK Home Office provides the following:

“There have been 14 terror attacks in the UK since 2017. These tragic attacks have caused deaths and casualties amongst people going about their everyday lives. 

The terrorist threat we currently face is multifaceted, diverse, and continually evolving. As such, it remains difficult to predict which locations could be targeted by terrorists with attempts being harder to spot and harder to stop. 

We need to improve security and ensure robust, proportionate, and consistent measures at public places to make sure we can better prepare and improve public security, in light of possible future attacks.”

The threat picture is complex and ever evolving. Recent attacks indicate that Home Made Explosives (HMEs) are increasingly the primary threat against public safety. Moreover, the use of inorganic substances to manufacture potent home-made explosive devices is preferred due to the ease of access to these raw materials. However, traditional explosive trace detection systems (e.g., IMS, etc.), while effective at detecting the organic compounds associated with classical threats such as military grade or commercial explosives, are ineffective against the inorganic compounds commonly used in HMEs.

To address this capability gap, GreyScan has developed the ETD-100, the only portable trace detector capable of detecting the inorganic explosive substances commonly used to manufacture HMEs.

GreyScan’s ETD-100 bridges an important capability need and is an essential element of any venue security risk minimisation plan.

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