The creation of Martyn’s Law can be traced back to a heartfelt campaign led by Figen Murray, the mother of Martyn Hett, a victim of the tragic Manchester Arena bombing. This devastating incident shed light on critical shortcomings in the way public events were handled, emphasising the necessity for stringent crowd control measures and the implementation of robust procedures to ensure public safety. While Martyn’s Law originally aimed at safeguarding against terrorist attacks, its implications go beyond this, extending to the sphere of event organisation for all businesses, public or corporate.

Image of a large crowd in summer flanked by UK flags

So why do we as Event Organisers need to worry about this now?

Public safety is a licensing objective. Protecting the safety of those attending events is something that Licensing Authorities can legitimately and properly require applicants for licenses to address and even now, those seeking new licenses can expect conditions to be attached that relate to prevention and response measures.

Life gets a bit more complicated regarding existing licenses as there is currently no mechanism in place to simply impose additional conditions. That’s why at Identity we already go above and beyond our license requirements to mitigate risks and improve protective security and preparedness, as attendee safety is paramount in our event planning.

The Role of Safety Advisory Groups (SAGs)

Safety Advisory Groups (SAGs) play a pivotal role in ensuring the safety of the public during events. Although they currently lack a statutory foundation, many SAGs are already functioning as if the law is in place. Identity works closely with SAGs to follow recommendations for event management plans to address risks related to large gatherings and have robust response plans in place, even though SAG advice isn’t legally binding.

In some cases, Premises Licences have conditions attached that require Event Management Plans (EMPs) to be approved or ‘signed off’ by the SAG before the event can take place. Therefore, our event planners take it to the next level when it comes to the safety of event attendees – your guests are our responsibility.

Steps Towards Compliance

Even though Martyn’s Law has yet to be officially enacted as legislation, event organisers should proactively revisit their EMPs and security measures. Having comprehensive risk assessments, well-defined procedures, and effective supporting processes is not only vital for public safety but also crucial for insurance purposes. Identity will continue to enhance security measures, including more thorough security checks, specialised training, and other precautionary steps, that will likely be necessary to avert any potential security breaches.

Attendees at an event in a theatre

What next?

As we move forward in the evolving landscape of event planning and safety, “our message is clear”, says Janet Dodd, Chief Strategy Officer, “Public safety is paramount, and it is our responsibility as event organisers to uphold this commitment. By embracing the principles of Martyn’s Law and prioritising safety, we not only meet legal requirements but also create environments where attendees can enjoy events with confidence and peace of mind.”

Make sure your event is in safe hands, contact us now