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  1. ITV Report

Calls for metal detectors and bag searches at all venues after Manchester Arena Attack

  • Video report by ITV correspondent Ben Chapman

The Government should launch a review into security at major venues following the Manchester Arena attack, Andy Burnham has said in a progress report looking at the response to the incident.

The Mayor of Greater Manchester supported calls from victims' families to see security enhances as he published the update, which followed a report by former head of the Civil Service Lord Bob Kerslake that assessed the emergency response to the 2017 attack.

Twenty-two people died when suicide bomber Salman Abedi, 22, detonated a device in the foyer of the arena at the end of an Ariana Grande concert on May 22 2017.

Martyn Hett Credit: MEN syndication

In Mr Burnham's progress report, published on Thursday, he supported calls made by Figen Murray, the mother of victim Martyn Hett, 29, for the introduction of "Martyn's Law" - which would make metal detectors and bag searches obligatory for big public venues.

Metal detectors are important because we don't want another nail bomb, we don't want guns to come into venues and it's a real issue.

We are at war with terrorism, it's a 21st century menace and I never thought, I saw it on television and thought Oh my God, I never in a million years thought it will be my family and if it can happen to me it can happen to anyone.

– Figen Murray, Martyn Hett's Mum

Andy Burnham said: "I believe there is a clear case for a thorough review of security measures at major sporting and entertainment event venues to establish clearly understood mandatory standards and I call on the Government to initiate one.

"We need to have clear minimum and mandatory standards at all venues so there is clarity for operators and confidence for the public."

The Kerslake Report, published last March, found firefighters, some who heard the bomb go off and were trained in first-aid and terror scenarios with specialist equipment, did not get permission to go to the scene until hours after the suicide bombing, despite the nearest station being just half a mile away.

Following concerns raised by the mayor, GMFRS launched a "root and branch" review and proposals for change, including a refocus on frontline delivery, were released for public consultation last month, Mr Burnham said in the update.

The mayor called on press regulator IPSO to keep issues raised in the Kerslake Report under review after the watchdog concluded the provisions of its Editor's Code were adequate to cover incidents such as the arena attack.

It found examples of shocking behaviour attributed to journalists and photographers, that were given by contributors to the report, were breaches of the existing code.

The report had recommended the regulator consider developing a new code specifically to cover such events.

Instead, IPSO developed an action plan which included proactively publicising its role and improving or creating training.

It is also compiling guidance for editors and journalists on reporting major incidents, which is expected to be published later this year.

Mr Burnham said: "I welcome the steps taken by IPSO and am grateful for their acknowledgement of the issues raised by the Kerslake Report.

"However, I remain unconvinced that they go far enough to prevent a repeat of what happened and would call on them to keep this issue under review.

"As I have said before, there was much responsible reporting, particularly from our regional media, but it is clear that the industry as a whole still has issues to address."

The update also noted progress within Greater Manchester Police, which has enhanced senior officer capacity and resilience during major incidents, and mental health trusts throughout the region, which developed a joint response plan to improve provision of services for those who experience trauma.

Beverley Hughes, deputy mayor for policing and crime, added: "This important update shows encouraging progress in all areas. Clearly, there is still much work to do but that's only to be expected due to the thoroughness of the report."