Mother of Martyn Hett says counter-terrorism bill proposed in Queen's speech 'major step forward'

Video report by ITV Granada Reports correspondent, Elaine Willcox.

The mother of a young man who died in the Manchester Arena attack says the proposed bill in the Queen's speech to adopt Martyn's law is a major step forward.

Martyn Hett's mum Figen Murray has campaigned for venues to adopt security measures that would require staff to carry out counter terrorism training.

They will also be required to do risk assessments of potential threats and to have a plan in place to deal with a terrorist incident.

Martyn Hett was one of 22 people killed in the Manchester Arena attack in 2017.

'Martyn's Law' was confirmed in the Queen's Speech on Tuesday, 10 May, setting out the Government's planned legislative programme.

The draft 'Protect Duty' Bill was one of 38 Bills announced in the package, following long delays to a period of public consultation due to the coronavirus pandemic.

What would it mean?

Among the Protect Duty proposals are:

  • The introduction of free counter-terror training for event staff

  • Assessments of locations to see how vulnerable they are

  • The need for venues and local authorities to have clear counter-terror action plans

  • More thorough security checks, including bag searches

Reacting to the news, Figen Murray said: "It's brilliant. It's a massive step in the right direction.

"I'm obviously not expecting it to happen for this anniversary, but hopefully by the next anniversary it is a leglisation, and venues up and down the country will have it in place and everyone should be a little bit more safe."

It will be five years in May 2022 since 22 people were killed when terrorist Salman Abedi detonated a bomb after an Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena.

Ms Murray says Manchester is leading the way with almost 300 businesses in the city to have already carried out the counter terrorism training.

She said: "I'm so proud of how the city has responded, and how our night time economy has responded, and they have voluntarily adopted Martyn's Law."

One venue that has voluntarily taken on the counter-terrorism training is Band on the Wall in Manchester city centre.

John Shepherd, the chief operating officer, said: "Some aspects of the training are quite daunting and scary and a terrorist attack is a frightening thing to be involved in.

"But now we've done the training I do think we'll spot suspicious activity more easily.

"There are laws in business about how clean the kitchens and toilets are, but there aren't about responses to terrorist incidents. It will save lives."

Around 272 businesses in Manchester from bars to hotels have taken up counter terrorism training, with many more planning to take part in the coming months.

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