More than 1,000 people have now taken part in the Action Counters Terrorism (ACT) training which aims to equip staff across the city with skills to identify and mitigate potential risks and respond in the event of a terror attack.
This training was brought in to support the Council’s adoption of ‘Martyn’s Law’ – named in honour of Martyn Hett, who lost his life during the Manchester Arena Terror Attack.
This was done ahead of the Central Government’s plan to implement a ‘Protect Duty’ requirement for venues.
When the new law is passed, it will make it a requirement for venues across the city to improve their security procedures and risk assessments and be better prepared to respond in the event of an attack.
Manchester City Council said they had been ‘incredibly proud’ of the response from businesses across the city, who had shown a ‘great willingness’ to take on board the principles of Martyn’s Law.
Draft legislation is expected to be tabled shortly ahead of an expected Bill becoming law, but Manchester City Council has been pushing for changes since early 2021 in making its principles a licensing condition across the city.
With support from Martyn’s mum, Figen Murray, close to 500 venues and now more than 1,000 members of staff, have committed to playing their part in Making Manchester safer.
Councillor Lee-Ann Igbon, Executive Member for Vibrant Neighbourhoods said: “The work done around Martyn’s Law has been some of the most important the Council has ever embarked on.
“The Manchester Arena Terror Attack left an indelible mark on our city, but it does not have to define our future. We never want to repeat that terrible night which is why ACT training is so vital.
“I am so proud of the venues who have already signed up and recognise what a fantastic achievement it is to have trained more than 1,000 people. However, there is always more work to be done and I am confident in the coming months even greater numbers can be reached.”
Gareth Worthington, CityCo’s Night-Time Economy Officer, said: “CityCo and Manchester City Centre Business Improvement District are proud partners of the ACT Awareness training roll-out.
“It has been brilliant to see the take-up from our business networks, with nearly 500 companies and more than 1,000 city centre employees now trained – an important milestone for Manchester.
“We would like to thank Figen Murray OBE for her dedication to bringing Martyn’s Law into legislation, and her continued support of these training sessions. Any businesses requiring training can book at cityco.com.”
Martyn, aged 29, died alongside 21 others in the Manchester Arena terror attack in May 2017.
The law now ensures all venues must now draw up specific security plans for any terror attack.
In the initial draft outlines, it looks as though the plan will be split into a ‘two-tiered’ implementation.
Smaller venues with a capacity of more than 100 people should undertake activities that ‘improve preparedness’.
Larger venues, which can hold more than 800 will be required to carry out a risk assessment and have a thorough security plan in place.
The Government said last year that they would be assisting with training, inspection, and enforcement of compliance.
They also suggested there would be sanctions for venues that ‘seriously breached’ legislation.