Protect Duty - and how it will impact Property Owners

In the aftermath of the Manchester Arena terror attack, Figen Murray, whose son Martyn Hett was among the victims, launched a campaign calling for the introduction of what she called Martyn’s Law. The campaign urged the Government to bring in legislation requiring organisations to improve safety and security at entertainment venues and other publicly accessible locations.

This campaign has since resulted in the announcement, in the Queen’s Speech on 10 May, that the Government plans to introduce a draft bill aimed at making sure the UK’s Publicly Accessible Locations (PALs) are better protected against terrorist attacks and that businesses and other organisations are adequately prepared to deal with major incidents.

The bill will require all those responsible for the control and operation of PALs to have considered the threat of terrorism at their locations and venues, implemented mitigation measures, and be able to demonstrate the suitability and adequacy of those measures. The Protect Duty legislation, as it is known, is likely to become law in late 2022 or early 2023. Its specifics remain unclear. Broadly speaking, however, it will mean that businesses will need to be able to demonstrate that their plans and countermeasures are appropriate and proportionate to the terrorism risk faced by the PALs for which they are responsible.

PROTECT DUTY COMPLIANCE

To prepare for the new legislation, businesses responsible for PALs should take a proactive approach to re-evaluating their security procedures and start assessing their likely effectiveness in mitigating a terrorist attack. There are a number of practical steps businesses can take to achieve this.

Firstly, it is important to build an understanding of how the threat of terrorism could affect your locations. So, what should you be looking at and how should you go about reporting suspicious activity? Free training is available from The Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) and can also be sought at the National Counter Terrorism Security Office (NaCTSO), which offers guidance on how to respond to an attack involving firearms, weapons or explosives. You can then apply this free advice to reviewing the suitability of your current security measures.

Pool Re has developed a Vulnerability Self-Assessment Tool (VSAT), which benchmarks an organisation’s current terrorism management procedures to highlight any vulnerabilities in its security measures. It compares your provisions against current UK best practice, as advised by the Government, relevant regulatory standards, and recommendations from security professionals.

It is worth noting that, if your business scores positively, it may be eligible for a 10% discount on its Pool Re terrorism insurance premium.

HOW CAN LOCKTON ASSIST?

Lockton works with leading insurers to design bespoke crisis-response policies, enabling you to respond immediately and recover quickly from even the most unexpected events. We offer direct access to leading global risk consultancy firms with the capabilities and the experience to help you act on a threat from the moment it first arises.

This solution offers 24/7 year-round access to consultants in return for a fixed annual premium. There is no limit to the number of times our crisis policies can be triggered. From bribery to lone assailants, kidnap to natural disaster, political upheaval to industrial accidents, these policies are built to protect your business from a crisis, while preventing any major interruption to your daily operations.

Whether you require a ground-up approach or just additional support to improve your existing crisis management capabilities, our independent experts will design a bespoke solution to fit your specific needs.

POLICY BENEFITS

  • Expert-led global risk consultancy, allowing you to fulfil your duty of care to employees, while providing security, communications and crisis-response capabilities

  • Immediate, 24-hour access to world-leading crisis-response experts on a global basis, in return for a fixed annual premium

  • A single point of contact for all crisis situations through a dedicated emergency-response hub

  • Support and reinforcement for all existing risk management structures, including insurance policies

  • Peace of mind for your business, giving you the reassurance of knowing that resources are in place to handle and respond to unforeseen events

  • Up to 20% of policy premium available for pre-crisis training and planning.

While the specifics of the forthcoming Protect Duty legislation remain unclear, businesses should be aware of its wider implications for the security measures around public locations. The legislation will come into force in a matter of months from now, so it is only prudent to begin re-evaluating your current security measures without delay and to start building an understanding of how the legislation will affect your plans. This will stand you in good stead to make any necessary changes to your security plans as soon as the full details of the legislation are released.