How Martyn’s Law aims to ensure public safety

How Martyn’s Law aims to ensure public safety

As drone capabilities continue to evolve and bring new threats to public areas, the UK’s latest regulations may just bring the resilience needed. Introducing Martyn’s Law. 

Named in honour of Martyn Hett, a victim of the tragic 2017 Manchester Arena bombing, this proposed legislation aims to standardise security measures in public spaces and venues.  

But, how can the public venues that are being urged to take greater responsibility increase their preparedness?  

At OSL, we’re dedicated to helping venues like these strengthen their security and safety processes, aligning seamlessly with the proposed objectives of Martyn’s Law in the process. 

Below, we’re exploring this groundbreaking proposed legislation, what it means for public safety, and how advanced drone detection technology can help strengthen security measures. 

What does Martyn’s Law mean for public venues? 

“Protecting the public from danger is a key responsibility of any government. The terrorist threat we face is diverse and continually evolving, which is why this legislation is so important.” – Former Home Secretary Suella Braverman 

The urgency behind Martyn’s Law, and the need for public venues to adapt to evolving threats, is clear. Since 2017, the United Kingdom has witnessed 14 terror attacks. As the Home Office states 

‘[Martyn’s Law] will require venues to take steps to improve public safety, with measures dependent on the size of the venue and the activity taking place.’ 

The proposed law will also mandate ‘for the first time, who is responsible for considering the risk from terrorism and how they would respond to a terrorist attack at certain premises and events.’ 

For public venues, this law doesn’t just warrant the need to implement new robust security measures. It also seeks to make ‘the operator or occupier’ of these premises responsible for ‘considering the risk from terrorism and how they would respond to a terrorist attack at certain premises and events.’ 

Which sites will be affected? 

Unsure if your site is affected by Martyn’s Law? Ask yourself the following: 

  • Is your site accessible to the public? 
  • Is your site used for a purpose listed in the Bill (e.g. entertainment and leisure, retail, food and drink)? 
  • Does your site have a capacity of 100 or more individuals? 
  • Does your site have a readily identifiable physical boundary and access by express permission? 

Standard vs tiered sites 

Recognising the wide range of different venues, Martyn’s Law is also aiming to introduce a tiered model, with greater responsibilities for venues with a capacity of more than 800. 

As the Home Office writes, these ‘enhanced’ sites must: 

  • Notify the regulator of their premise or event; 
  • Take ‘reasonably practicable’ measures that will reduce the risk of a terrorist attack occurring or physical harm being caused. The reasonably practicable test is utilised in other regulatory regimes e.g., health and safety, and will enable organisations to tailor their approach to the nature of the premises, and their activities and resources; 
  • Keep and maintain a security document, aided by an assessment of the terrorism risk, which must also be provided to the regulator; and 
  • If the responsible person is a body corporate, they must appoint an individual as the designated senior individual for the premise or event.  

How are drone detection solutions enhancing public safety? 

While Martyn’s Law aims to introduce consistent legal frameworks for site security, drone detection solutions can play a pivotal role in creating safer fan experiences. Drone use in acts of terrorism is a real risk, and the danger they pose when combined with devices such as chemical weapons has already been researched.  

A rise in drone involvement can be seen as recently as September 2023, when a UK man was convicted on a terrorism sentence ‘after building a drone with the intention of supplying it to a banned terrorist organisation. 

These solutions, like our very own suite of counter-uncrewed aircraft systems (CUAS) and our first-of-its-kind Drone Alert Service (DAS), help sites to confidently detect and respond to unauthorised drone incursions over public venues. This proactive approach aligns seamlessly with Martyn’s Law, which places a strong emphasis on preparedness and prevention. Some of the most vital advantages include: 

Greater situational intelligence 

Counter-drone systems offer venues real-time insights into aerial incursions, enabling comprehensive situational intelligence. What’s more, by leveraging historical data, venues can identify patterns and potential risks for a more robust and adaptive approach to drone security. 

Unmatched visibility and preparedness 

Detecting small and quiet drones across complex environments, comprehensive tools like DAS can provide the advanced warning needed to respond promptly to potential threats, closing the window of vulnerability before any chances of harm or disruption occur.  

Precise pilot identification 

Tools like DAS and FACE® help sites not only identify the specific location of drones in real-time – they can also pinpoint the pilot’s location. These insights can be invaluable in enabling targeted responses and prosecuting offenders to avoid future incursions.  

What’s more, they send a clear message to other potential offenders. Beyond enabling enhanced detection, the very existence of a robust drone detection system acts as a deterrent for potential drone pilots, discouraging unsolicited flights in or around no-fly zones.  

Elevating fan safety at Wembley Stadium 

In a recent interview with Wembley Stadium’s security experts, we explored the role of advanced CUAS technology in enhancing fan safety. 

Wembley Stadium’s proactive approach includes the use of a wide range of advanced measures like DAS to adapt to unique event challenges. 

This emphasises the balance between robust security and an unobtrusive fan experience. Here, continuous improvement is crucial, especially in addressing evolving drone threats. 

Learn more here: Securing the fan experience: lessons from Wembley Stadium 

The way forward: a unified approach to public safety 

At its core, Martyn’s Law signifies a resolute commitment to public safety in the face of evolving threats.  

Here at OSL, we’re passionate about helping sites across a wide range of industries to create safer spaces. Together, by continuing to develop innovative collaboration and the integration of cutting-edge security measures, we can create a safer and more resilient environment for the public.  

To discover how our range of advanced counter-drone solutions can enhance the security of your site, why not get in touch for a free discovery call today?