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Manchester City Council embed the principles of Martyn’s Law in existing licensing framework Published Date: 14/05/2023

Following the tragic Manchester Arena terror attack in 2017, at which 22 people lost their lives, Manchester City Council proactively took steps to embed the principles of Martyn’s Law within the existing licensing framework to enhance and promote public safety in places and spaces where licensable activities take place in Manchester.

Manchester council successfully consulted on updating its model licensing conditions to incorporate measures that give effect to Martyn’s Law in licensed places and spaces. These conditions stipulate that:

  • Certain members of staff must have completed Action Counter Terrorism (ACT) Awareness e-learning training.
  • Designated Premises Supervisors must have attended a counter-terrorism awareness training session.
  • There must be a documented security assessment, which must incorporate counter terrorism measures for the premises.
  • Within 28 days of the grant or variation of the licence, the premises licence holder shall evaluate any risks and take prompt steps to reduce the risk as far as is reasonably practicable.
  • The premises must have a documented security plan, which sets out counter measures to be implemented in response to a terrorist attack.

These conditions will now be added to new licence applications where appropriate and proportionate. However, where licences have already been granted, conditions can only be attached through a minor or full variation either voluntarily or, where representations are received, imposed following a hearing or a licence review where problems have arisen at a licensed premises. To encourage premises that already have a licence to adopt these conditions voluntarily, Manchester plans to establish a voluntary scheme to recognise good practice by licensed premises.

Manchester also has a city centre security board, a multi-agency partnership bringing together various council departments including licensing and community safety teams, the police, counter terror police, and the highway authority, amongst others. This forum assists with identifying sites of vulnerability across the city centre and what mitigations should be in place. This has helped to inform the council’s approach to issuing licences under the Licensing Act 2003, but also in other areas of licensing. For example, Manchester’s pavement licensing policy contains clear requirements for premises to have documented security plans, incorporating the principles of ‘Guide’, Shelter’ and ‘Communicate’ and setting out counter measures to be implemented in response to a terrorist attack.

Source: LGA