By David Tate ,
Retail, Food, Beverage and Leisure Industry Leader, UK & Ireland
The rising threat of attacks at private-sector targets, including retail and leisure sites, has prompted the UK Government to consult on improving protective security and preparedness at public places.
The Government has set out proposals for a new “Protect Duty”, regarding how legislation can make the public safer at publicly accessible locations. The proposals have been championed by victims’ groups — including the Martyn’s Law campaign, which was established by Figen Murray, the mother of Martyn Hett who sadly lost his life in the Manchester Arena terrorist attack in May 2017 — and highlights the need to improve security standards in crowded public spaces and venues.
The consultation is open to the public and is aimed at all those who own or operate publicly accessible locations that a Protect Duty would potentially affect, including:
Hotels, pubs, clubs, retail stores, shopping centres, music venues, and high streets will all be in scope. The consultation will run for 18 weeks and will seek the views on:
A publicly accessible location is defined as “any place to which the public or any section of the public has access, on payment or otherwise, as of right or by virtue of express or implied permission”.
Aside from the potential legislative requirements that arise from the Government consultation, there are a number of practical steps businesses can take to protect against increased security threats to customers, employees, and ultimately the business. Outlined below are some key actions we can support on, focused on minimising threats:
 Open consultation — Protect Duty https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/protect-duty, Home Office, 26 February 2021.