Anti-terror measures: proposed law change for all events

Following the government’s announcement of the creation of a new law to force event organisers to put anti-terror measures in place, security expert and Stadium founder David McAtamney says it’s about time for the industry to move forward.

“For many years, event organisers have got away with being able to opt-out of providing robust counter-terrorism measures for their attendees due to it not being enforced in law.

“While there have been strong laws enforcing a high standard of health and safety at public events for a very long time, measures to combat terrorism have largely been left to organisers themselves.

“Even though plenty of events do spend money on measures such as hostile vehicle mitigation barriers (HVM), many do not, usually citing excessive costs.

“Choosing whether or not to put these measures in place can genuinely make the difference between life and death for those who attend these events. Attendees expect to be kept safe by those organising the event.

“So I welcome this announcement from Security Minister James Brokenshire that, at long last, a law will be put in place to ensure event organisers are doing enough to prevent these horrific incidents like we’ve seen recently in Germany, and most infamously at the Manchester Arena.

“These measures can be varied, including the deployment of temporary HVM, giving advanced training to security staff, and forming and executing incident response plans.

“For example, when Stadium helps plan an event, we meticulously assess things like where crowds are most likely to gather before, during and after an event, and where vehicles are most likely to be able to access an event space.

“We then advise organisers on what type of HVM barriers they will need, where to deploy them, and whether the barriers should allow vehicles through.

“I would like to see the law empower licensing committees within local authorities to be able to refuse licences to event organisers who have not demonstrated they are providing measures to prevent terror attacks.

“I genuinely think that if organisers claim they cannot afford to provide effective counter-terrorism measures, they should not be hosting events at all.

“Although it may make certain organisers have to rethink their business strategy, this law should not reduce the number of large public events being held – the industry is doing extremely well at the moment due to consumers’ appetites for ‘experiences’, so I doubt this will cause event companies to lose money.

“Stadium would be very willing to contribute to the planned consultation around the law in the spring – I think it’s crucial we have our say due to our extensive expertise in the security and anti-terror industry.

“We look forward to working collaboratively with the government and making sure the new law protects people as much as possible.”

To find out more about the upcoming changes read the official government statement announcing their plans for the new law.

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