Update on the Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Draft Bill, also known as ‘Martyn’s Law’.
The House of Commons Home Affairs Committee (HAC) has published its review of the Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Draft Bill. Within its report the HAC welcomed the Government’s intention behind the Draft Bill, however, expressed serious concerns about the proportionality of the Bill, especially in relation to the impact on smaller businesses and voluntary/community-run organisations that would qualify as a standard tier premises. The HAC state that there is a lack of evidence that the Bill will adequately reduce the threat from terrorism for smaller organisations.
HAC raised other concerns regarding the unfinished provisions in the Draft Bill, the lack of clarity around the purpose of the Bill, the regulator and some of the duties required. The HAC commented that the Draft Bill could be improved upon, including introducing a provision for mandatory life-saving training and statutory standards for the design of new buildings.
The HAC stressed that it was unclear on the estimated costs quoted by the Home Office on standard and enhanced tier premises, stating that the costs would be disproportionate to the level of threat, particularly for small and medium-sized premises captured in the standard tier. The HAC requested that the Home Office should publish the criteria used to calculate the estimated costs for qualifying premises to help them and Parliament understand them better.