In the wake of recurring terrorist attacks across the UK, including the Manchester Arena Bombing and both the 2017 & 2019 London Bridge Attacks, The Protect Duty consultation has been seeking views on how legislation could be used to enhance the protection of public spaces.

Targeted primarily at private organisations (250+ employees), as well as local and public authorities who own or operate locations such as:

  • Public venues (e.g. entertainment and sports stadiums, shopping centres and tourist attractions);
  • Large organisations (e.g. retail chains and gyms); and
  • Public spaces (e.g. parks, places of worship and pedestrianised areas).

A Key aspect of the Protect duty is to impose a legal obligation for these bodies to consider the safety and security of staff, visitors and the wider public. For smaller businesses, this may result in low-cost measures such as more comprehensive staff training on security and terrorism threats and attacks. For larger organisations, this will likely take the form of more in depth and costly initiatives.

It yet to be seen how the Protect Duty will coincide with existing Health and Safety legislation, but the potential scope is far-reaching and will compel organisations to engage with issues around security and counter terrorism in new and meaningful ways.

With the consultation now closed as of 2nd July, it is expected that new guidelines and frameworks will begin surfacing for review in the coming weeks.