A recent article in the International Security Journal discusses how the United Kingdom is implementing requirements for all Public venues to safeguard against terrorist attacks. This effort stems from the Manchester Arena terrorist attack that killed 22 and injured hundreds after an Ariana Grande concert in 2017.
the provision is known as the Protect Duty. “It delivers on a manifesto commitment to improve the safety and security of public venues and spaces, drawing on lessons learned from previous terrorist incidents.”
The article further states that “the proposals have been championed by victims’ groups, including the Martyn’s Law campaign which was established by Figen Murray, who tragically lost her son, Martyn, in the Manchester Arena attack in 2017.
Manchester Terror Attack
An article by Counter Threat Group about this terror incident titled, Manchester Terror Attack stated: “The suicide bomber chose to detonate his device outside of the security zone in a lobby area near a ticket counter where he would not have been detected by security screening.” The article pointed to the vulnerabilities that many “soft target” entertainment venues face. Venues such as the Manchester Arena and the Paris Bataclan theatre in Paris where 90 people were gunned down by terrorists in November 2015, tragically show how easy a well planned attack can be carried out. It also illustrates how accessible public venue space is to those wishing harm on others.
The United Kingdom’s Objective for Protecting Venues
It is the objective of UK counter-terrorism authorities for “government and business to work together to design plans and ensure people are as protected as possible when visiting venues, retail areas and other publicly accessible spaces.”
The planning and steps that the UK is taking to safeguard public venues across the board is what all businesses and organizations that maintain venue space should consider whether it is the United Kingdom or the United States. Prudent security planning should include:
-involving trained and qualified security experts to conduct a thorough vulnerability assessment of venues or facilities
-searching out the ever advancing technology available to detect signatures of potential weapons and/or explosive devices such as IEDs, VBIEDs
-researching and learning best practices from those who have stringent venue security plans and measures in place.
-implementation of security safeguards in architecture plans for renovations and new construction
-awareness training for all employees
Whether it is an entertainment venue, business, hospital, retail area, church or school, the risk of violent occurrences like terrorism or an active shooter event could be significantly mitigated through proper planning.