Counter terrorism guidance

03 October 2023

It is anticipated the Terrorism (Protection of Premises) legislation, also known as Protect Duty or Martyn’s Law will be completed at some point in the future.

Security guard in black at public venue

Ecclesiastical is closely monitoring legislative developments to be able to provide policyholders and brokers with guidance and support when we know more.

In the meantime, it is important that organisations that allow members of the public access to their premises, mitigate any terrorist attacks to protect their employees and visitors. If there are existing plans in place, there is no harm in reviewing them to ensure they remain current and relevant.

Key risk considerations include where the property is located, the number of people who visit the venue, the possibility of a neighbouring building being attacked, and if prominent people use the premises or live in the vicinity.

As part of this security review, we would suggest the following:

  • There is no harm in reminding employees and/or volunteers to look out for possible suspicious activity. Provide training if needed. Encourage a culture of challenge to anyone acting suspiciously.
  • Engage with neighbours requesting they report any suspicious activity to the police immediately.
  • It is sensible to regularly review evacuation and any lockdown procedures so if a terrorism event occurs the organisation is ready.
  • Seek support from local counter-terrorism police about protection arrangements.
  • Ensure the building perimeter is secured by suitable physical and electronic protections (door and window locks, grilles/bars, fire/intruder alarms, CCTV systems & external security lighting).
  • Manage vehicle access to any car parking areas.
  • Review external housekeeping arrangements, for example, keep waste bins away from the building and remove any litter, repair any damage from vandalism without delay, ensure the building is not concealed by vegetation or overgrown trees.
  • When holding special events that could increase the risk of a terrorist attack, it may be sensible to review existing arrangements and identify if further precautions are needed.