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24.02.20

LGA responds to government proposals of ‘Protect Duty’ law

The Local Government Association (LGA) has today (Feb 24) responded to an announcement from the Home Office for plans to introduce a law aimed at protecting public venues and spaces from terror attacks.

 Security Minister James Brokenshire has announced plans for a new law requiring owners and operators of public spaces to keep the public safe from terrorist attacks.

The new ‘Protect Duty’ law, to be consulted on in the spring, would require venue operators to take out measures to prepare for a protect visitors to their space from attacks.

Security Minister James Brokenshire said:

“Our first priority is keeping the public safe and preventing more families from suffering the heartbreak of losing a loved one.

“The devastating attacks in 2017, and more recently at Fishmongers’ Hall and Streatham, are stark reminders of the current threat we face. We are in complete agreement with campaigners such as Figen Murray on the importance of venues and public spaces having effective and proportionate protective security and preparedness measures to keep people safe.

“Of course, it is important that this new law is proportionate. This public consultation will ensure we put in place a law that will help protect the public while not putting undue pressure on businesses.”

Cllr Simon Blackburn, Chair of the LGA’s Safer and Stronger Communities Board, has responded to announcement:

“Councils are determined to keep their communities safe and already take advice from the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure on how to best protect their public spaces. 

“A proportionate and reasonable public duty could assist councils in working with owners and operators of public spaces and venues to reduce the threat from terrorism. 

“However, consideration needs to be given to what licensing and planning powers councils might need to be able to drive improvements in the way public space is designed and operated to make it safer. 

“Councils stand ready to work with the Government to make public spaces safer. Faced with ongoing funding and demand pressures, they will need adequate resources to meet any new responsibilities.”

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