James announces plans for ‘Protect Duty’ for operators of public places and spaces

In his role as Security Minister, James visited the O2 to announce plans to introduce a law which will require owners of public spaces and venues to put in place measures to keep the public safe from a terrorist attack.

Delivering on the manifesto commitment to improve the safety and security of public venues and spaces, the new ‘Protect Duty’ will reflect lessons learned following the terrorist attacks in 2017, as well as more recent attacks.

The new law, to be consulted on in the spring, would require venue operators to consider the risk of a terrorist attack and take proportionate and reasonable measures to prepare for and protect the public from such an attack.

This could include increased physical security, having training in place, incident response plans and exercises for staff on what to do during an attack.

Commenting, James 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 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.”