Protect Duty legislation | Fieldfisher
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Protect Duty legislation


United Kingdom

On 19 December 2022, the UK government announced further details of the forthcoming Protect Duty legislation. The new legislation will require public venues and organisations to implement varying security measures in a tiered system, based on capacity, to protect the safety of their staff and the public.

The announcement provides details of the responses received following the UK government's consultation in April 2021. Drawing on feedback received from businesses, security professionals and victims groups, the new legislation will place obligations on those responsible for publicly accessible locations with a maximum capacity of over 100 people. As venue capacity increases, so too will the legal requirements.
A 'standard tier' will require venues to implement low-cost, simple and effective activities designed to improve preparedness for terrorist attacks. This will include completing a 'preparedness plan' and training and information sharing that will embed good practice. The standard tier will apply to venues with a maximum capacity of over 100 people, up to a venue capacity of 800.
Venues over 800 capacity will be subject to the enhanced tier, which is more onerous given the higher risk of a successful attack and the scale of the potential consequences. The enhanced tier will focus more on creating a culture of security and vigilance, as well as physical measures like CCTV implementation and robust safety systems and processes.
The type of premises and activities in the scope of the legislation is wide, encompassing all publicly accessible venues from museums and galleries to health and education facilities.
What is clear from the announcement is that the UK government considers the threat picture to be complex and ever evolving. As such, the new legislation is designed to ensure that 'security preparedness is delivered consistently across the UK'.
From a practical perspective, the government will provide further information on dedicated statutory guidance and bespoke support to ensure duty holders can discharge their responsibilities. We can also expect to see further details of the proposed inspection and enforcement regime, which includes powers to issue sanctions and fines for non-compliance and serious breaches of the duty. Draft legislation is expected in early 2023.
Fieldfisher's previous commentary on the proposed Protect Duty legislation and consultation can be found here.
Fieldfisher continues to advise on how the proposed Protect Duty will interact with, or impact on, existing health and safety obligations, including risk assessments. Last year, our Health and Safety team ran a Roundtable on the topic, exploring the forthcoming legislation and its potential implications for business across a number of sectors.
For any questions regarding the new Protect Duty, or wider Health and Safety issues more generally, please contact Fieldfisher's Health & Safety team.
Kirstie Imber is a Solicitor in the Dispute Resolution team and assists on a wide range of high value commercial disputes across multiple sectors and jurisdictions.
Kieran Tomlinson is a Legal Professional in the Dispute Resolution team.

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