New terrorism legislation is expected to become UK law later this year, but many businesses are significantly under-prepared for the measures, finds research by insurance broker and risk management firm, Gallagher.


Martyn’s Law aims to enhance the protection of publicly accessible locations from terrorism in response to increasing attacks in the UK.

Since 2017, there have been 14 terrorist attacks; while the Manchester Arena bombing was a notable legislative catalyst, attacks on London Bridge, Westminster Bridge and Borough Market have also helped to shape Martyn’s Law.

hooded terrorist

There have also been 39 attacks that the security services intercepted during this time period.

Key survey findings

  • 23% of venue owners feel fully prepared for Martyn’s Law
  • 28% of businesses provide staff training on responding to a terrorist incident
  • 36% of hospitality operators have a dedicated person or team to assess terrorism risks


Once Martyn’s Law comes into effect, venues with a capacity of over 100 will be required to introduce a set of measures, such as deploying security procedures and training staff.

Sites with a capacity of over 100 people will be required to regularly undertake risk assessments, develop detailed incident response plans and implement physical security measures such as CCTV, intruder alarms and secure fencing.

However, it would appear that the majority of businesses that this will apply to are significantly under-prepared. Gallagher undertook research among venue owners and found just 23% of firms are fully confident that they will be able to meet the requirements of the incoming law.

Dominic Roe, managing director and hospitality sector specialist at Gallagher, says: “Martyn’s Law will mean businesses will have substantial responsibility for protecting public safety, and it is therefore rather concerning to see that such a low number of impacted firms are confident in their ability to meet these requirements when they are expected to become law this year.”

“Martyn’s Law will mean businesses will have substantial responsibility for protecting public safety”

Although the final details are still being worked through, businesses will likely be required to provide specialist training to staff so that they know how to respond in the event of a terrorist incident. However, just one in three (28%) businesses currently provide their staff with this type of training.

Larger operators will likely be required to appoint dedicated staff to oversee risk assessments and implement security measures.

Currently, just over a third (36%) of hospitality operators have a dedicated team or person in charge of assessing terrorism risks, with four in ten (39%) planning to recruit in the next year and a quarter (25%) not planning to make an appointment, despite the incoming law.


Failure to comply could have severe financial consequences, as the UK government is proposing potential fines of up to £18 million or 5% of an operator’s worldwide revenue, as well as sanctions and restriction notices.

Roe continues: “This research clearly suggests that hospitality operators could fall significantly short of some of the expected requirements, with few firms having well-shaped plans in place to meet the requirements.

“Given the specialist nature of understanding what needs to be implemented, we would urge firms to consider working with a security and risk management specialist, like Gallagher, which can help interpret what the law will mean for each individual venue and ensure that businesses are compliant.”