Last reviewed 1 March 2021

The Home Office has launched a public consultation into how a potential Protect Duty would make the public safer at publicly accessible locations such as sports stadiums, festivals, pubs, schools and places of worship.

The consultation document is available at GOV.UK and the deadline for submitting comments is 2 July 2021.

It defines a publicly accessible location as any place to which the public or any section of the public has access, on payment or otherwise, as of right or by virtue of express or implied permission. This includes, but is by no means restricted to, the examples cited above.

The consultation considers how the Government might use legislation to enhance the protection of publicly accessible locations across the UK from terrorist attacks and ensure organisational preparedness.

Any publicly accessible location is a potential target, the Home Office warns, and it is therefore essential that the owners and operators of all such locations understand the risks they face and consider appropriate mitigations.

It also advises those likely to be affected by the Protect Duty to ensure that any security measures/plans involved do not conflict with health and safety requirements and fire regulations.

Security Minister James Brokenshire said: “This consultation considers how we can work together to develop proportionate security measures to improve public security. It also considers how those responsible for publicly accessible locations are ready and prepared to take appropriate action, were a terrorist attack to happen.”

It is proposed that the Duty should apply to owners and/or operators of publicly accessible venues with a capacity of 100 persons or more.