May 11th, 2023
13 mins

The proposals would directly affect the persons in control of premises with a capacity of 100-persons or more (100-799 persons for the standard tier, and 800 persons or more for the enhanced tier). These include businesses and organisations who own and operate Publicly Accessible Locations (PALs), for example: sports stadiums, festivals, music premises, hotels, pubs, clubs, bars, retail stores, shopping centres, markets, places of worship (PoW), and transport hubs (this list is not exhaustive). As such, the provisions of the Bill will impact a wide range of sectors, including but not limited to:

  • Security industry.
  • Retail.
  • Charitable and civil society.
  • Visitor attractions.
  • Events.
  • Sports.
  • Hospitality.
  • Faith Groups.
  • Entertainment.
  • Small and medium enterprises.
  • Education.
  • Health.
  • Transport.

In addition, there is the potential for other premises to be within scope including charitable premises, Government and local authority buildings, hospitals, police stations, and courts.


When did it change?

Allowing for a period of time between Royal Assent and commencement of the legislation will be necessary to allow responsible persons time to prepare. The likely commencement for this legislation is set for 2025 (the working assumption at time of writing).


What does it mean?

The Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill will aim to help keep people safe and enhance national security by ensuring preparedness for, and protection from, terrorist attacks. Proportionate new security requirements will be introduced for certain public venues and locations.

Qualifying premises/events

A person responsible for qualifying public premises or a qualifying public event will be subject to the terrorism protection requirements set out in the Bill. A person is responsible for a qualifying public premises if the person has control of the premises or event, both of which must be accessible to the public as described in the Bill. Premises are included by reference to their use and both events and premises must have the minimum capacities specified. Qualifying public premises may be located within other premises, such as a retail store within a shopping centre.

The requirements will not apply to premises (or parts thereof) that are used as private dwellings or offices.

Qualifying public premises may be either standard duty premises or enhanced duty premises. Enhanced duty premises are those with a public capacity of 800 individuals or more. Standard duty premises are those with a capacity of 100 to 799 individuals. The Bill allows for provision to be made for some premises to be treated as standard duty premises when they would otherwise be enhanced duty premises, and vice versa.

The requirements which will apply to enhanced duty premises will also apply to qualifying public events. These are public events held at premises that are not qualifying public premises with a capacity of 800 or over, where express permission is required to enter for the purpose of attending the event (with or without payment).

The public capacity of premises and events will be determined in accordance with regulations made by the Secretary of State. Such regulations might require some types of premises to determine their capacity differently from others.


Persons responsible for standard duty premises will be required to undertake what are intended to be low-cost activities which seek to improve protective security and preparedness. They will be required to ensure that relevant workers are given appropriate terrorism protection training. It is expected that they will be able to utilise free terrorism protection training materials to educate relevant personnel on the threat posed by terrorism, and the actions personnel should undertake in response.

Persons responsible for standard duty premises will also be required to undertake a standard terrorism evaluation in which they consider how best to respond in the event of a terrorist event, e.g. procedures to evacuate their premises.

Persons responsible for enhanced duty premises or qualifying public events will also be required to ensure that terrorism protection training is provided to relevant workers at their premises. In addition, they must appoint an individual as the designated senior officer for the premises or event and must complete and regularly review their terrorism risk assessment. In completing this assessment, they will consider the types of terrorist act most likely to occur at or around their premises or event and the ‘reasonably practicable’ measures that might be expected to reduce the risk of such an act occurring, or the risk of physical harm to individuals as a result of such an act.

Persons responsible for enhanced duty premises or a qualifying public event must implement reasonably practicable security measures to reduce the risk of, and harm caused by, terrorist acts occurring at or near the premises or event. Measures must include, for example, those relating to monitoring the premises and vicinity and procedures to be followed in the event of an attack.

Persons responsible for enhanced duty premises or a qualifying public event must keep and maintain a security plan, which must also be provided to the regulator. The security plan documents, amongst other things, information about the premises or event, the persons responsible for the premises or event, and information arising out of compliance with the other requirements.

Other persons who to some extent have control over premises – whether qualifying public premises or those at a which a qualifying public event is to be held – will be under a duty to co-operate with the person responsible for the premises or event under the Bill insofar as it relates to a matter within that other person’s control. For example, the person responsible for a store within a shopping centre must comply with the operator of the shopping centre as necessary for the operator to fulfil their duties under the Bill.

Persons responsible for both standard and enhanced duty premises will also be responsible for ensuring premises are registered with the regulator. Persons responsible for qualifying public events will be required to give notice of the event to the regulator.


‘The Regulator’ means:

  • A public authority prescribed as the regulator in regulations made by the Secretary of State.
  • If no public authority is prescribed, the Secretary of State.

It is anticipated that the regulator will primarily provide a guidance function for businesses. However, in the event of non-compliance, the regulator will have a range of sanctions to quickly address non-compliance and impose penalties where appropriate.

The regulator will also be equipped with a set of inspection powers (see Schedule 2) which will ensure that investigations into compliance at qualifying public premises and qualifying public events can take place. The Bill seeks to ensure that inspection activity is not hindered by obstruction or non-compliance with an inspector exercising their powers lawfully.


What’s changed?

Whilst there are already in existence legal requirements that could involve the consideration of the risks of terrorist attacks in relation to some buildings, there is no existing legal obligation to consider the risk of a terrorist attack occurring, and the harm that might arise if one did, across the range of premises to which this Bill will apply.

The creation of a new, statutory “Protect Duty” was a recommendation resulting from the public inquiry into the deaths of 22 victims at Manchester Arena on 22nd May 2017.

The Bill does not amend, repeal or otherwise touch upon existing legal regimes (apart from the provisions at clause 38 and Schedule 3 (Licensing of premises at heightened terrorism risk) which amend the Licensing Act 2003.


Please click on the url below for the full document:

Terrorism, protection of premises, draft bill


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