Terrorism (Protection of Premises) draft Bill – Report Summary

This is a House of Commons Committee report, with recommendations to government. The Government has two months to respond.

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Summary

The Draft Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill aims to place a duty on qualifying public premises or events to take certain steps to deter and minimise the threat and impact of terrorism to the public. The Draft Bill was developed following recommendations made as part of the inquiry into the Manchester Arena attack in 2017, one of which focussed on the introduction of a ‘Protect Duty’ on those responsible for publicly accessible venues and events, to help reduce the threat to the public from terrorist attacks. In May 2023, the Government invited the Home Affairs Select Committee to conduct pre-legislative scrutiny of the Draft Bill before it is formally introduced in Parliament later this year.

Whilst we welcome the Government’s overall intention behind the Draft Bill, we have some serious concerns about the proportionality of the Bill, especially in relation to the impact on smaller businesses, voluntary and community-run organisations in the standard tier premises, where there is a lack of evidence that the Bill will adequately reduce the threat of terrorism for smaller organisations. We also have some concerns about the unfinished provisions in the Draft Bill, the purpose of the Bill, the regulator and some of the duties required. There are a number of other areas in which we feel that the Draft Bill could be improved upon, including introducing a provision for mandatory life-saving training and statutory standards for the design of new buildings.