Martyn’s Law software key features

Martyn’s Law software key features should help risk managers address the requirements of draft UK legislation “Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill”. It may also be known as Protect Duty software or terrorism software and it should meet five key requirements.

Martyn’s Law requirement

Martyn’s Law software key feature should address the five main requirements of the legislation:

  1. Risk assessments to identify potential vulnerabilities to terrorist attacks.
  2. Security plans to prevent, handle, and respond to terrorist threats and incidents. These will be informed by the risk assessments.
  3. Terrorism protection training to ensure staff learn security procedures and know how to respond to terrorist threats and incidents.
  4. Public awareness and communication to ensure the public are aware of risks. This may include clear communication strategies during an incident.
  5. Collaboration with venue operators, local authorities, emergency services, and the government.

More than one solution may be necessary but overall Martyn’s Law software key features should meet all these requirements.


1. Risk assessment requirement

The legislation states that if any premises or event has a public capacity of 100 to 799, only a standard risk assessment, otherwise known as a “standard terrorism evaluation”, is necessary,

This should address the types of terrorism most likely to occur at or in the immediate vicinity of premises-

  • measures to reduce risk of acts of terrorism occurring at or near premises;
  • measures to reduce risk of physical harm to individuals at or in immediate vicinity;
  • procedures to follow if act did occur at or in immediate vicinity;
  • ways people working at premises will be made aware of the evaluation (relevant to their individual responsibility in those premises).

However, If the premises or event has a public capacity of 800 or more then the requirement is an “enhanced terrorism risk assessment.” This would cover:-

  • types of acts of terrorism most likely at or in immediate vicinity of event or premises;
  • reasonably practical measures to reduce risk of terrorism at or in immediate vicinity of premises or event;
  • assessment must consider size and other characteristics of premises or event;
  • existing measures in place;
  • current use of premises and any further uses for the premises;
  • if event, kind of event.

Our advanced terrorism risk assessment article looks at these requirements in more detail and, if you’re not sure what this involves learn how to write a security risk assessment.

Risk assessments by software

As this video shows, it’s inexpensive and easy to use Microsoft Excel for a standard risk assessment. However, a bespoke solution will likely better fit the enhanced terrorism risk assessment. On a most basic level, a Martyn’s Law software key feature is to record risk assessments by a competent person. However, additional features likely include:

  • A dynamic, live monitor for threats, likelihood of occurrence and impact.
  • A dynamic, live monitor for status of security measures.

Business case for software

Because software can monitor both threats and security measures in real-time, it should bring to life the periodic risk assessment. As such, there is a good business case for it to address the enhanced terrorism risk assessment requirement.

Map Protest in London June 21 to June 2022 by SIRVProtests often involve large groups of people, a favourable place for a terrorist attack. SIRV’s Situation Awareness software monitors protests in real-time.

2. Security plan requirement

A security plan should include and be linked to the risk assessment. Typically it is written and then reviewed every year and, after any significant security incident. For example, a major theft from premises. It should include:

  • Security policies and procedures to address various security concerns. Such as, access control, visitor management, handling of confidential information, response to security incidents, and emergency procedures.
  • Physical security measures such as locks, fencing, security cameras, lighting, alarm systems
  • Cybersecurity measures to protect against cyber threats, including firewalls, anti-virus software, secure networks, and data protection protocols
  • Access control measures to control who can access the facility
  • Emergency response and evacuation plans to respond to different types of emergencies (fire, natural disasters, active shooter scenarios, etc.)
  • Staff training and awareness records and content for employees and visitors
  • Incident response and recovery plans to respond to security incidents
  • Communication plan for internal and external communication during a security incident
  • Regular reviews and update schedule for the security plan
  • Demonstration of compliance with laws and regulations

Security plans by Martyn’s law software

Martyns Law software should form a repository for the security plan. In addition, because it is linked to the dynamic risk assessment, it should also provide decision support to risk managers on matters such as:

  • Which procedures to follow or incident plans to review in the event of an incident or threat
  • Status of security measures and contingencies
  • Schedule of security training
  • Audit trail to demonstrate compliance with laws and regulations

Martyn’s Law software key features?

If the security plan is integrated with a dynamic risk assessment then the business case for software is strong. Together, they should bring a significant improvement in security management, compliance and decision making.

Martyns Law Software for security plans

SIRV’s Situation Awareness software brings to life security plans with a protocol trigger driven by threat type and distance from asset.

3. Terrorism protection training requirement

Regardless of capacity, if Martyn’s Law applies to your place, venue or area, terrorism protection training is a requirement. Because the legislation is still in draft form, the training content is not yet confirmed. But, it’s likely to include:

  • Terrorism awareness
  • Suspicious activity recognition
  • Emergency response procedure
  • First Aid and trauma response
  • Communication protocols
  • Use of security equipment
  • De-escalation techniques
  • Legal and compliance aspects

Terrorism protection training by Martyns Law software

We can Specify Martyn’s Law Protect software to help risk manages plan and deliver training with features such as:

  • Training matrix schedule
  • Desktop scenario and simulations
  • Decision support tools, such as decision trees (see image right).

Will software help?

Sophisticated virtual reality simulations represent one way software can help with terrorism protection training. However, although they promise a more realistic experience, there’s little evidence they’re more successful than standard desktop training exercises and, they are often expensive. As a result, we expect a software business case to focus on the management of a training matrix and decision support tools.

Terrorism protection training decision tree on mobile phone by SIRV

SIRV procedures feature feature provides training and guidance for terrorism protection training.

4. Public awareness and communication requirement

Public Awareness and communication is a critical component of a security plan. It should ensure staff, the public, visitors, and potentially the wider community, are aware of the risks of terrorism and the measures in place to mitigate these risks. As a result, Martyn’s Law is likely to require a three phase approach:

1. Communication before an incident

  • Public awareness: For example, signs about safe escape routes.
  • Security culture promotion: For example, encourage the public to report suspicious activity (read about how 2017 Manchester Arena bombing attacker was challenged).
  • Broadcast information: For example, use various channels like social media, websites and brochures

2. Communication during an incident

  • Clear and timely Information: For example, prompt messages about type of incident with regular updates.
  • Use multiple channels such as, social media, text alerts and public address systems
  • Coordination with authorities such as emergency services and local council

3. Communication after an incident

  • Update the public about the situation, areas to avoid and when it is safe to return to normal activities.
  • Support and resources available such as counselling or assistance centres.
  • Feedback and learning with the public to gather feedback on the effectiveness of the communication and the overall response.

Martyn’s Law wants to encourage public awareness and communication between partners, namely venue/area operators, security personnel and the public.  

Public awareness and communication by Martyn’s Law software

One of Martyn’s Law software key features should include communication because it will give:

  • Communication across digital media such as, public display screens, websites and social media
  • Multi-modal emergency messages
  • Decision logs to review post event

Is software suitable?

Software can scale easily, across multiple modes and update instantly. As a result, there’s a strong business case for the use of software to help with public awareness and communication.

For a full explanation on mass communication and the four below modes check out our article on mass communication systems and Martyns Law.

5. Collaboration requirement

Collaboration for Martyn’s Law means to build a network of stakeholders who work together to enhance safety and preparedness. As a result, a better response to threats is possible. The stakeholders are likely to include:-

  • venue operators and security teams;
  • local police and emergency services;
  • government agencies;
  • community groups and
  • industry partners.

It’s expected these stakeholders will share information, perform joint exercises, share resources, develop policy/strategy and educate the public.

Collaboration by Martyn’s Law software

Software will support risk managers most with communication among collaborating stakeholders. For example, look for these features:

  • Shared mobile chat
  • Video calls
  • Visualisations

A place for software?

We expect Martyn’s software key features to include collaboration. Because software will give real-time information, across multiple modes, collaboration will be far easier and effective. Moreover, these solutions should not be prohibitively expensive.

As part of our Situation Awareness solution we have developed a decision log and visualisation to meet this need.

Martyns law collaboration solution By SIRV


Performance & access

Key to the success of any software is its performance. Specify Martyn’s Law Protect software to have an interface easy enough for a novice to navigate its key features. Also, given the importance of the subject matter, it should provide:

  • Regular refresh rates
  • Five nines up time (99.999%)

Ideally, access should be accross across mobile and desktop applications, with some features available offline in the mobile application.

Conclusion: Martyn’s Law software key features

We consider it clear there’s a good business case for risk managers to specify Martyn’s Law Protect software. Of course, this may involve many software applications, from closely defined solutions such as SIRV, to everyday products such as Zoom. In either case, Martyn’s Law will be more effective and easier to adopt with technology at its heart.

Does Martyns Law apply to you?

Martyn’s law applies to public premises with a public capacity of 100 or more. For example, shops, night clubs, hotels, and universities to name but a few. It also applies to ‘qualifying events’; spaces that aren’t public premises but are used to access events. For example, a queue between a railway station and a public premises. Find out more about places Martyns Law applies to here.

Terrorist threat attack types

The Protect UK website highlights the six most likely terrorist threat attack types:

  1. Marauding attacker (carrying a firearm, blade or other weapon)
  2. Vehicle as a weapon (primarily road vehicles but could be rail, shipping, aircraft such as drones)
  3. Improvised Explosive Devices (which can be carried, placed, posted, vehicle borne)
  4. Fire as a weapon
  5. Chemical, biological or radiological attacks (poisoning or other harm by chemical, biological or radiological means)
  6. Cyber-attack (when used to harm people, through controlling or disabling equipment or other devices and endangering safety).