The East of England Arena and Events Centre has appointed a new head of safety and security for the venue, timed to coincide with the announcement by the government of the implementation of Protect Duty.

Managing director, Lee Sharp, explains, ”The issue of venue security in the face of possible acts of terrorism was brought sharply into focus by the events at Manchester Arena in 2017. While there is no obligation to implement recommendations, we believe the implementation of Protect Duty legislation, known as Martyn’s Law, which is set to come into force in 2022, will provide a consistent standard across all event venues. We are committed to supporting all aspects of Martyn’s Law to ensure that all visitors, customers, contractors and staff at our many events can be assured of the highest standards of safety and security.”

“To ensure that we do this efficiently and effectively I am delighted to announce the appointment of Mark Smallwood to the post of head of safety and security. Mark’s role will be to review and develop all aspects of safety and security at the venue, with particular regard to the findings of the government’s consultation and any legislation that may follow,” added Sharp.

Mark Smallwood, head of safety and security, commented, “Whilst there is currently no legislative requirement for organisations or venues to consider or employ security measures at the vast majority of public places the 2,755 responses received by the government, from a variety of organisations, sectors and campaigners, the majority supported the government’s proposals to introduce stronger measures, including a legal requirement for some public places to ensure preparedness for and protection from terrorist attacks. Here at the East of England Arena, we will implement any recommendations and legislation required, those people visiting and working at our venue will remain a priority.”

The Protect Duty has been championed by victims’ groups, including the Martyn’s Law campaign, which was established by Figen Murray following the loss of her son, Martyn, in the Manchester Arena attack in 2017.