Tragic mother’s fight to in­crease venue se­cu­rity

Manchester Evening News - - NEWS - By PAUL BRIT­TON paul.brit­[email protected] @PaulBrit­tonMEN

A CAM­PAIGN for in­creased se­cu­rity mea­sures at pub­lic venues launched by Mar­tyn Hett’s mother has been backed by the fam­i­lies of other peo­ple killed in the Manch­ester Arena ter­ror atroc­ity.

Fi­gen Mur­ray’s on­line pe­ti­tion to the gov­ern­ment, call­ing for manda­tory bag searches and metal de­tec­tors at large-scale pub­lic venues like foot­ball grounds, the­atres and con­cert venues, has now topped 7,000 sig­na­to­ries.

The gov­ern­ment must is­sue a for­mal re­sponse when the 10,000 mark is passed and if 100,000 peo­ple sign up, the is­sue would be de­bated in Par­lia­ment. Fi­gen said she wanted ‘Mar­tyn’s Law’ to pro­tect the pub­lic in mem­ory of her son.

The PR man­ager from Stock­port was 29 and lost his life in the at­tack af­ter the Ari­ana Grande con­cert in May, 2017, along­side 21 oth­ers.

She told the M.E.N., she has re­ceived sup­port from An­drew Rous­sos, the fa­ther of Saffie-Rose Rous­sos, the youngest per­son killed in the at­tack, and from the par­ents of Chloe Ruther­ford and Liam Curry, a young cou­ple from the north east who also lost their lives.

Mrs Mur­ray said: “This is not about chal­leng­ing the gov­ern­ment. We want the gov­ern­ment on board.

“I just want to thank ev­ery­one who has sup­ported us so far. The feed­back has been in­cred­i­ble.

“From the re­sponse I’ve had, it’s clear that se­cu­rity checks are very in­con­sis­tent. Some venues do have metal de­tec­tors and some do con­duct bag searches, but so many es­tab­lish­ments ap­pear to have no of­fi­cial safety pro­ce­dures in place.

“I think it’s in­cred­i­bly im­por­tant for there to be a stan­dard­i­s­a­tion across the board – it should be a le­gal re­quire­ment for venues of a cer­tain size to con­duct thor­ough checks with metal de­tec­tors and full bag searches.

“I’m de­ter­mined to go to the very top with this. We shouldn’t have to wait for an­other ter­ri­ble event to start tak­ing this se­ri­ously. It’s too late for me – I’ve lost my child – but I’m com­mit­ted to do­ing all I can to stop other fam­i­lies hav­ing to go through the night­mare that we are.”

The cam­paign comes af­ter a re­port into the ter­ror­ist at­tack by Par­lia­men­tary watch­dog the In­tel­li­gence and Se­cu­rity Com­mit­tee sug­gested counter-ter­ror­ism train­ing could be pro­vided to qual­i­fied stew­ards at venues like the Arena.

The re­port even hinted at pos­si­ble new leg­is­la­tion to force gov­ern­ment to en­gage more with the own­ers of of­ten crowded pub­lic venues over se­cu­rity.

The pe­ti­tion is at: https://pe­ti­tion. par­lia­ment.uk/pe­ti­tions/234611

Fi­gen Mur­ray and, left, son Mar­tyn Hett

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