Tragic mother’s fight to increase venue security
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