The Chairman of the Manchester Arena Inquiry, The Hon Sir John Saunders, has published Volume 1 of his Report into the terrorist attack which took place on 22nd May 2017. Between September and December 2020 the Inquiry heard detailed evidence about the security arrangements at the Arena and the extent to which various parties exercised their roles by virtue of different legislative, contractual or licensing requirements. Volume 1 contains the Chairman’s findings in relation to the adequacy of those arrangements.
Volume 2 of the Report will relate to the emergency response. That evidence is expected to conclude in October. The third and final volume of the Report will consider the radicalisation of the terrorist and whether there were opportunities to prevent the attack in the months prior.
At the conclusion of his first Report the Chairman acknowledged the contribution of Jeremy Phillips QC and the Institute of Licensing in assisting the Inquiry in relation to matters relating to the Licensing Act 2003. He said that they had helped considerably those participating in the Inquiry in understanding how the Act was capable of being relevant to the terms of reference of the Inquiry and how in practice Licensing Committees took the possibility of terrorist attacks into consideration when making their decisions.
In March of this year Jeremy spoke alongside a representative of the Home Office on the government’s proposed new Protect Duty, which will extent the need to guard against terrorist attacks to all spaces to which the public have access. The consultation on those provisions ends on 2 July 2021. Further conferences at which Jeremy will be speaking are planned by the Association of Security Consultants on 12 August 2021 and the Institute of Licensing at its annual conference between 17–19 November 2021.