Skip to main content

Mother of Manchester Arena terror attack victim to be keynote speaker at Buckfast Abbey’s security awareness event

On Thursday 16th and Friday 17th February, Buckfast Abbey has announced it will be hosting a free Security Awareness Seminar event with acclaimed campaigner and keynote speaker, Figen Murray OBE, whose son, Martyn Hett, was one of the 22 people killed in the devastating Manchester Arena terrorist attack in 2017.

The two-day event, led by British charity, Community Security Trust (CST), will provide event organisers, businesses, front-facing staff, and volunteers with all-important guidance on security and counterterrorism for the benefit of their workforce and visitors. The event will address Martyn’s Law – the Protect Duty – which will soon impact counter-terrorism awareness and planning for Publicly Accessible Locations.

Skillfully designed by security experts to include CST, Devon & Cornwall Police, and Counter Terrorism Policing, the event has been set up to educate people on the importance of security, and how simply knowing the signs can save lives.

The two-day event will open with an important and educational talk from Figen Murray OBE. In the aftermath of the Manchester tragedy, Figen has made it her mission to promote peace and positive change in Martyn’s name and is now the force behind Martyn’s Law – the Protect Duty.

With draft legislation due in early spring 2023, Figen’s talk on day one of the event offers a valuable opportunity for organisations to understand the scope of Martyn’s Law which will be coming into effect across every corner of the UK to help tighten security at venues.

The new legislation will also require venues and local authorities to have preventative action plans against terror attacks, and undertake further measures such as training, information sharing and completing a preparedness plan to ensure better protection of the public.

Commenting on the Security Awareness Seminar, Philip Arkwright, CEO of Buckfast Abbey, said: “Having campaigned tirelessly for the new security measures of Martyn’s Law to be introduced, Figen Murray is an inspiration to us all. It is a great honour to be welcoming her to the Abbey at such a critically important time.”

Taking place at the Buckfast Abbey Conference Centre, which has recently undergone a significant refurbishment, the event will focus on a range of crucial topics including: Community Security, Personal Safety, Event Security, Conflict Management, and Hostile Reconnaissance.

Day one, taking place on Thursday 16th February from 8:45am to 4pm, will offer a stand-alone introduction to security, and an important starting point for the second day’s topics. The itinerary includes:

  • an opening talk from Detective Superintendent Craig McWhinnie, Head of Counter Terrorism Policing South West
  • a talk from keynote speaker Figen Murray OBE
  • an Introduction to Community Security and the SAFE Programme by CST
  • a discussion on Personal Safety and Security for Everyone
  • an open Q&A session, including further discussion on Online Safety

Day two, taking place on Friday 17th February from 8:45am to 4:30pm, will be relevant to those involved in the planning of security and/or events. The itinerary includes sessions on:

  • Event Security
  • Conflict Management
  • Hostile Reconnaissance
  • And a step-by-step, unfolding table-top scenario with discussions as the situation develops.

Both days will include frequent, complementary tea and coffee breaks.

For full details on the free Security Awareness Seminar taking place on Thursday 16th – Friday 17th February 2023 and to reserve your place, visit:  https://www.buckfast.org.uk/product/tickets/security-awareness-seminar. Spaces for this event are limited, so booking is strongly encouraged to avoid disappointment.

Full details on CST and its SAFE Programme, which shares security knowledge with groups that are vulnerable to violence, extremism or hate crime, can be found online at: https://cst.org.uk/about-cst/safe-security-advice-for-everyone.

For attendees coming from further afield, on-site accommodation is available at the 33-bedroom on-site Northgate House Hotel, or in Grangehurst House, a fifty-bed group accommodation block. To book direct, visit: https://www.buckfast.org.uk/accommodation    

Buckfast Abbey is conveniently located midway between Exeter and Plymouth, just off the A38. Home to a community of Benedictine monks, the Abbey offers a unique, tranquil ambience, and is open seven days a week to the public. For more information on Buckfast Abbey visit: https://www.buckfast.org.uk.