AEV launches Protect Duty awareness sessions for event industry associations

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The Association of Event Venues (AEV) has announced the success of its first quarterly Protect Duty awareness session for the industry on March 23, 2022, with more than 60 professionals from the organiser, venue, and supplier sectors attending the Zoom meeting. The sessions are led by Henry Havis, head of security, ExCeL London, and chair of the AEV Security Working Group.

The awareness sessions are the latest in a series of actions and initiatives from the AEV since the announcement of Protect Duty legislation on January 21, 2020, building on the work of the security working group’s previous briefings, workshops and cross-association provision of guidance on the principles and ramifications of Protect Duty.

The awareness sessions arose as a result of discussions at the Working Group, and the recognition of the need for all event businesses to understand the purpose, shape and direction of the proposed new legislation before it comes into effect.

The AEV Security Working group recognised that there was a great deal of uncertainty about the effects of the proposed new law, and a need to address misapprehensions about how onerous and costly Protect Duty may be for the event industry.

Havis was satisfied with the first AEV Protect Duty talk, saying, “We had good attendance and quickly brought delegates up to date on the events that have led to the proposed new legislation. We then gave our understanding of what the law is likely to say, based on the most current information that has come out of the public consultation and the Manchester Arena enquiry, as well as guidance from the Home Office, The National Counter Terror Security Office (NaCTSO), and other official sources.”

Havis continued, “There were concerns raised that the new law will be expensive or difficult to implement, but until the law is fully drafted, we won’t know the precise terms of Protect Duty. It’s possible to look at the direction the public discourse has taken and come to the conclusion that enhancements and mitigations, although proportionate, may have a financial impact and could change the way events are currently executed, some of which may be required quickly.”

“In our view that’s premature. The industry will need a period of time to understand the requirements and make appropriate changes. These awareness sessions will enable event industry businesses to understand how they need to respond to this legislation now, and every quarter until Protect Duty officially comes into force.”

Havis concluded, “Protect Duty is a positive change, and we need to embrace it collectively and consistently as an industry.”

The awareness sessions take the form of a concise presentation followed by an open forum for Q&A. They are scheduled for every quarter leading up to the final Protect Duty legislation that is expected to become law early next year. The next briefing is expected in June and the sessions are open to the members of AEV, the Association of Event Organisers (AEO) and the Event Supplier and Services Association (ESSA). The awareness sessions are aimed at senior personnel in security, HR and allied roles.

Adam Parry
Author: Adam Parry

Adam is the co-founder and editor of www.eventindustrynews.com Adam, a technology evangelist also organises Event Tech Live, Europe’s only show dedicated to event technology and the Event Technology Awards. Both events take place in November, London.

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