Manchester

Manchester attack: Martyn Hett's mum in venue security call

Figen Murray
Image caption Figen Murray's son Martyn Hett was among the 22 people killed in the suicide bombing

The mother of one of the victims of the Manchester Arena attack has called for tougher security regulations at theatres and cinemas.

Figen Murray, whose son Martyn Hett was among the 22 people killed in the suicide bombing, has started a petition demanding more rigorous checks.

Since the May 2017 attack, backpacks and large bags are banned from large concert venues such as the Arena.

There is no legislation requiring security checks at all public venues.

Ms Murray said smaller entertainment venues such as cinemas and theatres need to recognise that "security is an issue".

"I think when you go and pay a lot of money for shows and cinema tickets, the very least these organisations can do is to ensure your safety," Ms Murray continued.

"Security and a simple bag-check or metal detectors is not too much, but it reassures the public.

"Times have changed and we need to go with the times, and security is an issue."

Martyn's Law

Ms Murray said the issue came to her attention at a theatre event in Greater Manchester where her bag was not checked.

She said: "Every time the door opened, I was hyper-vigilant.

"Of course that's me being traumatised through my son dying, but irrespective of that there was a point during the concert where I cried.

I had a tear because, I thought, this is the reason why Martyn died."

The Ambassador Theatre Group, which owns The Palace and Opera House in Manchester and the Empire in Liverpool, said it did operate bag searches as standard.

Blackpool Grand Theatre said it does not carry out routine searches, but has done in the past and if the threat level was high enough would do so again.

Ms Murray said she would like any new legislation, if passed, to be called Martyn's Law.

She is hoping to get 100,000 signatures to have her petition discussed in parliament.

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