If you rent out your property or part of it, you may be allowing extremists to have a platform to spread messages of hate and division. To avoid this, when you have concerns regarding a possible booking we recommend following this guidance.
Responsible event booking guidance
The current threat from international terrorism in the UK, as highlighted by MI5 Security Service on 4 November 2019, is classed as substantial which means an attack is likely. This judgement is dynamic and so threat levels increase and decrease in regards to available intelligence, terrorist intentions and possible timescales. Prior to been recently downgraded the threat has been at a severe or critical levels since August 2014.
Groups that can be responsible for terrorist activities are diverse including extreme far-right, extreme left wing, ISIS and Al-Qaeda inspired terrorism, to name a few. All of these groups share a commonality that they share a desire to bring about Political change through the use of violence, intimidation and criminality, rather than through acts of legitimate activism.
Between the years 2017 and 2019 groups such as those named above have plotted a number of attacks and the police and security intelligence services have foiled a total of 22 plots. Nevertheless, the police and security intelligence services recognise that they will not be able to stop every attack especially as more terrorist are acting as 'lone actors' and are moving away from complex terrorist methods and toward simple methods that can be developed with ease and at speed.
How can you help to fight terrorism?
Asking how you can help to fight terrorism can seem like a rather strange question. After all terrorism, at least how we often see it, is in the act of terror itself, with images of 9-11 or the Christchurch terror attack coming to mind-events that appear random and unstoppable. Nevertheless, well before these acts take place, terrorism has its roots in all of our communities and often starts with the exploitation of vulnerable individuals and the spreading of propaganda.
Considering this, and your role of providing a venue for meetings and events, it is always prudent to consider the purpose of events/meetings and whether they could lead to issues around radicalisation and terrorism. In following the guidance and method shown below it is the hoped that not only can we safeguard the reputation of your organisation but we can prevent vulnerable people being exploited and prevent possible terror attacks.
About this guidance
This guidance is designed to be a practical guide to support you in your role as facilities manager (or similar) when taking bookings for events and assessing whether there are any associated risks that would need to be identified and managed before you confirm an event booking at your venue. The principles of the guidance can also be applied to other decision making processes such as those for commissioning and contracting services to third party organisations or groups.
The decision with regards to who at your venue should complete this guidance document is your responsibility.
The guidance can be completed electronically or on paper.
This guidance will not apply to all events but provides a helpful start to doing something if you have concerns or are unsure about a group or individuals' wishing to use your venue - your judgement on such events is important.
The decision with regards to when to complete this guidance document is your responsibility. We advise that if you take the decision to complete the guidance document the booking is not confirmed until you have reached a decision based on your findings.
This guidance document should be used alongside your existing policies and procedures for booking events and speakers.
You may not have all the information required to complete the booking guidance when you first receive a request to use your venue and you may need to contact the requestor for further information. Should you receive requests to use your venue at short notice and wish to discuss any issues/concerns you may have, please refer to the key contacts listed at the end of this document.
The decisions regarding whether to accept a booking and take any further action is your responsibility. In order to allow fair and transparent decision making, basic information should be obtained and considered when booking events.
Not all these things will apply to all events and it will become apparent very quickly that many events will not cause any concerns whatsoever.
This guidance has been broken down into four key areas for you to consider when reserving and booking an event at your venue:
- Booking an event - Who wants to use your venue? (Section 1 of the template form below)
- Wider considerations and research (Section 2 of the template form below)
- Decision making
- Useful contacts
- It is important to document your decision making and communicate this clearly
- Ensure that you store any information in line with your venues' records management policy and your data protection arrangements
- Make it clear that you reserve the right to refuse or cancel any booking, particularly where groups or individuals are dishonest with the information they provide
- Ensure that the event is in line with the Community Values referred to in this guidance
- Where an event is to proceed, consider additional conditions to ensure it is managed correctly and make it clear that breaching these conditions could lead to the cancellation of the event
- Such conditions could include:
- Making an event open to the public
- Mandatory attendance of persons who can provide an alternative voice to ensure fair debate
- Giving guidelines regarding language or topics that will not be tolerated
- Insisting upon an independent chair person or observer
- Restricting the sale of alcohol or other products
- Asking speakers to provide copies of presentations in advance and agree not to deviate from this
- Restricting what banners, placards, leaflets, electronic materials, etc are allowed at the event
- Insisting that the event is recorded in case of future complaint
For further advice, contact:
Community Safety Team - e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Counter Terrorism North West
Darren Howarth - email email@example.com or call 0161-856-6362.
Greater Manchester Police
Please log onto Greater Manchester Police and use the 'Find your local police' tab to find your local police phone and e-mail contact details. Alternatively ring GMP on their non-emergency number 101.
To report a Hate Crime - TruVision
You can report hate crime by:
- Calling Greater Manchester Police on 101
- Reporting online via the True Vision website Report it - Online Hate Crime Reporting (this can be done anonymously)
- If it is an emergency, calling the police on 999