Martyn's Law: Petition demanding greater security at public venues after Manchester Arena attack tops 18,000 signatures
The mother of a man who lost his life in the Manchester Arena terror attack has received the backing of thousands of people as she calls for changes in security.
The bombings at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester on May 22, 2017 killed 22 people, including five people from the North East.
They were; Chloe Rutherford, 17, and boyfriend Liam Curry, 19, from South Shields; Hartlepool-born Jane Tweddle 51; Philip Tron, 32, and his partner’s daughter Courtney Boyle, 19, from Gateshead.
Twenty-nine-year-old Martyn Hett from Manchester was among those who died - and his mother Figen Murray has made repeated calls for additional security checks at public venues to become the law.
Launched at the end of last year, Figen's petition calling for these changes has now received the backing of more than 18,000 people.
We are just days away from the second anniversary of the attacks, which falls on Wednesday (May 22).
The petition's deadline will arrive on June 17 - and ahead of this date, Figen is calling for the public's support.
At 100,000 signatures, the petition will be considered for debate in the Houses of Parliament.
Speaking on the petition's launch, Figen said: "Some places do checks, some have metal detectors, some open doors at the interval for smokers, but then anyone can walk in from the street.
"There are some good examples too, but on the whole there is a feeling of unease about lack of security."
The Government's Home Office issued a response to the petition in February this year, when 10,000 signatures were submitted.
In it, the Home Office issued reassurances that the Government is "committed to improving security at crowded places".
They said: "Every crowded place is unique, with a different geography, construction, usage, customer profile and security stance.
"The Government’s approach is to enable and support the owners and operators of crowded places to select and deploy a range of holistic and proportionate security measures that are most appropriate for their site, based on high quality advice and guidance.
"Obligating specific security measures in all circumstances could lead to those specific security measures being deployed by venues to achieve compliance, rather than selecting the measures that are most suitable to making the public and staff safer at that site."
The Home Office went on to say that the UK's Counter-Terrorism Strategy is consistently reviewed "to ensure that we can respond to the ever-changing threat that international terrorism presents".