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Publicly Accessible Locations

NPSA has a range of protective security guidance products for those working in and around Publicly Accessible Locations (PALs)

Last Updated 08 March 2023

What is a publicly accessible location?

In the Protect Duty Consultation Response, the Home Office defines Publicly Accessible Locations (PALs) as any place to which the public or any section of the public has access, on payment or otherwise, as of right or by virtue of express or implied permission. For clarity, public places/venues are permanent buildings (e.g. entertainment and sports venues) or temporary event locations (such as outdoor festivals) where there is a defined boundary and open access to the public. Public spaces are open public locations which usually have no clear boundaries or well-defined entrances / exit points (e.g. city centre squares, bridges or busy thoroughfares, parks, and beaches).

NPSA’s remit covers a variety of sectors and audiences and we work with many partners, including the Home Office and Counter-Terrorism Policing, and our expertise underpins much of the content on ProtectUK

Our guidance products should assist those responsible for security at Publicly Accessible Locations with complying with the Protect Duty. They cover a wealth of topics, many of which are of relevant to the protection of PALs. The following is a selection of the most relevant:

It is important to note that every site, venue or event is different, so mitigations identified as proportionate and suitable for one may not be for another. 

It is also important to recognise that terrorism is just one of many security and safety threats and risks that need to be managed, and it is important to ensure any counter terrorism measures identified and implemented complement (rather than conflict with) other security and safety measures.

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