​“Deepening the divide”: Nighttime industry fears over proposed measures in King’s Speech

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The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) has expressed concern over newly proposed measures put forward in the King’s first speech to the UK.

On Tuesday, November 7, King Charles set out the government’s legislative agenda for the UK in 2024 in his first speech as King, which focuses on “growing the economy, strengthening society, and keeping people safe”.

The NTIA fears that new legislation could “deepen the divide” between policing and the Late Night Economy, particularly with the advancement of the Terrorism Draft Bill (Protect Duty) – also known as Martyn’s Law – which will heighten security amongst the nightlife sector.

Read this next: NTIA launches ‘Listen for Life’ campaign at the House of Commons

“The King’s Speech has ushered us into a critical moment, with Protect Duty legislation and a focus on anti-social behaviour in the spotlight,” says NTIA CEO Michael Kill. “We yearn for unconditional collaboration, not division.

“We stand ready to work hand in hand with authorities to ensure the safety and vibrancy of our city,” he says. “Our night time economy is the heartbeat of our city, a place where culture, creativity, and community come alive. I’m deeply passionate about preserving its vitality.”

While the NTIA agrees on the importance of the bill to ensure safety, fears are mounting over the “potential implications” of these measures, and whether they could become a divisive tool between policing and the nightlife industry with a crackdown on the sector.

Read this next: 35 independent nightlife businesses are lost in the UK each week, NTIA says

“Our question is whether these measures will unite us, present ill-thought-out consequential challenges or pull us apart,” Kill says. “We believe in unity. Our industry is all about open dialogue, cooperation, and shared responsibility.“

He adds: “We implore the Government, the Home Secretary, and policing authorities to see this as a chance to strengthen partnerships and let our industry thrive.”

Gemma Ross is Mixmag’s Assistant Editor, follow her on Twitter

Written by: Tim Hopkins

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