“No government urgency” in the wake of Manchester Arena tragedy

Victims' lawyers calling out government for lack of security back in 2017

Preventable Tragedy

The UK government is getting an earful about how they’re handling security around the Manchester Arena.

The outrage comes as lawyers made closing statements for the bereaved families as the 2017 bombing inquiry continues.

Pete Weatherby QC represents seven bereaved families who lost loved ones on May 22 2017.

On that day Salman Abedi detonated a bomb in the foyer of the Manchester Arena following an Ariana Grande concert.

22 people died as a result.

Mr. Weatherby says the government’s failure to set out a timetable to change security approaches is risking “further outrages”.

At the moment there is no clear standard of protective measures with which those responsible for safety have to comply.

Mr. Weatherby said the “loss of 22 innocent lives must lead to real change without further delay”.

“To pretend the position in 2017 and now is acceptable or that systems in place were, or are, in any sense adequate is to accept that the same can be allowed to happen again,” says Weatherby.

For him, the question should be “how were their failures allowed to happen”?

Duncan Atkinson QC represents six bereaved families.

Mr. Atkinson describes the risk assessment at Manchester Arena as a “scandalous state of affairs”.

He adds that evidence showed operators SMG and the security provider Showsec “prioritised commercial concerns above security and compliance with the law”.

Mr. Atkinson goes on to say that risk assessments become a “tick box exercise” divorced from the national terrorism threat.

Both companies have already denied those claims.

Kyle Lawler, a steward with Showsec said in court that he didn’t report Abedi’s suspicious behaviour because of fears of racism.

Atkinson thinks the real reason is that neither Lawler nor Mohammed Agha actually recognized Abedi as a threat. (JSL).

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