|The SIA have been successful with a number of prosecutions;|
Door supervisor with illegal home-made ‘licence’ sentenced to curfew
Ronald Gleave, 36, of Cheyney Walk, Crewe, was sentenced at South Cheshire Magistrates’ Court on 22 September. He had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to charges of fraud and working without a licence.
The court heard that one of the investigation officers found Gleave working as a door supervisor at Crewe’s Brunswick Hotel in September 2019. He was wearing an armband displaying a piece of paper with the words ‘Door Supervisor’, a 16-digit number, and an ‘expiry date’ of 23 March 2023.
On further investigation, we discovered that Gleave had taped his home-made licence to his own genuine door supervisor’s licence, which expired on the same date in 2014. The hotel’s signing-in books showed that Gleave had worked illegally on seventeen separate occasions whilst unlicensed.
The court, who took into account Gleave’s low income, imposed a three-month nightly curfew. He must be at home from 2130 on weekdays and from 1900 at weekends. He is required to stay in his house until eight in the morning every day. He must also pay £1000 in prosecution costs.
Nathan Salmon, of our Criminal Investigation Team, said: “SIA inspections are undertaken either to test compliance or are led by intelligence we receive. Ronald Gleave took a foolish risk by making his own licence. Impersonating a properly licensed security operative is a serious offence. His fraudulent actions have proved to be both expensive, and fatal to his career in security.
The three-month restriction to his freedoms imposed by the court will undoubtedly lead him to regret his deception. The public expect all security officers to be trained and licensed in accordance with the law. We as the regulator work hard to fulfil that expectation.”
Security boss pleads guilty to supplying unlicensed security guards
A Taunton security boss was fined at Carlisle Magistrates’ Court on 30 September for deploying unlicensed security following a prosecution that we brought.
Peter Blythe, 57, of Taunton, pleaded guilty to two counts of supplying unlicensed security personnel. The SIA prosecuted Blythe, a director of PB Facilities Management Ltd. He had previously applied to the SIA for a licence but had been turned down due to his criminal record.
The court fined Blythe £1,000 and required him to pay court costs of £225 and a victim surcharge of £100. The magistrates were unimpressed by his disregard for private security industry law and said that if he had not been receiving benefits the fine would have been higher. They also fined PB Facilities Management Ltd £1,000, of which Blythe is sole director, and the company was required to pay £225 in court costs.
This case began in 2018 when Blythe recruited a security worker for a construction site at Flusco, near Penrith. CT Thomas and Sons Ltd, the groundworks operator, had been suffering theft of plant and equipment from the site.
Blythe specifically advertised for security operatives who “didn’t need to be licensed.”
A police officer from Cumbria Constabulary visited the site on 22 October 2018. Blythe introduced himself as the site’s security guard. The police visited the site again, on 28 January 2019, this time with our investigator. They interviewed the man Blythe had hired and established that he was working unlicensed as a security officer.
On 05 November 2019, our investigators interviewed Blythe under caution. He claimed that he did not realise that he needed to be licensed to perform his duties and said that he would stop immediately.
Throughout the investigation, Blythe lied to our investigators, the police, and his client by claiming that he was fit and proper to provide security.
The site manager confirmed to us that Blythe had been providing security and was appointed because he had been recommended. There was an endangered species, Great Crested Newts, on the site which Blythe was licensed to manage. Blythe eventually admitted that he was doing security work alongside his caretaker work.
Pete Easterbrook, our Head of Criminal Investigations, said:
“SIA licence holders are required to demonstrate that they are fit and proper to undertake roles which require a high degree of trust and responsibility. By virtue of his previous convictions, Peter Blyth was clearly not fit and proper and sought to undermine the purpose of regulation by not only working unlicensed himself, but also by supplying another unlicensed security operative.
As the director of a security business, Blythe should have known better, but his actions showed him to be dishonest and more concerned with putting profit before complying with the law. The outcome of this case should serve as a reminder that we will not hesitate to prosecute those who put the public at risk by supplying unlicensed security operatives.”
Accrington security boss barred from the industry
A security boss has found himself fined and barred from the industry after failing to do basic checks on his staff.
On 22 September 2020 Muhammad Islam, from Accrington, pleaded guilty to failing to check the SIA licence of his employee Sam Gould.
Islam is the security director of Spartan K9 Ltd.
It is illegal for a door supervisor to work without an SIA licence, as they work in roles that protect the public. However, Islam hired Gould without checking that he was properly licensed.
Towards the end of last year, we were investigating several cases relating to unlicensed security operatives in Accrington over the Christmas and New Year period. After receiving a tip-off, SIA investigators carried out a licensing check and found Sam Gould working without a licence at the Nag’s Head, Accrington.
The SIA discovered that Gould was working for Spartan K9, who held the security contract at the venue. Investigators made a formal request for information from Islam, but he did not respond. Islam was then invited to an interview in January 2020, at which he admitted that he failed to do due diligence and check whether Gould was licensed. He also admitted that he had no excuse for not providing the information we had asked for.
Islam pleaded guilty and the court fined him £120 for supplying an unlicensed door supervisor. He was also ordered to pay costs of £200 and a Victim Surcharge of £32.
Our Head of Criminal Investigations, Pete Easterbrook said:
“There is no excuse for not doing your due diligence. The risk taken by Islam cannot be ignored as Sam Gould was interacting with the public. Security operatives protect the public and the SIA licence gives assurance that someone is “fit and proper” and capable of protecting the public. By failing to check Gould’s licence Islam undermined this public confidence.
Although Muhammad Islam did not receive a large fine, he can no longer work in the private security industry.”