Tag Archives: Private Security Industry Act 2001

New Security Industry Authority licence-linked qualifications postponed to April 2021

The Security Industry Authority (SIA) has decided to postpone the introduction of new licence-linked qualifications until April 2021.

The SIA has spoken to industry, awarding organisations and training providers who have outlined the difficulties they face during the current pandemic.

In view of these challenges, the September 2020 launch date for the new qualifications is deemed to be unachievable.

SIASecurity

The SIA has therefore set a revised target date of April 2021 for the introduction of the new licence-linked qualifications.

The SIA is the organisation responsible for regulating the private security industry in the UK, reporting to the Home Secretary under the terms of the Private Security Industry Act 2001. The SIA’s main duties are the compulsory licensing of individuals undertaking designated activities and managing the voluntary Approved Contractor Scheme.

*For further information about the SIA or to sign up for e-mail updates visit: www.sia.homeoffice.gov.uk. The SIA is also on Facebook (Security Industry Authority), LinkedIn and Twitter (@SIAuk)

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East London security bosses sentenced for supplying unlicensed officers to Upton Park development

On Thursday 22 November, Martin Makesa (49) of Bettons Park in East London, the sole director of London Guard Security Limited, and Emily Kamau (35) from Stratford and a former company director, were sentenced at Snaresbrook Crown Court. They were found guilty of providing unlicensed security officers which is an offence under the Private Security Industry Act 2001.

Makesa and Kamau received a sentence of three months’ imprisonment (suspended for 18 months) and have been required to do 80 hours’ unpaid work. They were ordered to pay £2,000 each and disqualified from holding company directorships for five years. The pair are also required to pay a victim surcharge of £115 each.

The company, London Guard Security Limited, was ordered to pay £12,134 and now has 12 months to make the payment. This follows on from the prosecution of Makesa and Kamau by the private security industry’s regulator, the Security Industry Authority (SIA). Makesa and Kamau were found guilty on Friday 26 October following a two-week trial. Full costs were awarded by the court to the SIA.

An SIA investigation began because Makesa’s business, London Guard Security Limited, was sub-contracted to provide SIA-licensed security officers by Crystal Security Services Ltd at the redevelopment site of Upton Park, the former home of West Ham United FC. Emily Kamau was a manager of London Guard Security Limited at the time. Crystal Security Services Ltd had a contract with Barratt Homes (London), the developers of the site, to provide security while filming was taking place at the site.

Gavel2

Unlicensed and untrained operatives

Nathan Salmon, the SIA’s criminal investigations manager, commented: “The defendants in this case sought to satisfy a sub-contract by using unlicensed and, ultimately, untrained security operatives. However, this offered little protection to their customer Crystal Security Services Ltd or to the general public. This created uncertainty regarding the suitability of those operators to perform the role, and whether they had previous criminal offences and/or the right to work in the UK. In addition, the defendants sought to frustrate proceedings by making unproven allegations and providing fraudulent material during the trial. These assertions were, quite rightly, rejected by the Jury and the defendants were convicted.”

SIA investigators carried out routine checks twice on 30 August 2016. Upon arrival on the first occasion, several security officers ran from the site. It was strongly suspected that they were unlicensed. On the second visit, several security officers were found to be working on expired licences and using an invalid Licence Dispensation Notice (an SIA licensing mechanism).

A subsequent investigation found that a security officer (employed by London Guard Security Limited) had handed Mr Makesa his expired SIA licences on the understanding that he would be given employment and would be re-licensed by London Guard Security Limited. This did not occur and, instead, this individual’s personal details were used as a cover to deploy a different, unlicensed security officer to the site on multiple occasions.

Regulatory framework in place

His Honour Justice Southern said at court: “Parliament has seen the need to put in place a regulatory framework to ensure that only those who have been properly trained and assessed as competent and suitable are deployed to work as security officers. In committing these offences, you have circumvented those requirements and, in so doing, have fundamentally compromised and undermined the integrity of the regulatory framework and so deprived the public of the protection that it is designed to provide.”

His Honour Justice Southern continued: “These offences are aggravated by the way in which they were carried out in that documentation was falsified to cover up the fact that a systematic and deliberate disregard of these requirements was being pursued by you for personal financial gain. For these reasons, the offences are so serious that only a custodial sentence can be justified. Also, as in committing these offences you employed false representations as to identity and were knowingly concerned with the production of false documentary records.”

Representations were made to the judge as Mr Makesa has recently acquired a legal qualification and that a conviction would curtail his ability to practise law. With this conviction, Mr Makesa will also be unable to hold an SIA licence in the future.

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Momentum Recruitment works alongside SIA to support strategy drive on key transformation project

Momentum Recruitment is working alongside the Security Industry Authority (SIA) to support the Regulator’s recruitment strategy across a key transformation project.

The Security Industry Authority (SIA) is continually improving the services it delivers to the private security industry. As part of these improvements, the SIA is modernising its licensing systems and developing new streamlined processes for SIA licence applicants, licence holders and security businesses.

The SIA is working with Momentum Recruitment

The SIA is working with Momentum Recruitment

Those improved licensing services will be more flexible and introduce new online facilities.

Subsequently, via Momentum Security the Regulator is now interested in speaking to candidates for the following roles:

  • ICT Solution Architect
  • Senior Business Analyst
  • Business Application Analyst
  • Junior Business Analyst

For a confidential discussion on any of the above roles contact Kelvyn Pearce on (telephone) 0208 246 4222 or via e-mail at: kelvynp@momentumsecurity.co.uk

Established as a security recruitment specialist, Momentum Recruitment (www.momentumrecruit.com) works in partnership with organisations across the security industry

The Security Industry Authority is the organisation responsible for regulating the private security industry. The SIA is an independent body reporting to the Home Secretary under the Terms and Conditions of the Private Security Industry Act 2001. Its mission is to regulate the private security industry effectively, reduce criminality, raise standards and recognise quality service.

For further information visit: http://www.sia.homeoffice.gov.uk

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Security boss sentenced for deploying unlicensed security officers at luxury development

A security boss has been sentenced for providing unlicensed security officers to a prestigious housing development in Prestbury, Cheshire.

Gary Ford (42) of Westall Court, Buxton in Derbyshire pleaded guilty on 11 November to three security offences. On 17 November, Ford was sentenced at Macclesfield Magistrates Court to a 12-month community order and a requirement that he completes 300 hours of unpaid work.

Macclesfield Magistrates Court awarded the Security Industry Authority (SIA) £10,000 in costs to be paid in instalments of £100 per week.

In May 2013, SIA investigators visited the site of two discreet luxury houses in Prestbury, where Ford’s company (4D Security) provided private security. SIA investigators found an unlicensed security officer on site who had been deployed by Ford.

SIA investigators again visited the site on 24 November 2013 and found a different unlicensed security officer working on the premises. The man was not licensed to conduct security guarding activities, although he did hold an SIA CCTV licence.

By law, security operatives working under contract and all door supervisors must hold and display a valid SIA licence card

By law, security operatives working under contract and all door supervisors must hold and display a valid SIA licence card

Following the visits to Prestbury, the SIA made requests to 4D Security for information under Section 19 of the Private Security Industry Act 2001. Ford failed to respond.

Nathan Salmon, investigations manager at the Regulator, stated: “This is a positive result for the SIA, demonstrating that both unlicensed and incorrectly licensed security operatives cannot be ‘hidden’ at smaller, discreet security sites. Mr Ford’s business model paid scant regard to security regulations. The SIA twice found his operatives unlicensed in the role being undertaken.”

Salmon added: “The owners of the houses in Prestbury paid Ford to provide private security. They should have been safe in the knowledge that the individuals guarding their property were trained, qualified and held the appropriate SIA licences. Macclesfield Magistrates Court considered the expense in bringing this prosecution, which is borne by correctly licensed operatives, and this has been reflected in the costs awarded to the SIA.”

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SSAIB recruits manned services assessors ahead of business licensing

Inspection company the SSAIB – which is celebrating its 20th Anniversary as a fire, security and telecare certification body – has recruited two new manned services assessors to join the team headed by scheme manager Stephen Grieve.

The duo’s appointments come in the context of future regulation through mandatory business licensing – the most significant factor affecting the security industry since the SIA (Security Industry Authority) introduced individual licensing under the Private Security Industry Act 2001.

Andrew Osbourne

Andrew Osbourne

Andrew Osborne joins the SSAIB to cover the south of England. He brings with him an extensive and wide-ranging 40-year track record of business experience including security screening and training, Health and Safety management and risk assessments with companies such as G4S (with whom, for example, he conducted site and remote audits on static guarding, maritime, aviation, rail and events operations including employee screening, training and licensing).

Osbourne’s appointment to the team is mirrored by David Taylor’s recruitment to cover the Midlands and the north of England. Taylor has a similarly impressive industry CV dating back over 20 years and including roles as an operations, training and quality and security manager for Sigma Security. He also served as a project manager for Wilson James covering British Airways’ Heathrow headquarters, as well as being manager of security and safety services for both the Portman and Coventry Building Societies.

David Taylor

David Taylor

“Bringing on board professionals of Andrew and David’s calibre is a significant step for SSAIB as we invest in our regional manned services assessment capability in the run-up to the anticipated 2015 introduction of business licensing,” commented Stephen Grieve, “with all of the important implications involved in that process. This move also demonstrates the SSAIB’s credentials within the market as we operate for the benefit of licensing and certification customers around the UK and Ireland.”

Founded in 1994 and based in Tyne & Wear, the SSAIB also offers a range of management systems certification schemes, including ISO 9001 quality management systems certification and ISO 14001 environmental management systems certification.

Over 1,500 companies are now included on the SSAIB’s register.

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South Yorkshire security bosses sentenced for supplying unlicensed officers

On Friday 17 October 2014 at Sheffield Crown Court, two security directors were sentenced for committing 29 private security offences.

Under the company names Dragon Security Solutions and Goodfellas Nightspot Barnsley, the individuals concerned supplied unlicensed security officers to unsuspecting customers across South Yorkshire over a nine-month period. Neither of the directors held Security Industry Authority licences to work in the private security sector.

Ian Lindsay (of Market Street, Rotherham) and Martyn Cook (of Philip Avenue in Nuthall, Nottingham) had pleaded guilty to the offences at Rotherham Magistrates’ Court on 15 July this year.

Last Friday, Lindsay was sentenced to four months’ imprisonment for supplying unlicensed officers and a further four months’ imprisonment for working as an unlicensed director. Both sentences were suspended for two years. Lindsay was also disqualified as a company director for three-and-a-half years.

Cook was sentenced to two months’ imprisonment for supplying unlicensed security officers and two months’ imprisonment for working as an unlicensed director. Again, both sentences were suspended for two years. Cook was ordered to undertake 100 hours of unpaid work and has been disqualified as a company director for three-and-a-half years.

The Court set out a timetable for proceedings against the pair and the companies under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

By law, security operatives working under contract and all door supervisors must hold and display a valid SIA licence card

By law, security operatives working under contract and all door supervisors must hold and display a valid SIA licence card

Operation in respect of the regulatory framework

In sentencing Lindsay and Cook, Recorder Wilby QC said: “The purpose of the regulations is that there is a second line of security to ensure those [frontline operatives] who deal with the public are safe to do so. Following his release from prison, Mr Lindsay started providing security (through Dragon Security). It is inconceivable he could not have recognised the regulatory regime and that he needed a licence.”

Recorder Wilby QC continued: “In relation to Mr Cook, [once he became a director of Dragon Security] he cannot have been ignorant and should have made enquiries into whether he needed a licence.”

Closing the statement, Recorder Wilby QC stated: “The public are entitled to have safety and assurances that those operating such businesses are properly licensed and that they operate the company in respect of the regulatory framework.”

Security Industry Authority (SIA) investigations manager Nathan Salmon explained: “These strong sentences reflect the seriousness of the offending by these two directors. I’m pleased the Court recognises the SIA’s role in protecting the public.”

Salmon added: “Mr Lindsay has been proven to be an unsuitable individual to work within the security industry because of his serious criminal history. His disqualification as a company director now precludes him from controlling any company.”

In addition, Salmon commented: “The SIA will continue to work with its enforcement partners to ensure that any financial benefit from the offending can be identified and confiscated.”

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Security company found guilty of supplying unlicensed officers to a children’s play centre

On Monday 13 October 2014 at Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court, a Lambeth-based security company was found guilty – in the absence of its director – of two charges of supplying unlicensed security officers, one incidence of which relates to a children’s play centre in Merton.

Wilson Lugolobi, director of Ace Consult who is believed to be outside of the UK, failed to co-operate with the Security Industry Authority’s (SIA) investigation and has failed to attend court. Lugolobi’s non-appearance at court in September resulted in a bench warrant being issued for his arrest.

Ace Consult UK (of Victoria House, South Lambeth Road) supplied unlicensed security officers to a children’s play centre in Merton between May and December 2013, and to a construction site in Southwark in November last year.

On Monday of this week, the court heard the case in Lugolobi’s absence and ruled that both charges against the company had been proven. The court levied a fine of £5,500, with a victim surcharge of £120, and awarded the SIA full costs totalling £8,267.

By law, security operatives working under contract and all door supervisors must hold and display a valid SIA licence card

By law, security operatives working under contract and all door supervisors must hold and display a valid SIA licence card

The arrest warrant for Lugolobi remains in force, and he faces charges relating to his capacity as a director of a security company.

SIA investigations manager Nathan Salmon commented: “The outcome of this case demonstrates the SIA’s ongoing commitment to pursue those companies that flagrantly disregard regulation, as well as taint the otherwise healthy reputation of today’s security industry.”

Salmon added: “In this case, one of the charges was aggravated in that it involved supplying an unlicensed security officer to a leisure centre for children. I’m satisfied the court took a similarly dim view of the way in which Ace Consult put children at risk. We will now pursue Mr Lugolobi through the courts in relation to his alleged role in these offences.”

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Exeter-based security directors found guilty of offences against the Private Security Industry Act 2001

On Thursday 21 August 2014 at Exeter Magistrate’s Court, two security directors and their security company were found guilty of offences against the Private Security Industry Act 2001.

Altin Laska, 26, and Jetmir Luli, 29, ran security company Night Owl (Exeter) Security Ltd and were sub-contracted to provide security officers to energy supplier EDF.

Following an investigation by the Security Industry Authority (SIA), the directors were asked to provide information about individuals they had supplied to EDF. Both Laska and Luli failed to provide all of the information requested by the SIA.

Another individual, Ali Abdol Anvari, 50, was known by the SIA as a security director of another company, Night Owl, which is now dissolved.

Anvari was working in an advisory role for Night Owl (Exeter) Security Ltd and was deployed to work as a security officer. During the investigation Anvari admitted working without an SIA licence and to pretending to be Laska while on duty.

By law, security operatives working under contract and all door supervisors must hold and display a valid SIA licence card

By law, security operatives working under contract and all door supervisors must hold and display a valid SIA licence card

Laska (of Broad Park Road, Exmouth) was found guilty of supplying an unlicensed security operative and failing to provide information to the SIA contrary to Sections 5 and 19 of the Private Security Industry Act 2001.

Luli, of Hilary House, Exeter, was found guilty of the same offences.

Night Owl (Exeter) Security Ltd, of North Street, Exeter, was found guilty of supplying an unlicensed security operative contrary to Section 5 of the Private Security Industry Act 2001.

Anvari, of Princes Street, Exeter, was found guilty of false representation to make a gain for himself or another, which is contrary to Section 2 of the Fraud Act 2006.

Sentencing due to take place in September

In convicting Laska and Luli, the Magistrate commented that the security directors “did not take all reasonable steps or fulfil duties of company directors” in ensuring that SIA licensed staff were supplied.

Commenting on Anvari, the Magistrate stated that he had acted “dishonestly for the benefit of Night Owl and been unwilling to admit your own identity”.

All three individuals and the company will be sentenced in September.

SIA investigations manager Nathan Salmon explained: “Night Owl was closely guided by Mr Anvari. He appeared to take an active role in the direction and administration of the company. Mr Anvari had previously been a security company director and was very familiar with security industry regulation. However, the business and its directors had disregard for basic safeguards to ensure their contracts were fulfilled with SIA licensed operatives.”

Salmon added: “Laska and Luli did not demonstrate that they had serious interest in controlling their business and, in court, Laska described the legal fulfilment of their contract as “hassle”.”

In conclusion, Salmon said: “This conviction highlights that security regulation exists in order to protect the public and ensure the effectiveness of security businesses.”

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Security Industry Authority to host Business Licensing Roadshows

The Security Industry Authority (SIA) will be hosting a series of short briefings throughout the UK in October and November to explain the latest plans on the future of regulation for the private security industry.

Attending one of these events will provide representatives from security businesses with an outline of how business licensing will work under the new system: who has to be licensed, what you need to and when you need to do it.

SIA CEO Bill Butler

SIA CEO Bill Butler

The details for the 2013 Business Licensing Roadshows are as follows:

• Stoke on Trent: 10 October
• Belfast: 15 October
• Edinburgh: 17 October
• Leeds: 22 October
• Cardiff: 24 October
• Peterborough: 29 October
• Cheltenham: 5 November
• London: 14 November

These events will be free to attend. However, places are going to be limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Interested parties should book online

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Viewpoint: ‘The Licensing of Private Investigators’ (by Chris Brogan)

The Home Secretary Theresa May has finally decided that private investigators will require a licence under the Private Security Industry Act 2001 to take effect at the end of 2014.

The fine details of this proposed regulation have yet to be released, but while we’re waiting I thought I might share the following thoughts with you.

Over the years there has been a great deal of difficulty in establishing a definition of a private investigator and/or what he/she does (http://www.statewatch.org/news/2012/jul/uk-hasc-private-investigators-report.pdf). For the purposes of this article I’m suggesting it’s likely to be a non law-enforcement or public authority investigator.

Section 3 of the Private Security Industry Act addresses the offence of not having a licence when engaged in a licensable activity. “A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable, on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to a fine not exceeding Level 5 on the standard scale, or to both” (Section 3 (6) Private Security Industry Act 2001).

Now there’s nothing new in that. Any of those companies or individuals that have already had to comply with the Act will be familiar with these offences. The point that I want to address here is around ‘licensable conduct’ and what that looks like in the real world.

Chris Brogan: strong views on the licensing of private investigators

Chris Brogan: strong views on the licensing of private investigators

Section 3 (2) lists ten activities of licensable conduct. What is common throughout is that the conduct has to be in connection with a contract. If there isn’t a contractual agreement with the person/organisation that the licensable activity is being provided for then you don’t need a licence. The old chestnut of in-house security officers not being licensed readily springs to mind.

Contracts in English law

A contract in English law requires four components. There has to be an offer. Clear and unambiguous. There has to be an acceptance of that offer. Clear and unambiguous.

Consideration has to change hands. This does not mean money. Consideration is just something of value. It could be a service for a service. The contract also has to be considered legally binding between both parties.

Now consider the position of ABC plc, a large UK bank/corporation with lots of subsidiaries and/or associate companies. The investigation department is part of the head office structure and they supply investigative services to their branch offices and their subsidiary and associate companies.

These subsidiary and associate companies are separate legal entities under UK company law. (Companies Act 2006) ABC plc can sue or be sued by their subsidiary/associate companies. These individual companies, for reasons of motivation/individual corporate structure, are independent profit centres and their incomes and expenditure are reflected in their annual balance sheets. Look at any set of balance sheets of a plc company and you’re likely to see reference to balances due to and/or from subsidiary or associated companies.

I suggest that the above scenario is very familiar with any reader that has worked for a large concern. These concerns are, probably through ignorance, running risks that could have consequences of a financial, reputational and legal nature. If these risks ever mature where will the blame lie? Who owns the risk where security-related issues are concerned?

These investigative services are being supplied under contract and, as such, it’s my submission that:
• The individuals providing this service should be required to hold a licence. Section 3 (2)(b) of the Private Security Industry Act 2001.
• The directors of ABC plc – the company that’s providing these services under a contractual basis to their associate/subsidiary companies – should be licensed. Section 3 (2)(a) of the Private Security Industry Act 2001. That includes the non-executive directors whether they have a seat in the House of Lords or not.
• The mangers of these companies providing these services should be required to hold a licence. Section 3 (2)(d) of the Private Security Industry Act 2001.

Home Secretary Theresa May

Home Secretary Theresa May

Opening the floodgates of litigation

Now, if my submission is correct then the investigator who is committing a criminal offence could be prosecuted and runs the risk of not being able to obtain a licence in the future because of the negligence of his employers who owe him/her a legal Duty of Care.

I suggest that it would require only one successful case for the floodgates of litigation to open with the likes of Liberty and Big Brother Watch clamouring to offer their support. Just look at the recent press condemning the use of private investigators by local and public authorities.

This isn’t the first time that I’ve raised this argument, albeit previously in relation to security guarding. I have on nine separate occasions raised these points with the Security Industry Authority (SIA) at varying levels, all the way to the top. On the last occasion an SIA official told me that he would look in to it and would come back to me. I told him that eight of his colleagues over the years had told me that same story and they hadn’t. His forceful reply was that “he would.” That was three years ago and so far he hasn’t.

Come next year, private investigators will require a licence. Life is tough enough for them as it is. This will be the third regime to which they will have to submit control of their activities (The Office of Fair Trading – Consumer Credit Act 1974 as amended by the Consumer Credit Act 2006, the Information Commissioner’s Office – Data Protection Act 1998 and the Security Industry Authority – Private Security Industry Act 2001).

As these investigators will be competing on an un-level playing field with their in-house commercial colleagues, I suggest that they’ll have little compunction in drawing these potential illegal activities to the attention of the authorities and any other bodies whose interests may be furthered by these revelations.

How can you manage a risk if you don’t know what it is?

I hope that I’ve helped you identify some of the risks that you and your organisation may already be running. There are many more that could result from the above scenario. Risks breed risks.

It’s a well known legal maxim that the unforeseen consequences of legislation far outweigh the foreseen consequences. This doesn’t mean that we have to be unprepared.

Chris Brogan MA LLM MIBA FSyI, Partner, B&G Associates

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