Tag Archives: Regulation

London security directors prosecuted at Thames Magistrates’ Court

Three London security company directors have been fined and given a criminal record for failing to disclose information to the Security Industry Authority (SIA). The prosecution is part of an ongoing investigation into the use of fraudulent SIA licences.

On Monday 8 March, two former company directors – namely Damien Burrell and Omar Nelson – were sentenced at Thames Magistrates’ Court. In a previous hearing on 17 July last year, both pleaded guilty to failing to provide information to the SIA. This is an infringement of the Private Security Industry Act 2001.

Burrell, the former director of Pro-Active Event Staffing Ltd, was fined £233 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £1,323.50, plus a victim surcharge of £32 within 28 days.

Nelson, formerly the director of No.1 Security Ltd, was sentenced in his absence. He was also fined £233 and required to pay prosecution costs of £1,323.50 within 28 days, in addition to a victim surcharge of £32.

The third security director, Shahbaz Ahmed of HAR Services Ltd, also pleaded guilty to the same charge at Thames Magistrates’ Court on 22 October 2020. SIA investigators made repeated requests for information to Ahmed, but he failed to engage with the regulator. Ahmed was fined £80 and also required to pay court costs of £100.

Fraudulent licence

SIA investigators found that these three security companies were sub-contracted to supply a security officer who attempted to use a fraudulent licence. These included Burrell’s company Pro-Active Event Staffing Ltd, Nelson’s company No.1 Security Ltd, and Ahmed’s business HAR Services Ltd.

SIA investigators pursued the directors in the wake of receiving a query from the client of an SIA Approved Contractor. After initially ignoring the SIA’s requests for information, Burrell and Nelson eventually provided information to SIA investigators.

On 23 March 2019, an HAR Services Ltd employee arrived at a student accommodation centre in London to start his shift. He presented an altered SIA Security Guarding licence. During routine induction checks, an employee noticed that the licence had been tampered with. The man fled the premises and this was duly reported to the SIA.

Due diligence

Nathan Salmon, criminal investigations manager at the SIA, said: “Nelson, Burrell and Ahmed did not carry out adequate due diligence of licensed security and, as a result, betrayed the trust of their client to whom they were contracted for the protection of London students. They have been prosecuted for failing to engage with the SIA. They thought that ignoring us would mean they would face no consequences. The reality is that it’s against the law to ignore a legal request for information. These three men now have criminal records and will not be able to work in the industry in the future.”

Salmon concluded: “The use of fraudulent SIA licences is completely unacceptable. I would encourage anyone who has concerns over such matters to report them to the SIA such that we can then investigate.”

The SIA’s investigations into the use of fraudulent licences continues.

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SSAIB named as sponsor for 2021 ACS Pacesetters Security Officer of Distinction Awards

The Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board (SSAIB) has been named as one of the sponsors for this year’s ACS Pacesetters Security Officer of Distinction Awards.

The 2021 ceremony will take place on Wednesday 16 June and marks the seventh occasion that the exceptional actions of on-duty front line security personnel have been celebrated at this annual event.

The SSAIB joins other five sponsors – namely Centralus, the First Response Group, Orka Works, Security & Vetting Solutions and TrackTik – in supporting the event. The organisation will also put its name to two Security Officer of Distinction Awards which will be bestowed upon officers who’ve gone ‘above and beyond’ for both their employer and the client to whom they’re contracted.

SSAIB CEO Alex Carmichael commented: “We’re thrilled to be able to lend our support to the 2021 ACS Pacesetters Security Officer of Distinction Awards. We’re one of the UKAS-accredited certification bodies working with the Security Industry Authority’s Approved Contractor Scheme. That being so, we see first-hand the outstanding work that security services personnel do on a day-to-day basis. It’s great that an awards event such as this exists in order to give them industry recognition and reward them for their exceptional efforts.”

*Nominations for the 2021 ACS Pacesetters Security Officer of Distinction Awards can be made up until the closing date of Friday 26 March. A copy of the nomination form can be downloaded from the ACS Pacesetters’ website

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Door supervisor handed suspended sentence in wake of SIA investigation

On Monday 11 January, Muyiwa John Adegbola, a door supervisor based in Manchester, pleaded guilty to fraud after allowing his brother-in-law to use his Security Industry Authority (SIA) licence card. He was sentenced at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court to 32 weeks’ imprisonment, suspended for 12 months. The SIA also prosecuted Adegbola for failing to provide information as part of its investigation.

On 7 June 2019, when SIA investigators were carrying out licensing checks with officers from the Cheshire Constabulary, they visited the Revolution Bar in Wilmslow and found a door supervisor who had an SIA licence bearing the name M Adegbola. However, when the male was asked to confirm his address as part of the checks, he was unsure of those details. When questioned further, he admitted that he was not Adegbola, but his brother-in-law.

SIA investigators seized the SIA licence card. Further enquiries revealed that Adegbola was employed as a door supervisor, but claimed to have lost his SIA licence at some point during Christmas 2018. He was sent a replacement, which was the licence his brother-in-law used in June 2019. Having discovered that Adegbola had provided his SIA licence to another individual, the SIA suspended it on 12 June 2019.

One week later, Adegbola contacted the SIA to dispute the suspension of his licence. He claimed to have lost his wallet with his SIA licence inside it and had reported this to the police. He also stated that he was on sick leave, implying that he could not have been working in June 2019. 

The SIA contacted Adegbola again to request further information. However, he failed to respond, which is an offence under the terms outlined in the Private Security Industry Act 2001.

Fraudulent course of action 

Nathan Salmon, criminal investigations manager at the SIA, stated: “Mr Adegbola facilitated an unlicensed person undertaking a role as a door supervisor without the required training or verification. He did this by providing his own licence and continuing to receive remuneration, which he then passed on. This is a totally inappropriate and fraudulent course of action. While Adegbola thought he could lie and not be punished, the court saw through this and we’re pleased with the end result.”

In addition to the 32 weeks’ suspended sentence, Adegbola has been ordered by the court to complete 20 days of rehabilitation activity as well as 80 days of unpaid work. He was also ordered to pay costs of £200 and a victim surcharge. Adegbola’s SIA licence has been revoked.

 The SIA is prosecuting Adegbola’s brother-in-law on a separate basis.

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Kings Secure Technologies awarded security guarding services contract by international courier Hermes

Security services and solutions provider Kings Secure Technologies has been awarded a contract by courier business Hermes for the provision of security guarding services across its entire UK property estate. 

Throughout an intensive tendering process, Kings Secure Technologies demonstrated its ability to deliver first-class security teams covering all of Hermes’ sites, in turn affording the client complete confidence in service delivery and management. As part of the mix, Kings Secure Technologies will be realising its commitment to continued innovation and improvement.

Commenting on the contract win, Carrie Eastwood (director of security personnel at Kings Secure Technologies) explained to Security Matters: “Hermes UK is an internationally-recognised company and we’re delighted to have been selected to work with them. We now look forward to building a strategic partnership with Hermes and delivering first class security services for the benefit of the company’s operations, personnel and assets.”

John Ferguson, head of loss prevention at Hermes, responded: “This contract award demonstrates that Kings Secure Technologies is continuing to strengthen its positioning the UK security services market. We’re pleased to work with a leading company that values safety and security and continually invests to protect its resources and people.”

Headquartered in West Yorkshire with satellite offices in Scotland, the Midlands, London and the South East, Kings Secure Technologies focuses on delivering cutting-edge innovative solutions that ensure a full end-to-end risk management approach for its clients. 

The company’s Technology Monitoring Centres work in tandem with the DYMENSION data and incident trend app to provide clients with round-the-clock monitoring and intelligence-led analysis and reporting, actively preventing criminal activity at myriad locations across the UK.

Disrupting child exploitation

In parallel, Kings Secure Technologies has recently joined forces with leading children’s charity Barnardo’s to help disrupt child exploitation in the city of Bradford’s night-time economy.

Child exploitation occurs where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, manipulate or otherwise deceive a child or a young person under the age of 18 into sexual or criminal activity. Offenders target children and use emotional, financial or physical power over the child in an effort to abuse them.

Given its extensive network of security officers operating across the UK, Kings Secure Technologies recognised that it could help to prevent child exploitation in Bradford and, on that basis, has linked with Barnardo’s to work the latter’s Trusted Relationship Group Work Programme.

The team from the Trusted Relationship Group Work Programme will be operating alongside Kings Secure Technologies’ security officers, initially in the West Yorkshire region, and teaching them how to look out for the signs of child exploitation, speak out on the matter and adopt a zero tolerance approach.

Kings Security Technologies’ Security Personnel division provides security guarding services on a 24/7/365 basis. Each of its security officers is Security Industry Authority-licensed and trained. They’re often the ‘eyes and ears’ on the ground, with an increased presence during the hours of darkness. It follows that developing the Kings Secure Technologies guarding team member to be fully aware of chiled exploitation is key to the company’s safeguarding efforts.

Tackling the issue

Marianne Wadsworth, who leads on the Trusted Relationship Group Work Programme for Barnardo’s, stated: “Exploitation is occurring. It’s an issue that we can all help to tackle just by opening our eyes and allowing ourselves to really see what’s happening before us and speaking up. The victims of exploitation often don’t recognise they’re being exploited so we should all know the signs to look out for and feel confident to report any concerns.”

Barnardo’s is the UK’s largest children’s charity. Established by Dr Thomas Barnardo, the charity celebrated its 150th Anniversary in 2016. Each day, the organisation works to transform the lives of the UK’s most vulnerable children and, every year, helps thousands of families to build a better future.

Last year, more than 300,000 children, young people and families were supported by Barnardo’s through upwards of 1,000 services across the UK.

The charity works with young carers, care leavers, young people at risk of child sexual exploitation, disabled young people, foster carers and adoptive parents and provides training, skills and parenting classes.

Bob Forsyth, CEO at Kings Secure Technologies, concluded: “Our partnership with Barnardo’s is an exciting development and demonstrates how, as a business working within the night-time economy, we can play an active role in safeguarding children and young people. The training provided by Trusted Relationship Group Work Programme initiates advice, support and guidance on how to spot the signs of child sexual exploitation, child criminal exploitation, county lines, modern slavery and human trafficking. It’s absolutely vital.”

*Further information on the work of Kings Secure Technologies and the breadth of services provided by the company can be found online at www.kingsltd.co.uk

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Door supervisor found guilty of working while SIA licence suspended

On Thursday 29 October at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court, door supervisor Jacqueline Taggart was found guilty of working while her Security Industry Authority (SIA) licence was suspended.

Prosecuted by South Yorkshire Police, Taggart was sentenced to 60 hours of community service to be completed within a period of 12 months. She was also required to pay court costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £85.

Sheffield-based Taggart was supplied to the Foxwood Embassy as a door supervisor by JKL Leisure and Pubs Ltd. SIA investigators and South Yorkshire Police licensing officers visited the venue and reviewed CCTV footage (and the venue’s signing-in book) on 20 March 2019. They found that Taggart had worked illegally on five occasions between 18 November 2018 and 8 March 2019. The SIA had suspended Taggart’s licence on 10 April 2018 and eventually revoked it on 8 August last year. South Yorkshire Police took the lead on this prosecution with the support of the SIA.

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Nigel Davies, the SIA’s regional criminal investigation manager for the East Region, said: “We’re pleased to have worked with our enforcement partner, namely South Yorkshire Police, to prosecute Taggart. She was clearly told that it would be illegal for her to work in the private security industry while her licence was suspended. Nonetheless, she completely ignored this warning, lied to her employers about her licence and, subsequently, put the Foxwood Embassy’s patrons at risk. Actions such as this serve to undermine the integrity of, and confidence in, the SIA’s licensing regime. Taggart now has a criminal record.”

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Poole security boss prosecuted for deception and providing unlicensed security

On Friday 23 October, John Westwood (a Poole security boss) was prosecuted at Poole Magistrates’ Court for supplying an unlicensed door supervisor to a ‘pop-up bar’ for an event at Bournemouth’s The Square on 5 August last year.

The Security Industry Authority (SIA) prosecuted both Westwood and his business, namely One 2 One Security Ltd, for deception and deploying an unlicensed door supervisor. This prosecution is the culmination of the investigation of John Westwood, One 2 One Security Ltd and the unlicensed door supervisor, Lloyd Biggs, who worked for Westwood on that night.

Westwood was fined £250 and ordered to pay costs of £350 as well as a victim surcharge of £35, all to be paid within four months. One 2 One Security Ltd will be sentenced at a hearing to be held on Wednesday 18 November.

The SIA’s investigation began when a routine licence inspection by enforcement partner Dorset Police found that Lloyd Biggs had not completed the mandatory signing-in sheet. This raised the police licensing specialist’s suspicion and he asked to see Biggs’ SIA licence. Biggs said his licence had shattered and that he had contacted the SIA to request a replacement.

However, the police officer noticed that what Biggs had appeared to be an SIA licence in an armband displayed with the picture facing inwards. The officer asked to see the licence and discovered that the name displayed was J Westwood and that the licence had expired in July 2008.

Guilty plea

Dorset Police passed this information on to the SIA and, when the regulator questioned Biggs, he said he had only worked for Westwood on that occasion. When asked about displaying John Westwood’s expired licence, Biggs said that he didn’t tell Westwood he was without an SIA licence. He claimed that Westwood told him to collect an armband to avoid suspicion. Biggs then said he had accidentally picked up an armband with Westwood’s expired licence, but could give no explanation.

Biggs appeared at Poole Magistrates’ Court on 14 March this year when he pleaded guilty to working as an unlicensed door supervisor. He received a £140 fine and was ordered to pay £150 in costs and a victim surcharge of £31. He now has a criminal record.

Nathan Salmon, the SIA’s criminal investigations manager, said: “Both John Westwood and Lloyd Biggs broke the law. They’ve been successfully prosecuted and now have criminal records. They had no credible explanation for why Biggs was wearing Westwood’s licence and thought they could lie to the SIA and the police. The evidence was clear and they were found out.”

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Company boss found guilty of supplying unlicensed security staff to school

In a prosecution brought by the Security Industry Authority (SIA), a Lancashire security company director who provided unlicensed security staff to a school has had his case referred to a higher court for sentencing.

Martin Coe, the former director of Evolution Security Services NW, was found guilty following a two-day trial held at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court on Monday 5 and Tuesday 6 October.

SIA investigators discovered that unlicensed security officers had worked for Coe on numerous occasions at Baines School in Poulton, the Wyre Light pub in Fleetwood and at the Poulton Industrial Estate.

The District Judge presiding over the trial found Coe guilty of the supply of the two unlicensed security operatives. During the trial, the SIA had called three witnesses, whom the District Judge referenced as being “professional and credible”. By contrast, the District Judge noted in her summing up that Coe’s evidence was “not credible”.

The matter was adjourned to Preston Crown Court for sentencing and to start the process of recovering assets from Coe under the Proceeds of Crime Act. Coe had pleaded guilty at a previous hearing to failing to provide information to the SIA despite being legally required to do so.

Serious matter

Nathan Salmon of the SIA’s criminal investigations team said: “Martin Coe refused to co-operate with an SIA investigation and has wasted court time by denying the charges against him. Providing unlicensed security staff to a school is a very serious matter. This is reflected in the fact that the District Judge in this trial has referred Coe’s case to a Crown Court for sentencing.”

Salmon continued: “The public rightly expects the very highest standards from those who protect them. There is reassurance that Coe will now be banned from working in the security sector. In addition, we will be pursuing the recovery of any profit he has made from his crimes.”

Neil Reddington and Gavin Macaskill had originally been found working at the Wyre Light in May 2019 by a licensing officer from Lancashire Constabulary who was following up on reports of unlicensed operatives being deployed at the venue. Both men were employed by Evolution Security.

Reddington was sentenced at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court back in February. The sentencing of Coe was due to take place at Preston Crown Court on Wednesday 4 November.

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HID Global “brings trust” to online and mobile banking in face of cyber threat

As consumers embrace the convenience of online and mobile banking at both traditional and the latest all-digital financial institutions, it has become an increasingly difficult challenge to combat cyber security threats while complying with regulatory data protection mandates. Trusted identity solutions specialist HID Global has solved those challenges for several banks as part of their digital transformation initiatives.

“Our solutions protect data and transactions while delivering a seamless experience for the consumer as well as maximum flexibility for banks,” explained Brad Jarvis, vice-president and managing director of identity and access management solutions at HID Global. “This includes the option of cloud-based authentication services that remove the complexity of providing multifactor authentication to a growing and diverse user population, while also offering the convenience and efficiency of centralised regulatory compliance audits.”

Challenging issues

As a business, HID Global is helping to address some of the most challenging of mobile banking issues. For example, a retail bank in Egypt has improved compliance and reduced fraud and operational costs thanks to an HID Trusted Transactions solution. This is pre-integrated with Temenos digital front office and core banking products.

In addition, a Swiss wealth management group is using the solution, along with the HID ActivID Authentication Server, to optimise flexibility while protecting mobile banking transactions and securing corporate data, applications and systems.

Further, two banks in Eastern Europe and the UK are using the solution for quick and easy compliance with Second Payment Services Directive (ie PSD2) regulations.

Even with financial institutions returning to (almost) normal operating hours, many believe digital banking will grow in importance as part of ensuring business continuity and supporting customers who prefer not to visit their local branch during the ongoing health crisis. According to a McKinsey & Company report, the use of digital channels has grown in Europe by up to 20% during the COVID-19 pandemic.

DigitalBanking

Adoption of digital banking

“In just a couple of months, customers’ adoption of digital banking has leapt forward by a couple of years,” suggests the document. “Our most recent customer survey showed a 10% to 20% rise in digital banking use across Europe in April. Many Italian banks are striving to enable every single one of their customers to use digital banking. Such a jump in adoption opens the door for banks to turn digital channels into real sales channels, not just convenient self-service tools.”

HID Global’s complete HID Trusted Transactions offer for end users in the banking and finance sector includes the HID Authentication platform delivered either as a server or service, plus a choice of hardware tokens or the HID Approve multi-factor authentication solution with mobile push notification capabilities and the HID Risk Management Solution – Threat and Fraud Detection.

The comprehensive offer from the business delivers risk-based adaptive authentication, threat detection and transaction signing.

*Click here for more information about HID’s advanced multi-factor authentication solutions for the banking sector

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Spring Bank Holiday security patrol team in Southend save man’s life

The Spring Bank Holiday on Monday 25 May witnessed a security patrol team from Approved Contractor Scheme-registered Stambridge Security Services save a middle-aged man who was suffering from a potentially life-threatening heart attack at Southend-on-Sea Pleasure Beach.

Security Industry Authority (SIA)-licensed door supervisors Jamie Spiers and Patrick Bourke were on patrol at the Pleasure Beach when they received a call from a colleague at around 2.00 pm stating that there was a male in distress.

It was a busy and hot day. Spiers and Bourke found the unconscious man lying on the beach fully dressed and breathing erratically. He was having a cardiac arrest. Both officers are qualified First Aid trainers and immediately called the Emergency Services who advised that they should start cardiopulmonary resuscitation (ie CPR).

Spiers started chest compressions while Bourke alerted Southend-based Stambridge Security Services’ Control Room staff to ensure that CCTV was capturing everything. The two door supervisors also took it in turns to administer rescue breaths.

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Air Ambulance on scene

Spiers said: “Thankfully we were in the right place at the right time. We took turns in helping the man to breathe because it was so tiring. It took about 15 minutes for the paramedics to arrive. We were relentless, consistent and we did not stop. When the Emergency Services arrived they took over and used a defibrillator. The Air Ambulance also came to the scene.”

Once Spiers and Bourke had handed the man over to the Emergency Services, they cordoned off the busy Pleasure Beach. As it was a Bank Holiday, the traffic was very heavy so they directed cars away from the scene to enable the Emergency Services to transport their patient to Southend Hospital.

Three days later, a security operative at Southend Hospital called Spiers such that he could chat to the man whom he and Bourke had saved. He was very thankful.

On that note, Spiers stated: “I’ve been a door supervisor for 12 years and I was born and bred in Southend. Patrick and I have worked together in crowd control and always focus on making sure we can create a safe environment. I’m just glad we could help. Who would have thought that Patrick and I would save a man’s life?”

Critical and key workers

There are upwards of 400,000 licensed security operatives in the UK and, like Spiers and Bourke, many continue to work as critical and key workers in safeguarding and protecting hospitals and sheltered accommodation, supporting social distancing in supermarkets and transacting other essential operations.

Ian Todd, CEO at the SIA, said: “It’s important to remember that many individuals in the security industry are working as critical and key workers during this emergency period. The scenario in which Jamie and Patrick were involved is testament to the fact that, despite the challenges, many operatives and businesses are going the extra mile to serve their communities.”  

The SIA is actively promoting the industry’s dedication and commitment through the #SIAHeroes campaign. The Regulator is sharing inspiring stories of security operatives who are keeping the public safe and secure at this critical time.

*Read all of the #SIAHeroes stories online here

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Euralarm opens its doors to Associate Members

Prior to organising its Extraordinary General Assembly and following a decision taken by the membership, Euralarm is now opening its doors to Associate Members. Founded back in 1970, Euralarm represents over 5,000 companies within the fire safety and security industry. Collectively, these organisations are valued at 67 billion Euros.

At present, Europe finds itself in a time of change. New technologies, digitisation, new standards and regulations are pointing towards a new era, but life safety and security for European citizens whether at home, at work or travelling throughout Europe are going to remain key considerations.

The fire safety and security industry has a vitally important role to play in keeping Europe a safe place. In relation to this, the work of Euralarm is supported by a broad representation of stakeholders caring for a safe and secure society. That support ensures that Euralarm can contribute towards a safe and secure environment.

Euralarm provides leadership for the fire safety and security industry, offering their expertise to policy-makers and standardisation bodies alike. The organisation proactively supports a European Single Market strategy for the sector. As part of that strategy, and as the only Trade Association in the sector, Euralarm has a local team operational in Brussels.

Until now, the membership of Euralarm was open to national associations and companies who want to tap into the political expertise of the organisation and understand how European Union and local policy is impacting the fire safety and security industry and its markets.

EuralarmAssociateMembership

Seeking new members

Euralarm is now calling upon stakeholders who want to contribute to the move to the next era to join the organisation. Those stakeholders include research organisations, certification bodies, associations, insurance companies and consumer organisations.

Associate membership allows companies to make personal connections with technical and political experts, share expertise on standardisation and be heard and influence standardisation and legislative processes. Stakeholders who become associate members will be kept in touch with the latest trends in regulation and technology and benefit from direct access to a repository of Euralarm documentation produced by members and the professional team resident at the Trade Association.

Associate members are also welcome to network with industry experts during the annual Euralarm Symposium in addition to other focused events.

Associate membership brings with it observer status. There are no voting rights attached or rights to chair a Euralarm Section or Euralarm Committee. Associate members have the right to participate in the activities of the Trade Association and its sections and have access to relevant section and cross-sectional information.

*Organisations interested in joining Euralarm as associate members can send their application in writing to the General Management or visit the Euralarm website at www.euralarm.org for more information

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