On 15 May at Laganside Magistrates Court in Belfast, Gareth Henry was prosecuted by the Security Industry Authority (SIA) and found guilty of working without a licence.
The SIA was alerted to Henry’s behaviour last October by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI). They had received reports of Henry using excessive force at a bar on Dublin Road in Belfast. SIA investigators visited the venue where Henry worked and found that he was working without a licence.
The investigators discovered that Henry had previously held a licence, but that it had expired in 2013. He was cautioned for working without a licence in 2016 by the PSNI and in response submitted an application to the SIA, which was refused. At this point, Henry changed jobs.
In December, SIA investigators interviewed the general manager at the bar where Henry was working. Further enquiries revealed that Henry had been working at the bar for over a year. When SIA investigators interviewed Henry, he admitted to working without a licence. The SIA consequently prosecuted him.
Laganside Magistrates Court found Henry guilty. He was ordered to pay a fine of £250, fixed costs of £92 and an offender’s levy of £15
SIA criminal investigations manager Pete Easterbrook said: “The SIA exists to protect the public. Our licensing regime is designed to ensure that those individuals who may represent a risk to the public are not able to work lawfully in the security industry. The fact that this case was brought to our attention through an allegation of excessive force only serves to highlight the risk posed to the public through the use of unlicensed security operatives.”
Easterbrook concluded: “Despite having been previously cautioned for working without an SIA licence, Gareth Henry continued to work as a door supervisor and took steps to avoid being detected. This prosecution serves as a reminder that undermining the safeguards provided by regulation is entirely unacceptable. Those doing so can expect to be brought before a court.”