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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.

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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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