Essential information for the private security industry
November 2018
This month we are inviting security operatives and businesses in Glasgow and the surrounding area to come and see us at our open day on Wednesday 5 December. We also want to let you know about the upcoming improvements to our licensing system.

In this newsletter, we clarify that a ‘Burglar who waved a knife at a terrified family worked as a steward at Brighton’s Amex stadium after nine years in prison’ has never had a SIA licence.

In our public protection section, we let you know about our national operation in Cardiff, which took place on 21 November.

This month we have prosecuted several former security directors and bosses in London, Wales and Wiltshire. Read our enforcement update to find out more about these cases.

In our licensing matters section, our ‘Explaining the licensing process’ article considers the fact that we check your identity with the passport office.

Finally, please save the date for our annual stakeholder conference coming up in March next year. Keep an eye out to see what is taking place in the private security industry.



SIA News 

Register for the Glasgow open day

We have hosted SIA open days in London, Manchester and Birmingham. On Wednesday 5 December we will be in Glasgow. On the day, we will provide one-to-one support from our experts on our licensing system, for both individuals and businesses. When you register you can book a time slot that suits you.

Representatives from our Scotland Partnerships and Interventions team will be on hand. They work with local security companies and law enforcement partners to ensure compliance.

Specialists on the Approved Contractor Scheme (ACS) and licence-linked training will also be available on the day.  There are still places available. The details are as follows:

Date:                        Wednesday 5 December 2018
Location:                  Glasgow city centre
Time:                        14:00 – 20:00
Places are limited - register on our website today

Door supervisor saves the life of a man lying on railway tracks

This article was published in the Nottingham Post about a pub doorman who was awarded a certificate of commendation for bravery by Mansfield's Mayor Kate Allsop on Tuesday 26 November.

Alex Smith, aged 27 of Mansfield received this award for rescuing a man lying on the wall of the nearby 60ft railway viaduct in August.

He said he heard from a group of men who were in the pub where he was working, that someone was laying on the viaduct edge, so he went to investigate. Mr Smith saw a man sleeping near a railway viaduct and ran over and woke him up, brought him down to safety and stayed with him until the police arrived.

Mr Smith, who is deaf and takes part in body-building in his spare time, has been working in security for eight years. The man who was found on the railway has since thanked Mr Smith and has recovered.

When asked about the award, Mr Smith said he was honoured to receive the award and explained:
"My advice to others would be if you are in certain situations where you can see someone's at risk of harm, the best thing to do would be to alert authorities and let them do their job, and stay safe yourself."
Read the full news story online

Clarification on the news story that a ‘Burglar who waved a knife at terrified family worked as a steward at Brighton’s Amex stadium after nine years in prison’

On Tuesday 28 November Sussex Newspapers published an article entitled: “Burglar who waved knife at terrified family worked as a steward at Brighton’s Amex stadium after nine years in prison.” According to the article, evidence was given to suggest that Vernon Baker held a valid SIA licence and the Judge at Lewes Crown Court was alarmed that such an individual was able to obtain a SIA licence with his record.

We would like to clarify that Vernon Baker has never held a SIA Licence and we submitted a statement stating this to Sussex Newspapers before the story was published.

Unfortunately, we were disappointed to see that the newspaper group had omitted our statement and asserted that the SIA was unavailable for comment which was untrue. This inaccuracy has the potential to mislead and dent confidence in our processes and cast a shadow on the private security industry. To resolve the matter, we are also seeking a retraction from the newspaper group.

Improvements to our Licensing System

On Sunday 2 December we will introduce a number of improvements to our licensing system. These changes will make the system easier to use and add new functionality that you’ve been asking for.

This means that our online licensing system will not be available from 02:30 to 11:40 on the morning of Sunday 2 December. You will however still be able to access the register of licence holders at that time.

What improvements are we making?
  • We are simplifying the DBS consent process for business users. Businesses will be able to answer the DBS consent questions on behalf of their linked operatives. They will not need to de-link from/re-link to operatives for whom we have no consent preference on record. Please see note below.*
  • Business users will be able to delete messages from their online account. This can be one at a time or in bulk up to a maximum of 250 messages in one go.
  • We are moving our online card payment service to GOV.UK Pay, a secure online payment service for government and public sector organisations. The page you see when you pay online will change as a result (you can see what it will look like here). There is no change if you are a business that currently pays for licences using direct debit.
  • We have fixed an error that sometimes prevented businesses from renewing multiple applications for the same individual at the same time.
*Important: From 2 December it will be a business's responsibility to ask for and record their operatives’ preferences in respect of DBS disclosures when they submit licence applications on their behalf. If operatives do not consent to us receiving the DBS result electronically and/or to the DBS sending us a copy of their criminality certificate, then businesses must record ‘no’ against the relevant consent question in their application.

Businesses may wish to explain to their operatives that selecting ‘no’ to one or both of the consent statements will delay their application, as we will have to send them a paper DBS disclosure request form for them to complete. We will not be able to proceed with their application until this has been returned to us.

Update on apprenticeships in the private security industry

Skills for Security is supporting anyone who wants to apply for, or offer, an apprenticeship in the private security industry.
HM Government introduced the apprenticeship levy in April 2017 to encourage employers to invest in apprenticeship programmes and improve the quality, profile and credibility of apprenticeship training.
Apprentices study towards a related qualification (usually one day a week) and apprenticeships take between one to five years to complete, depending on their level. Apprenticeships enable people to learn while they work alongside experienced staff, gaining job-specific skills, while earning a wage and receiving holiday pay.
Apprenticeships can start at any time and run all year around. This means that employers can take on apprentices just like any other employment candidate, or indeed retrain someone who’s already within the business, at any time.
Skills for Security has provided information, advice and guidance to employers, employees and trainers. They explain the three different apprenticeships on offer:
  • Fire, Emergency and Security Systems apprenticeship
  • Team Leader/Supervisor apprenticeship
  • Customer Service apprenticeship 
If you are interested in offering an apprenticeship, or you want to apply for one, get in touch with Skills for Security.
Find out more about Skills for Security apprenticeships
ACS News 

Round-up of our ACS events

This autumn we hosted events for approved contractors across the country, in seven locations. At these events, approved contractors heard our corporate overview, discussed the upcoming changes to the approved contractor scheme, the ACS review, our skills and qualifications review and working collaboratively.

We received comments referring to the skills and qualifications review such as:

"I feel that this will improve the opportunities for current and new security persons going forward. It appears a lot more development work being explored before a full roll out is being completed, so I look forward to the future proposals for the framework.”

A comment about working in partnership said:

"The SIA and approved contractors need to work together more. I am looking forward to seeing the plan going forward. It was very well delivered and interesting in putting forward how we propose to increase public confidence; good to hear about keeping and retaining only current relevant information."

We met more than 250 people and want to thank all those who attended for their enthusiasm, participation and for sharing their valuable insight.

Visit our website for a copy of the presentation

SIA investigations team check 93 individual licences in the Cardiff area

On Wednesday 21 November, our Partnerships and Interventions teams carried out random inspections in Cardiff, Newport and the surrounding area. On the day, 17 teams of investigators, from across the UK came together to check licences and ensure the compliance of security operatives in the South Wales area.
A total of 93 individuals were checked. These security operatives were working for 19 security companies across 39 sites and our investigators found 100% compliance.
Inspections like these are important because they enable us to test that our compliance strategy is sound. We also use these exercises as an opportunity to gather information.
Read more about our enforcement operations

Welfare and Vulnerability Engagement (WAVE) resources

Earlier this year we worked with the Metropolitan Police Service Central Licensing Team to host an event offering a ‘train-the-trainer’ package on welfare and vulnerability.

This training was aimed at people in security companies and venues who manage, supervise and train security operatives. At the event attendees learnt to use the training material, which has been developed to enable businesses to self-deliver the training to their staff. This can be incorporated to supplement existing internal training programs.

The Metropolitan Police Service Central Licensing Team has published several resources aimed at increasing the awareness of vulnerability and equipping security operatives’ to take responsibility towards the customers visiting their premises. These materials include a Welfare and Vulnerability Engagement presentation and a range of video clips.
Access the Welfare and Vulnerability Engagement resources here
Enforcement Update

East London security bosses sentenced for supplying unlicensed guards 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 guards; an offence under the Private Security Industry Act (2001).
Makesa and Kamau received a sentence of three months’ imprisonment (suspended for 18 months) and required to do 80 hours’ unpaid work. They were ordered to pay £2,000 each and they were disqualified from holding company directorships for five years. They are required to pay a victim surcharge of £115 each.
The company, London Guard Security Limited, was ordered to pay £12,134 and it has 12 months to make the payment. This follows our prosecution of Makesa and Kamau, where they were found guilty on Friday 26 October following a two-week trial. Full costs were awarded by the court.
An investigation began because Makesa’s business, London Guard Security Ltd, was sub-contracted to provide licensed security guards by Crystal Security Services Ltd at the redevelopment site of Upton Park the former home of West Ham United. Emily Kamau was a manager of London Guard Security 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.

Nathan Salmon, one of our criminal investigations managers, says:

"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."

Our investigators carried out routine checks twice on 30 August 2016. Upon arrival on the first occasion several security guards ran off from the site; it was strongly suspected that they were unlicensed. On the second visit, several security guards were found working on expired licences and using an invalid Licence Dispensation Notice.

A subsequent investigation found that a security guard (employed by London Guard) 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. This did not occur and instead this individual’s personal details were used as a cover to deploy a different, unlicensed security guard to the site on multiple occasions.

His Honour Justice Southern said at the 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 guards.”
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.
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 practice law. With this conviction Mr Makesa will also be unable to hold a licence for several years.
Read this news story on our website

Unlicensed security director from Caernarfon ordered to pay over £18,000 from proceeds of crime

On 9 November, at Caernarfon Crown Court, Mark Pursglove (52) of Llanberis Road, Caernarfon was ordered to pay over £18,000 under the Proceeds of Crime Act, for his previous convictions including working without a SIA licence.

Pursglove’s previous convictions were for providing unlicensed security operatives, giving us false information and working as an unlicensed director.

On Friday 9 November, the court heard that Pursglove is estimated to have earned over £66,000 from illegally operating a security business. The assets considered under the Proceeds of Crime Act included a family home and a Mercedes Benz.

Pursglove was ordered to pay £18,283 and the confiscation order states that he must pay the full amount within 3 months or face an 8 month prison sentence should he default on the payment.

A witness in the case, a security guard from Criccieth, North Wales, was also awarded £348.19 from Pursglove’s available assets.

Nathan Salmon, one of our criminal investigations managers, said:

"The powers we have under the Proceeds of Crime Act mean that the income anyone gains, when operating illegally in the private security industry, can be confiscated. The industry should take note of this because not only could a prosecution disqualify you from operating in the industry, any revenue from the period of working outside the law could be appropriated on top of that."

Pursglove was prosecuted twice. In February 2016, he was in court for supplying unlicensed security guards. As a result, he lost his SIA licence and was therefore no longer able to legally operate as a director of a security company.

Pursglove continued to work as a director and in September 2017 he was found guilty of working without a licence and convicted again. He was then sentenced to 4 months imprisonment suspended for 2 years and given a community order of 150 hours unpaid work, on 3 November 2017.

Nathan Salmon added:

"Ignoring our legislation and continuing to work having been prosecuted does not pay. Mark Pursglove is facing the consequences of such behaviour and he could lose his house as a result."
Read the full news story on our website

Wiltshire security boss who deceived school for 12 years by supplying unlicensed guards pleads guilty

A Wiltshire security firm boss has pled guilty to providing unlicensed security guards to a school over a period of 12 years.

Steven Renouf, who is the owner of Taghna Security Services, had supplied up to 40 unlicensed staff to the school over the course of a contract dating from 2006. In addition to deceiving his client, Renouf had dishonestly convinced his own employees that they didn’t require a licence. Renouf appeared at Swindon Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday 06 November, and pled guilty to all 23 charges against him.

Pete Easterbrook, our criminal investigations manager, said:

"Steven Renouf ran his security business with a complete disregard for the safeguards provided for by regulation. It's important to recognise that the offences Renouf committed were not ‘one-off’ or occasional, but took place over many years. During that time Renouf sought to profit whilst ignoring the best interests both of his customers and of his employees.

Apart from being a criminal offence, the supply of unlicensed operatives has a negative effect on the wider security industry. It allows unscrupulous operations to undercut legitimate businesses. It also takes employment opportunities away from correctly trained operatives who are licensed by the SIA."

Our investigators made a pre-planned inspection visit to the school on 07 February this year, and found two unlicensed security operatives at work. The school immediately cancelled Renouf’s contract.

We launched an investigation, and made formal requests for information from Taghna Security Services. The company’s responses were incomplete and included falsified invoices and other incorrect information intended to show that Renouf had been operating legally. As a result, Renouf was charged not only with failing to provide information, but also with two counts of providing false information. These charges were in addition to 20 counts of supplying unlicensed security staff.

Five of Renouf’s employees, who had all previously pled guilty to working unlawfully for Taghna Security Services as unlicensed security guards, were sentenced at Swindon Magistrates’ Court on 09 October.

Pete Easterbrook added:

"It's appropriate in this case that we not only prosecuted the owner of the security company, but also those employees who worked unlicensed. We recognise that Mr Renouf attempted to convince these operatives that a SIA licence was not required. However, this does not absolve them of responsibility and they have also rightly had to face the consequences of their actions in court."

The court ordered the following sentences:

  • Christopher Pittard received a nine month conditional discharge. He was ordered to pay £150 in costs plus a £20 victim surcharge. Pittard was formerly employed by Stephen Renouf and worked at the school while unlicensed for around five years.
  • Siobhan Renouf received a £250 fine, and was ordered to pay £300 in costs plus a £30 victim surcharge. Siobhan Renouf is the step-daughter of Stephen Renouf, and had worked at the school unlicensed since November 2017.
  • Bamba Jahateh received a six month conditional discharge, as well as an order to pay £150 in costs plus a £20 victim surcharge. Jahateh had worked at the school as an unlicensed security guard since September 2016.
  • Momodou Jaiteh received a six month conditional discharge and is required to pay £150 prosecution costs plus a £20 victim surcharge. Jaiteh worked as an unlicensed security guard at the school from November 2015.
Renouf’s case has been adjourned to 07 December, and transferred to Salisbury Crown Court for sentence and POCA (Proceeds of Crime Act) proceedings.
Find out about our completed prosecutions
Licensing Matters

Explaining the licensing process

Checking your identity with the passport office

When you apply for a SIA licence, we check your identity. We do this by looking at the information you gave us in the application form and checking it against:
  • The identity documents you are asked to provide as part of your application
  • Information held by other bodies
If you are a UK passport holder, we will check the passport details you’ve given us against the HMPO (Passport Office) database. If the information you gave us does not match with the information they hold then the check will fail. Examples of when this might happen are:
  • You have given us the number for a passport that has expired
  • The name on your passport includes a middle name that you have not given us
  • You have recently changed your name, you have applied for a licence under your new name and your passport is in your old name.
We will not tell you if you fail this check. This is because a failed HMPO check may also indicate identity fraud so we must investigate the cause of the failure.

Your application will be held at the ‘Next Steps’ stage until our investigations are completed and we have confirmed your identity. We may need you to provide further information and/or send us your identity documents in order for us to do this.

Please remember that you have a legal obligation to provide us with information that is “true and complete”. We process the information we are given in good faith and we cannot be held responsible for any delays that may be caused by you giving us incorrect or incomplete information.
Find out more on the stages of a licence application
Upcoming events

SIA stakeholder conference next year

On Thursday 14 March 2019, we will be holding our annual stakeholder conference. Please save the date as the conference will be an opportunity for private security businesses, operatives, the regulator, and members of law enforcement agencies to come together to discuss the big questions affecting the industry.

Date: Thursday 14 March 2019
Location: London, Oval cricket ground

More details to come soon

Glasgow open day

On Wednesday 5 December, we will hold an open day in Glasgow and you are invited to join us. At the event, both individuals and businesses can get one-to-one help and support from experts on our licensing system.
Date:                        Wednesday 4 December 2018
Location:                  Glasgow city centre
Time:                        14:00 – 20:00
Book your place at our Glasgow open day

Security Events Website

Find out key information about events that may be of interest to the security industry by visiting the All Security Events website.
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