On Thursday 10th August John Craig Stern, sole director of JJS Security Services Ltd (trading as Siteguard Contracts) pled guilty at Glasgow Sheriff Court.
In June 2014, the Security Industry Authority (SIA) began enquiries into Siteguard Contracts following an inspection at a public funded construction site. The business was found to be supplying an unlicensed security guard whose right to work had expired several months earlier. This was reported to Home Office Immigration and Enforcement (HOIE).
Further enquiries also revealed that the company who gave Siteguard Contracts the security contract believed that they had given the contract to an SIA Approved Contractor Scheme (ACS) accredited supplier. This was in line with the public sector procurement policy in Scotland. However, the approved contractor had subcontracted the complete delivery of the contract to Siteguard Contracts, to a business that was not part of the ACS.
The approved contractor involved, has subsequently had its approval removed for breaching the ACS standard.
During enquires into Siteguard Contracts, partner officers from Police Scotland found a further unlicensed security guard, who was in breach of immigration requirements. The facts relating to this guard were also reported to HOIE.
Finally, in September 2014, the SIA issued Stern with a statutory requirement to provide information about the security contracts he held and the staff he used to service those contracts. He failed to provide that information or give a reasonable excuse as to why he would not and refused to meet with SIA investigations officers.
Consequently, Stern was reported by Police Scotland to the Procurator Fiscal for supplying unlicensed security operatives, a Section 5 offence under the Private Security Industry Act (PSIA). He was then charged and pleaded guilty to failing to provide information to the SIA, a Section 19 PSIA offence.
Stern received a £200 fine, and has been disqualified from holding an SIA licence and is therefore precluded from working in the industry in a licensable role.
Sharon Roberts, Investigations Manager for Scotland said
“The removal of ACS status from the business that colluded with Siteguard Contracts to circumvent public procurement policy in Scotland and deceive the customer, should act as a warning to others that the regulator will not condone such behaviour from scheme members. The penalty awarded against Mr Stern means that he can no longer operate in our industry and is an important result. Siteguard contracts had been a business of concern to us and it is no longer operating in our industry”.
Detective Inspector Kevin Jamieson of Lanarkshire Criminal Investigations Department also stated:
“This is a clear indication of why partnership working is so important to tackling serious and organised crime. We will continue to work with our partners to gather intelligence on these criminals and disrupt their activities”.
- The Security Industry Authority is the organisation responsible for regulating the private security industry in the United Kingdom, 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 Security Industry Authority or to sign up for email updates visit www.sia.homeoffice.gov.uk. The SIA is also on Facebook (Security Industry Authority) and Twitter (SIAuk).