On Friday 9 June 2017 at Chester Crown Court, we successfully defended an appeal by Extreme Security Solutions Limited against a decision to refuse the company's application for Approved Contractor Scheme (ACS) status.
The company appealed to the Crown Court after their initial appeal was dismissed by South Cheshire Magistrates’ Court on 21 February 2017.
The company, based in Macclesfield, applied for the ACS in November 2015 after a similarly-named ACS company, Extreme Security Limited, went into liquidation with significant debts and owing tens of thousands of pounds to HM Revenue & Customs. Mark Longden, of Chapel-en-le-Frith, was a director of both companies.
There was another compliance issue as one of the previous directors of Extreme Security Solutions Ltd, Mark Longden’s wife Amie Longden, had been unlicensed for several months prior to obtaining an SIA licence in March 2016.
After an investigation,we also discovered that the company had been supplying an unlicensed security guard to a local college over an extended period. The guard, when interviewed by our investigators, admitted that he had been unlicensed since 2009 and had problems with alcoholism and debt.
The company's application for ACS was refused in September 2016. Their initial appeal against the decision was dismissed by South Cheshire Magistrates’ Court in February this year. New evidence produced at the Crown Court appeal also showed that the company, on its website, was incorrectly claiming to already hold ACS status.
Dismissing the company’s further appeal at Chester Crown Court, Recorder Harry Narayan stated that the deployment of an unlicensed guard to a college was a “serious lapse” by the company, given that the licensable status of the guard was “easily checkable”. He also noted that the failings took place “over a lengthy time” and “at a place where persons were entitled to be protected” and where “those in authority should be properly checked”. The fact that the company’s website claimed that it already held ACS status demonstrated that “the company is not being run as it should be”.
Extreme Security Solutions Limited were ordered to pay our legal costs of £2976, in addition to the £4067 costs ordered previously by South Cheshire Magistrates’ Court.
Lisa Targowska, our Legal Deputy Director, said:
"We are grateful the Court agreed with us that this company is simply not fit and proper to be awarded ACS status. We will continue do our utmost to protect the integrity of the ACS and keep unsuitable businesses out of the scheme."
- The Approved Contractor Scheme is voluntary and exists to raise performance standards. To be an Approved Contractor a business needs to meet a sector-specific approval based on a relevant set of qualifying criteria that is independently assessed.
- 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).