Unlicensed door supervisor given suspended prison sentence for working without a licence

30 October 2017


On 26 October, at Leamington Spa Magistrates Court, Karl Alexander Morrison, now known as Karl O’Brien, was found guilty of working without an SIA licence.

Morrison was found working without an SIA licence at an illegal traveller’s encampment in Coventry, by our investigators, following intelligence received from Warwickshire Police in April 2017.

From a subsequent investigation, it was discovered that Nottinghamshire Police were also gathering evidence of Morrison working without a licence, at a pub in Sutton in Ashfield.

Morrison was sentenced to 8 weeks imprisonment suspended for 12 months. He was also ordered to do 120 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay costs of £500 and a victim surcharge of £115 (to be paid within a fortnight).

Pete Easterbrook, our Criminal Investigations Manager said:

“As the SIA investigated Morrison, our Investigators found him to be a volatile and aggressive individual. I am of the opinion that had he continued to work in a security related role, it is likely that the public would have been exposed to considerable risk.  I am pleased that this risk has now been addressed, and I would like to thank both Nottinghamshire Police and the witnesses in this case for supporting the SIA to secure this conviction."

This began in April 2017 when Warwickshire Police alerted our West Investigations Team that Morrison was unlicensed, an offence under the PSIA (2001).

Our investigators looked up his licensing history and found that he had a pending application to work in the close protection sector under the name Karl O’Brien. He had also asked for an overseas criminality check exemption claiming he lived abroad from 2011-2016.

To receive an overseas criminality check exemption, you need to send us a character reference and a signed and sworn oath from an EU registered solicitor to prove there are no criminal convictions for the relevant period.

However, when we contacted the Prison Service, they confirmed he had been in prison at various times and resident in the UK during those years. We suspected that Morrison had applied under a different name because his previous offending would have meant he would not be granted an SIA licence.

Morrison failed to send us a character reference or sworn oath and no further action was made to his application.

In May 2017, we began the process to prosecute Morrison

Pete Easterbrook, our Criminal Investigations Manager also added:

“I share the concern expressed by the court that someone with Karl Morrison’s offending history was found working in the security industry. I am satisfied that the sentence imposed in this case reflects the seriousness of the offences he committed.”
“This case serves to highlight that there that there is no place whatsoever within the security industry for those who deliberately undermine the safeguards that regulation provides - those who do can expect to be dealt with robustly.”

Further information:

  • 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- this link opens in a new window (Security Industry Authority) and Twitter- this link opens in a new window (SIAuk).