On Monday 5 March 2018, Paul McDonald pleaded guilty at Salisbury Magistrates’ Court to working without an SIA licence. In addition his wife Siobhan McDonald, the director of Morsec Holdings Ltd, of Melksham, Wiltshire, pleaded guilty to two offences of providing false information and failing to provide information to us.
- Mr Paul McDonald was fined £300 [due to Section 3 (2) (f) PSIA 2001] and his costs were £700 and a victim surcharge of £30.
- Mrs Siobhan McDonald was fined £600 [due to Section 19 PSIA 2001] and her costs were £700 and a victim surcharge of £60.
She also pleaded guilty to Section 22, PSIA 2001, no additional penalty was awarded against her.
This investigation began in February 2017, when Siobhan McDonald submitted an application to join the ACS as the named director of Morsec Holdings Ltd.
Following an approval visit and a series of inquiries into the business, and several others linked to it, our investigators came to the conclusion that Paul McDonald was in fact the person directing the company.
Our investigation revealed that Paul McDonald was unlicensed between June and September 2017, despite clearly acting as director of a security company. Siobhan McDonald was asked to provide information to us in connection with the inquiry, but failed to do so despite being given extra time to respond. This is an offence.
Siobhan McDonald was prosecuted after her application for our Approved Contractor Scheme (ACS) revealed inconsistencies around the structure of several, similarly named companies owned by Paul McDonald: Morsec Holdings Ltd, Morsec Ltd and Morsecurity Ltd.
The application by Morsec Holdings Ltd for ACS status was withdrawn in September 2017.
Nathan Salmon, SIA’s Criminal Investigations Manager, said:
"In making an application for ACS accreditation in February 2017, Siobhan McDonald provided false information to the SIA regarding the active role of Paul McDonald within Morsec Holdings Ltd in order to gain approval.
Mr Salmon went on to say that the purpose of the SIA’s Approved Contractor Scheme is to raise standards and promote good practice to create a safer environment for the public, and better opportunities for the private security industry. Companies who abuse the scheme, or make false statements in an attempt to gain accreditation, undermine those standards.
"The SIA will robustly investigate the misuse of the ACS. This conviction highlights the fact that security regulation exists in order to protect the public and ensure the effectiveness of security businesses."
We invited both Siobhan McDonald and Paul McDonald to attend a formal interview. Neither attended, and we therefore decided to prosecute them.
- 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).