On May 15, at Laganside Magistrates Court in Belfast, we prosecuted Gareth Henry and he was found guilty of working without a licence.
We were alerted to Henry’s behaviour in October 2017 by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI). They had received reports of Henry using excessive force at a bar on Dublin Road, in Belfast. Our investigators visited the venue where Henry worked and discovered that he was working without a licence.
Our investigators discovered that Henry had previously held a licence, but that it had expired in 2013. He was cautioned for working without a licence in 2016 by the PSNI and in response submitted an application to the SIA, which was refused. At this point Henry changed employers.
In December, our investigators interviewed the general manager at the bar where Henry was working. Further enquiries revealed that Henry had been working at the bar for over a year. When SIA investigators interviewed Henry, he admitted to working without a licence. The SIA consequently prosecuted him.
The court found Henry guilty. He was ordered to pay a fine of £250, fixed costs of £92 and an offender’s levy of £15.
Our Criminal Investigations Manager, Pete Easterbrook, said:
The SIA exists to protect the public, and our licensing regime is designed to ensure that those individuals who may represent a risk to the public are not able to work lawfully in the security industry. The fact that this case was brought to our attention through an allegation of excessive force only serves to highlight the risk to the public through the use of unlicensed security operatives.
"Despite having been previously cautioned for working without an SIA licence, Gareth Henry continued to work as a door supervisor and took steps to avoid being detected. This prosecution serves as a reminder that undermining the safeguards provided by regulation is entirely unacceptable, and those doing so can expect to be brought before a court."
- 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).