On 6 June, at Shrewsbury Crown Court, Showtime Security Guards Ltd and its director, Maria Francis, pled guilty to supplying unlicensed security guards.
In addition, the sole shareholder of Showtime Security Guards Ltd, Matthew Davies was found not guilty of the same offence. He was however, found guilty of intimidation, by attempting to persuade a witness not to give evidence.
Pete Easterbrook, SIA Criminal Investigations Manager said:
"Showtime Security Guards Ltd was run with little or no regard for whether the security operatives they supplied were licensed or not. This indifferent attitude potentially put the public at risk and shows no concern whatsoever for the safeguards provided for by using SIA licensed operatives.
The owner of the company in particular, Matthew Davies, carried out a number of acts, which the court agreed were intended to intimidate a prosecution witness into not giving evidence. This is an extremely serious offence so we did not hesitate to prosecute him."
This investigation started in December 2016, when the SIA received information from West Mercia Police that Showtime Security Guards Ltd was employing unlicensed security guards.
SIA investigators established that they were supplying unlicensed security operatives at Tuffins Supermarket at Craven Arms, a construction site in Radbrooke, Shropshire and to the Foyer at Ludlow, which provides residential and support services for vulnerable 16-24 year olds.
In July 2017, SIA investigators formally interviewed Davies and Francis. It later became apparent that Davies had contacted a witness and attempted to pervert the course of justice by placing them under pressure not to attend court.
The court heard voice recordings of Davies using strong language in an attempt to stop the witness giving evidence. He made comments referring to the witness being “ripped apart in court,” and “plagued” if they testified against him.
As a result, we prosecuted Showtime Security Guards Ltd, Maria Francis and Matthew Davies for supplying unlicensed security operatives under the Private Security Industry Act (PSIA) 2001 and Davies for perverting the course of justice.
Both Francis and the company plead guilty. Davies plead guilty to one count of supplying unlicensed security operatives and was found guilty of perverting the course of justice.
The case has been adjourned to 27 July 2018 for sentencing.
- 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).