Guilty pleas for Leeds security company bosses

A security company, its director and two senior managers were found guilty of offences under the Private Security Industry Act 2001, at Leeds Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday [13 November].

The Security Industry Authority prosecuted Leeds based Pro-Tech Security Northern Limited (Pro-Tech) and it’s director Joseph Grinion. Former director Stefan Rees and operations manager Richard Dyson were also prosecuted.

The prosecutions came as a result of an operation carried-out by officers from Leeds City Council Licensing department and West Yorkshire Police in September 2012.

During the operation one door supervisor was found working with another individual’s licence. He was instantly arrested, bailed and later given a formal police caution. The matter was then passed over to the SIA to investigate further.

Subsequent enquiries by SIA investigators found that the arrested man was unlicensed and had been supplied to work in licensable roles by Pro-Tech, since November 2011.

The enquiry also identified that Pro-Tech was portraying itself as part of the SIA’s Approved Contractor Scheme. It was revealed in court that during an ACS assessment, Pro-Tech learned that it would not pass an assessment and therefore withdrew from the scheme before the accreditation was removed.

During the investigation SIA investigators requested specific information from Grinion regarding Pro-Tech’s customers and employees, however, he failed to provide the requested material.

In passing sentence the chair of the bench stated that: “We have spent a lot of time deliberating over the sentence to ensure it is right and proportionate, we have taken into account that this company is a relatively small business… but you have failed to abide by the rules and have been caught. The last thing we want to do is cripple the company, the most painful aspect of the sentence will be the costs.”

Pro-Tech pleaded guilty to supplying an unlicensed security operative and portraying itself as an ACS company; the court fined Pro-Tech £1,000 and order it to pay costs of £15,000.

Director, Joseph Grinion, pleaded guilty to portraying Pro-Tech as an ACS company and for failing to produce documents when requested to by the SIA. He was fined £470 and ordered to pay costs of £4,000.
Former director and now manager Stefan Rees, pleaded guilty to supplying an unlicensed security operative and for portraying Pro-Tech to be an ACS company. He was fined £470 and ordered to pay costs of £4,000.

Operations manager, Richard Dyson, pleaded guilty to supplying an unlicensed security operative. He was fined £135 and ordered to pay costs of £400.

Head of Investigation, Nathan Salmon said: “The directors and senior managers of this company failed to carry-out some elementary due diligence checks on its staff which would have identified that the individual in question did not hold an SIA licence. This failure continued for a lengthy period from late 2011 to September 2012. This was compounded by the company being falsely portrayed as an SIA Approved Contractor despite receiving a number of warnings not to do so.

“After the investigation commenced the company director failed to provide information to the SIA when requested, this demonstrates their blatant disregard for the industry regulator. These individuals now face a ban from working in the private security industry.

“I am also pleased the Magistrates recognised that the cost of prosecution by the SIA is funded by genuine licence holders and Approved Contractors. The recovery of costs means the industry is not disadvantaged by the actions of this business.”