Two men prosecuted for working illegally at Cardigan wine bar

On Tuesday 4 May two men from Cardigan pleaded guilty at Haverfordwest Magistrates’ Court.

On Tuesday 4 May two men from Cardigan pleaded guilty to working illegally as door supervisors at a Cardigan wine bar between September and November last year.

Tristan Edwards was fined £400, ordered to pay £250 prosecution costs and a £160 victim surcharge. He now has criminal record.

Daniel Cope was sentenced to a £120 fine, £250 prosecution costs and a £48 victim surcharge and also now has a criminal record.

On 18 April 2022 Dyfed Powys Police was called to a disturbance at a wine bar in Cardigan whereby they discovered that unlicensed security had been injured in a fight at the venue. A similar incident occurred last August.

Police officers were concerned about the risk to the public and conducted unannounced checks to the venue. The venue’s licence required the presence of at least three Security Industry Authority (SIA) door supervision licence holders on duty at certain times of the day.

Police officers carried out inspections between 23 and 25 September 2022 and found that the bar was deploying unlicensed security. SIA investigators reviewed CCTV footage from 24 September which clearly showed Tristan Edwards, wearing a white t-shirt with the word ‘Security’ on it, working as a security operative. In the early hours of Sunday morning 25 September, a Dyfed Powys Police officer on patrol noted Tristan Edwards wore a white t-shirt with the word ‘Security’ directing patrons from the venue. The police officer challenged Mr Edwards as to why he was not displaying a valid SIA licence. Mr Edwards told him that the licence had been ripped up the previous summer during the altercations. Upon investigation, it was revealed that Mr Edwards was licensed until 21 May 2018 then he failed to renew his SIA licence.

On 2 October the police officer spoke to another man, Daniel Cope, asking him whether he was carrying out licensable security activity. Mr Cope said that he just worked at the venue and denied working in a licensable role. Like his colleague, Mr Cope was a former SIA licence holder, and his licence had expired on 10 December 2020.

Police officers noted David James was working at the same venue and it appeared that he was carrying out licensable activity. He failed to attend court on 4 May and his case was adjourned until 18 May 2023.

On Friday 25 November 2022, a joint inspection by SIA’s investigators and a Dyfed Powys Police Officer took place at the venue. The venue manager shared CCTV footage of the defendants with the investigators.

The offenders were invited for an interview-under-caution on 28 February 2023 at Dyfed Powys Police Station. Mr Cope admitted to the offences during the interview while Mr Edwards refused to comment.

Nicola Bolton, one of the SIA’s criminal investigations managers said:

These individuals chose not to renew their licences, thinking that they could save money and take the risk of working illegally. They now have incurred fines and criminal records which means it’s highly unlikely they will ever be able to work in security again.

She added:

Their actions put the public at risk particularly in a busy venue in Cardigan’s night-time economy. Some of the public incurred injuries from the violence that occurred. Had the defendants renewed their licences they would also have received refresher training which would probably have equipped them to deal with these incidents more effectively.

I’d like to pay tribute to colleagues in our law enforcement partner, Dyfed Powys Police, they were exemplary in helping the SIA to bring these cases to court. Their efficient handling of these cases has saved resources and ensured that unsuitable people are now not working in the Cardigan night-time economy and the venue’s patrons are safer.