Unlicensed security operative prosecuted for working illegally

On 14 November 2023, a Flintshire man was convicted at Mold Magistrates’ Court for working illegally at a holiday park in North Wales.

Joel Williamson pleaded guilty at the first hearing and was sentenced to a total fine of £212, including £100 contribution towards prosecution costs and a victim surcharge of £32. The fine itself was reduced from £100 to £80 because of the early guilty plea.

The case began in October 2022, when Williamson approached a security provider to enquire about employment as a security operative. Williamson told his would-be employer that he had completed all his relevant security training courses and that he had a valid SIA (Security Industry Authority) door supervision licence.

Williamson was asked by the employer to provide a copy of his SIA licence; however, he told the security company that his actual licence was still in the post.

Williamson started work at a North Wales holiday park in October 2022, carrying out the following duties in the capacity of a door supervisor: patrolling the park and attending any incidents of disorder.

His employer made multiple requests to Williamson to provide his physical SIA licence card as proof of being licensed. Williamson continued to provide various reasons as to why he was unable to do so.

He was subsequently dismissed by his employer in March 2023, for failing to provide adequate proof of having a valid SIA licence.

In March 2023, the SIA received information from North Wales Police that Joel Williamson had been working illegally for four and a half months as a security operative at a holiday park. The SIA began a criminal investigation into Williamson’s activities and wrote to Williamson on 5 June 2023.

Williamson was interviewed in Mold, North Wales on 7 June by SIA criminal investigation officers and admitted to engaging in licensable conduct without a licence. It was established that Williamson did not have an active SIA licence and had never made an application for one.

Williamson claimed to have completed a security industry training course and believed that by doing so, this would make him SIA licensed.

Mark Chapman, one of the SIA’s criminal investigations managers, said:

“Mr Williamson worked for four and a half months while falsely claiming to be a licensed security operative. This created a potential safeguarding risk where he was employed without licence pre-eligibility checks having been caried out.

Mr Williamson’s actions took away legitimate work from genuine SIA licence holders. As a result, he has incurred a fine and a criminal record. Those who fall foul of the licensing regime and choose to circumvent it bring the private security industry into disrepute and undermine the key purpose – which is public protection”.