Brian Sims
Editor

Cardiff security business prosecuted for unlicensed security deployment

ON FRIDAY 4 June, a Cardiff-based company director pleaded guilty at Cardiff Magistrates’ Court to deploying an unlicensed individual to protect the residents of Wallich Clifford Community Hostel. Ricky Moloney and his business Nia Security Ltd have been prosecuted by the Security Industry Authority (SIA).

Moloney was fined £500 and required to pay a contribution of prosecution costs of £467.50 in addition to a victim surcharge of £50. Further, Moloney is required to pay in full within 23 days. Meanwhile, Nia Security Ltd was fined £500 and required to pay £467.50 in court costs.

Last September, South Wales Police identified an unlicensed man providing security at the hostel. SIA investigators established with the hostel that Nia Security Ltd had held the security contract at the premises for eight years.

Moloney appeared in court following the SIA’s investigation into the case. Law enforcement partner South Wales Police informed the SIA of the licence infringement. Presiding officials at Cardiff Magistrates’ Court heard that Moloney was negligent in that he failed to check the licence status of the individual who worked under contract at the hostel.

Nathan Salmon, criminal investigations manager at the SIA, said: “Up until 1 September last year, Moloney had an exemplary record, but failed to maintain licensing checks on this occasion as well as ascertain the suitability of a person who turned out to be unqualified and not licensed to provide security at the hostel. He now has a criminal record.”

Salmon added: “When a security company is engaged in illegal conduct it puts the private security industry and the SIA into disrepute. As the director of a security business and a supplier of security, Moloney has failed in his duties.”

A man will appear at Cardiff Magistrates’ Court on Friday 2 July charged with working as an unlicensed security operative on 1 September last year.

Unlicensed security in Portsmouth

On Tuesday 1 June, Havant-based Standeasy Security Ltd was prosecuted at Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court for deploying unlicensed security to a sensitive protected premises in Portsmouth. 

The company’s operations manager Ashley O’Brien, appearing on behalf of her father’s business Standeasy Security Ltd, pleaded guilty to employing two unlicensed individuals. The company was fined £220, required to pay court costs of £625 and also a victim surcharge of £32.

On 16 March this year, Steven Price of Portsmouth was convicted (in his absence) at Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court for working as an unlicensed security operative between 1 October 2019 and 18 May last year. He was supplied to a customer 44 times between 1 March 2020 and 18 May 2020. The court ordered Steven Price to pay a fine of £220, required him to pay costs of £625 and also a victim surcharge of £32. Following his conviction, Price’s SIA licence was revoked and he now has a criminal record. 

Another male, namely Lee Martin of Fareham, worked unlicensed at the site for Standeasy Security Ltd on no fewer than 109 occasions between 1 March 2020 and 31 August last year. He was convicted at Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday 1 June and fined £1,000, required to pay costs of £500 and also render a victim surcharge of £100.  Martin will also have a criminal record and his licence has been revoked.

Nathan Salmon stated: “Standeasy Security Ltd has carried out 173 shifts involving unlicensed security at the premises. The site is a sensitive and this situation placed it at additional risk. The contract between the premises and Standeasy Security Ltd specifically stated that the security provided would include SIA licensed staff. Standeasy Security Ltd has failed its client and the community it serves.”

12-month Community Service Order

On Tuesday 18 May, a Buxton man pleaded guilty at Thameside Magistrates’ Court to infringing the conditions of his two SIA licences. Paul Tilson held a CCTV licence and a Security Officer licence, but failed to inform the SIA of his change of address which is a licensing condition.

Last July, the SIA was also informed by an Approved Contractor providing security services that Tilson had been prosecuted for theft. On 11 August last year, the SIA suspended Tilson’s licences. An investigation was launched into whether Tilson had failed to notify the SIA of his prosecution. 

Tilson failed to engage with SIA investigators and also failed to turn up to court at the allocated time. A warrant for his arrest was issued. 

Appearing in court, Tilson was given a 12-month Community Service Order with 15 days of rehabilitation activity. He was also ordered to pay court costs of £450, fined £50 and required to pay a victim surcharge of £95. The prosecution was brought by the SIA. 

Speaking about this case, Nathan Salmon told Security Matters: “Informing the SIA of a change of address by licence holders is a licence condition and is clearly explained when licences are granted. Tilson failed to tell the SIA of the changes and, as a result of other criminal activity, his licences were suspended. I’m grateful to the private security company who informed us of the development with Tilson’s history. This is a good example of businesses supporting the regulator. As a result of our prosecution, Tilson has incurred a further criminal record as well as a fine and costs and is now unable to continue working in the industry.”

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