Brian Sims
Editor

Colwyn Bay security company ordered to pay £1,900 under Proceeds of Crime Order

ON FRIDAY 13 May 2022, Caernarfon Crown Court handed a £1,892.78 court order to Colwyn Bay family business ALG Security Services Ltd. The Proceeds of Crime Order must be paid within three months otherwise the company’s director, namely Robert Leonard Gaze, faces a 14-day jail sentence.

The presiding Judge also fined ALG Security Services Ltd £900 and ordered the business to pay £200 in court costs as well as a victim surcharge of £90. Robert Leonard Gaze was fined £675 and ordered to pay £200 in court costs and a victim surcharge £67.

The Proceeds of Crime Order follows the prosecution of ALG Security Services Ltd and its director Robert Leonard Gaze who, appearing at Llandudno Magistrates’ Court on 13 August last year, pleaded guilty to a series of offences under the Private Security Industry Act 2001. The prosecution was brought forward by the Security Industry Authority (SIA).

During the COVID-19 pandemic, ALG Security Services Ltd applied to be accredited under the SIA’s Approved Contractor Scheme (ACS). When lockdown ended, an SIA regional investigator visited a Rhyl construction site on 22 October 2020 as part of preliminary investigations. During routine checks, the investigator identified three unlicensed security officers from the signing-in book at the site. The SIA stopped ALG Security Services Ltd’s ACS application and began a criminal investigation.

The SIA interviewed the three unlicensed individuals during March last year. That process revealed several anomalies.

On 17 March 2021, Robert Leonard Gaze was interviewed by SIA investigators, who stated that he took people at their word when they had told him that they were licensed to operate.

During the interview, Gaze revealed that ALG Security Services Ltd had supplied security services to Workerbee (a production company working in Llyn Brenig on a Channel 4 production entitled ‘The Bridge’) between June and September 2020. This was a revelation as ALG Security Services Ltd had failed to mention this point when the SIA requested information previously. Withholding information from the SIA is an offence.

During the interview, ALG Security Services Ltd declared that it had a number of self-employed staff. However, the independent assessment undertaken for its application to the SIA’s ACS revealed that all the members of staff were, in fact, employees of the company.

Robert Leonard Gaze resigned his directorship of ALG Security Services Ltd on 9 December 2021.

Earlier prosecutions

The prosecutions of ALG Security Services Ltd and Robert Leonard Gaze follow on from earlier prosecutions of the three unlicensed individuals: Jonathan Carter, Tomos Williams and Christopher Hawksey.

Jonathan Carter of Llandudno revealed that he was in the process of obtaining a licence and had also worked at the Workabee site. It was confirmed that Carter was engaged by ALG Security Services Ltd on a self-employed basis. The SIA prosecuted Carter on 22 June last year after he pleaded guilty to working unlicensed. The court fined him £200. He was also required to pay £200 in court costs and a £34 victim surcharge.

Another security officer, namely Tomos Williams of Llandudno Junction, said that he worked for ALG Security Services Ltd at the Rhyl construction site, but in a training capacity. ALG Security Services Ltd stated that Williams had given a licence number, but that the company had not conducted any due diligence on Williams. ALG Security Services Ltd engaged him on a self-employed basis. On 22 June last year, Williams pleaded guilty at Llandudno Magistrates’ Court to working unlicensed. The court subsequently fined him £200 along with a victim surcharge of £34.

Christopher Hawksey claimed that he worked for ALG Security Services Ltd in return for lodgings. He confirmed that he worked at the construction site with one of the directors of ALG Security Services Ltd. Hawksey pleaded not guilty to working as an unlicensed security officer, but subsequently changed his plea on 13 August last year. He was fined £162 and ordered to pay court costs of £85 in addition to a victim surcharge of £34.

Mark Chapman, criminal investigations manager at the SIA, said: “ALG Security Services Ltd and its director failed to meet the criteria to become an SIA Approved Contractor. The recruitment and deployment of unlicensed security personnel does not fit the criteria for a reputable business supplying security. ALG Security Services Ltd’s criminality put the public at risk and, on 13 May, the business and its director were sanctioned by the court, incurring a significant penalty.”

Chapman added: “Their actions skewed the market for legitimate businesses during what was a difficult operating time, not to mention the risk they posed to the public by being unlicensed. The SIA’s licensing regime is there to protect everyone. Gaze, Carter, Williams and Hawksey now have criminal records.”

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