Brian Sims

Lancashire company boss ordered to pay £6,500 for supplying unlicensed security

ON TUESDAY 20 April, Martin Coe of Blackpool was handed a £6,548 Confiscation Order at Preston Crown Court, payable within three months, for providing unlicensed security to a school. If Coe fails to pay the sum requested, he will face a 60-day jail sentence. He has also been ordered to pay court costs of £5,000 to the Security Industry Authority (SIA) within 12 months.

The decision follows the SIA’s prosecution of Coe last October. The former director of Evolution Security Services NW Limited (now dissolved), Coe was found guilty of two counts of providing unlicensed security to Baines School in Poulton and the Wyre Light pub in Fleetwood.

He was handed a 32-week jail term suspended for 12 months at Preston Magistrates’ Court on 27 January this year.

The Proceeds of Crime Order that has just been handed to Coe marks the end of a lengthy series of hearings. The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 sets out the legislative scheme for the recovery of criminal assets with criminal confiscation being the most commonly used power. Confiscation occurs after a conviction has taken place. If an individual has a Proceeds of Crime Order against them then they have to pay it regardless of whether or not they serve a jail sentence.

The investigation process began in May 2019 when Neil Reddington and Gavin Macaskill were found working illegally at the Wyre Light pub. They were discovered by licensing officers from the Lancashire Constabulary who referred the case to the SIA. Both men were employed by Evolution Security Services NW Limited. 

Nathan Salmon, the SIA’s criminal investigations manager, said: “It’s satisfying to see the outcome of the Proceeds of Crime Order against Coe. It illustrates that courts will remove criminal benefit where it can be associated to breaches of security regulation. Coe’s business practices would have distorted the market for legitimate businesses providing high-quality security to customers in the North West region. Supplying unlicensed individuals places the public at potential risk. Coe profited from knowingly doing so. He now has a criminal record which will prevent him from working in the private security industry.”

Coe’s original sentence comprised:

*Charge 1 (s5 Wyre Light) – 26 weeks’ custody

*Charge 2 (s5 Northern Security) – Six weeks’ custody consecutive

*Charge 3 (s19 Evolution Security Services NW Limited) – Four weeks’ custody concurrent

*Charge 4 (s19 Evolution Security Services NW Limited) – Four weeks’ custody concurrent

The Private Security Industry Act 2001 is available to read online via:

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