ON FRIDAY 13 May, a company director pleaded guilty at Milton Keynes Magistrates’ Court for supplying an individual who attempted to use a counterfeit licence. Ratu Baleidraulu, director of Islanders Protection Security Services Ltd, was fined £300, ordered to pay £1,624 in court costs and a victim surcharge of £34. The company was also fined £250, ordered to pay £800 court costs and another victim surcharge of £34.
The prosecution was brought by the Security Industry Authority (SIA) and follows an investigation into the attempted use of a counterfeit licence at the Isle of Wight Festival.
The Isle of Wight Festival took place between 16-19 September last year and its lead security contractor, Main Event Security Services Ltd (itself an SIA Approved Contractor), used several contractors to supply additional security.
On 15 September 2021, Main Event Security Services Ltd was carrying out checks to ensure that the security operatives deployed were legally allowed to work at the Isle of Wight Festival. During this process, they discovered a counterfeit licence. Checks revealed that a particular licence was valid, but it belonged to someone else other than the male using it and the company deduced the licence was counterfeit. The licence was retained and the unknown male was escorted from the site.
Later that day, an SIA regional investigator carried out a routine inspection and Main Event Security Services Ltd handed the counterfeit licence over to that individual. The case was subsequently referred to the SIA’s Criminal Investigation Team whose members began an investigation. It was confirmed that the licence was a counterfeit.
Main Event Security Services Ltd provided the SIA’s Criminal Investigation Team with the information to confirm that Islanders Protection Security Services Ltd was responsible for the deployment of the unknown man carrying the counterfeit licence.
Baleidraulu then failed to provide the required information to the SIA when requested and a prosecution was brought against both him and his company (ie Islanders Protection Security Services Ltd). The person who held the legitimate licence confirmed that he had not worked at the Isle of Wight Festival.
Protection of the public
Mark Chapman, the SIA’s criminal investigations manager, said: “The protection of the public at high-profile festivals is paramount. Main Event Security Services Ltd did exactly as would be expected of an SIA Approved Contractor y identifying and rejecting a suspicious licence through robust due diligence. Islanders Protection Security Services Ltd placed the public at risk by supplying an individual who was not fit and proper and had not been privy to the requisite training in order to protect the public.”
Chapman continued: “Baleidraulu has now had his close protection licence suspended and both he and his company have incurred significant fines and a criminal record. He had also not long been a director of a company and has been prosecuted.”
As part of its drive to support public safety at festivals and events, the SIA has published updated guidance to ensure that people providing security services are compliant with the law. Throughout the summer, the SIA will also be issuing further information and guidance to support security operatives as they carry out their duties at these events.