An Accrington security supplier and door supervisor have both been fined for failing to provide information to the Security Industry Authority.
Scott Lee Barnes, sole trader of Global Security North West, was investigated by the SIA because of allegations that he was supplying unlicensed operatives from his offices at Warner Street, Accrington.
SIA investigators requested that Barnes, 30, provide information about Global Security North West, including its customers and details of the door supervisors it supplied.
Barnes, of Roe Greave Road, Oswaldtwistle, repeatedly failed to provide accurate information as requested, meaning that SIA investigators were not able to check that individuals supplied by him were correctly SIA licensed and working legally.
During the investigation, SIA investigators carried out inspections of door supervisors working at licensed premises in Accrington – requiring them to provide information in relation to their employment, including any association with Global Security North West.
One of the door supervisors, Karl Benson, 27, failed to provide information to the SIA, and, when he did later respond, made statements which were false. Benson, of Grimshaw Street, Darwen, gave differing accounts to explain his presence in Accrington on the day of the SIA checks. He first claimed he was visiting a friend, then said he was working as a volunteer door supervisor for a friend, Scott Barnes.
During the hearing at Hyndburn Magistrates Court last Thursday [29 September], Benson admitted that his response to the SIA was misleading, but pleaded not guilty to the charges. The prosecution described his explanation as ‘inconsistent and incredible,’ and in sentencing the magistrate said the information provided by Benson was ‘implausible and false.’
Barnes pleaded guilty to three counts of failing to provide material to the SIA. He was fined £700 and was ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £15. He was also ordered to contribute £1000 towards prosecution costs. The court heard that Barnes could now expect to lose his SIA licence and his business.
Benson was fined £70 for failing to provide information, and an additional £70 for making a false statement, to the SIA. He was also ordered to pay a £15 victim surcharge and make a contribution to prosecution costs of £80.
SIA Head of Investigation Nathan Salmon said: “Only Mr Barnes knows why he did not comply with the requests for information, however, the SIA must be permitted to ensure compliance with security licensing regulations. This is the second SIA prosecution in Accrington, and premise licence holders should ensure security staff working at venues are correctly licensed.
“Mr Benson made a flippant and ill-advised response to a request for information. SIA licence holders should be aware it is a criminal offence for them to obstruct SIA investigators in failing to provide information when requested or making false statements. I am pleased that the court has recognised that SIA investigators need to be able to carry out their role without obstruction.”