Yesterday (Thursday 22 November), Martin Makesa (49) of Bettons Park in east London, the sole director of London Guard Security Limited, and Emily Kamau (35) from Stratford and a former company director, were sentenced at Snaresbrook Crown Court. They were found guilty of providing unlicensed security guards – an offence under the Private Security Industry Act (2001).
Makesa and Kamau received a sentence of three months’ imprisonment (suspended for 18 months) and required to do 80 hours’ unpaid work. They were ordered to pay £2,000 each and they were disqualified from holding company directorships for five years. They are required to pay a victim surcharge of £115 each.
The company, London Guard Security Limited, was ordered to pay £12,134 and it has 12 months to make the payment. This follows the prosecution of Makesa and Kamau by the private security industry regulator, the Security Industry Authority (SIA) and they were found guilty on Friday 26 October following a two-week trial. Full costs were awarded by the court to the SIA.
An SIA investigation began because Makesa’s business, London Guard Security Ltd, was sub-contracted to provide SIA licensed security guards by Crystal Security Services Ltd at the redevelopment site of Upton Park the former home of West Ham United. Emily Kamau was a manager of London Guard Security at the time. Crystal had a contract with Barratt Homes (London), the developers of the site, to provide security while filming was taking place at the site.
Nathan Salmon, SIA Criminal Investigations Manager, says:
“The defendants, in this case, sought to satisfy a sub-contract by using unlicensed and ultimately untrained security operatives. However, this offered little protection to their customer Crystal Security Services Ltd, or to the general public. This created uncertainty regarding the suitability of those operators to perform the role, and whether they had previous criminal offences and/or the right to work in the UK. In addition, the defendants sought to frustrate proceedings by making unproven allegations and providing fraudulent material during the trial. These assertions were quite rightly rejected by the jury and the defendants were convicted.”
SIA Investigators carried out routine checks twice on 30 August 2016. Upon arrival on the first occasion several security guards ran off from the site; it was strongly suspected that they were unlicensed. On the second visit, several security guards were found working on expired licences and using an invalid Licence Dispensation Notice* (an SIA licensing mechanism).
A subsequent investigation found that a security guard (employed by London Guard) had handed Mr Makesa his expired SIA licences on the understanding that he would be given employment and would be re-licensed by London Guard Security. This did not occur and instead, this individual’s personal details were used as a cover to deploy a different, unlicensed security guard to the site on multiple occasions.
His Honour Justice Southern said at the court:
“Parliament has seen the need to put in place a regulatory framework to ensure that only those who have been properly trained and assessed as competent and suitable are deployed to work as security guards.”
In committing these offences you have circumvented those requirements and in so doing have fundamentally compromised and undermined the integrity of the regulatory framework and so deprived the public of the protection that it is designed to provide.
These offences are aggravated by the way in which they were carried out in that documentation was falsified to cover up the fact that a systematic and deliberate disregard of these requirements was being pursued by you for personal financial gain.
For these reasons, the offences are so serious that only a custodial sentence can be justified.
Also, as in committing these offences you employed false representations as to identity, and were knowingly concerned with the production of false documentary records.”
Representations were made to the judge as Mr Makesa has recently acquired a legal qualification and that a conviction would curtail his ability to practise law. With this conviction Mr Makesa will also be unable to hold an SIA Licence in the future.