Middlesbrough security director fined after running company without SIA licence

An unlicensed director must pay £1,550 after yesterday (14 Feb) pleading guilty to a string of security offences following an investigation into his business. Gary Armstrong, 36, ran Middlesbrough-based Romaguard Security (UK), supplying security services to sites in the Newcastle upon Tyne area despite not holding the SIA licence required to work legally.

A Security Industry Authority investigation found that Armstrong was deploying an unlicensed security guard, and had worked as a keyholder himself, without holding any SIA licence.

When asked about his involvement in the security industry by SIA investigators, Armstrong falsely claimed that his company was no longer operating, and failed to supply requested documents and information about the companies to which he supplied security.

Armstrong falsely claimed in an email to a client that he held a non-frontline SIA licence, even though his applications for a licence had been rejected, Newcastle Magistrates’ Court heard.

Armstrong, who represented himself, said that he was “fully aware” that both he and the security guard he deployed needed a licence, and that he had “told a couple of white lies to cover his back.”

He pleaded guilty to three counts of working as a security operative without an SIA licence, as well as deploying an unlicensed security guard, failing to provide information and making false statements to the SIA. He was fined £800 for the six offences and ordered to pay £750 in costs.

Nathan Salmon, head of the SIA’s formal investigation team, said: “Armstrong deliberately flouted the law and lied to the SIA. He told SIA investigators that he had closed the business yet continued to trade on a reduced scale. Despite this, we were able to identify his clients and therefore his continued offending.

“I am pleased with the results of this case, which I hope sends a clear message to anyone running a security business that breaking the law will not be tolerated. We encourage security buyers to check our Register of Licence Holders on the SIA website to ensure the security operatives deployed to their premises are SIA-licensed.”

SIA Website