Regional Asset Recovery Team Flexes Muscle Following Guilty Plea

Johnny Daniels (D:O:B: 11/07/73) of Cutler Heights Lane, Bradford, pleaded guilty at Bradford Crown Court yesterday (06/09/10), for money laundering and offences related to operating a business supplying unlicensed security guards to various building sites across the Bradford area. Recorder Babb sentenced Daniels to 12-months imprisonment for money laundering and six months, to run concurrently, for providing unlicensed staff under the Security Industry Act 2001. Under the Act, all security operatives must hold and display a valid SIA licence while working, and security directors must hold at least a non front-line licence.

Licenses are only granted by the Security Industry Authority (SIA) to those who have  undertaken and passed the relevant training qualification and been subject to checks to ensure that they are fit to hold a licence.  This includes checking their criminal record.   The purpose of SIA licensing is to protect the public by ensuring that only fit and proper persons work in the private security industry.

The North East Regional Asset Recovery Team (RART) working in partnership with staff from the Security Industry Authority (SIA) identified that Daniels was operating as J. D. Security or J. D. & Sons without a licence and provided a number of unlicensed security guards to various construction sites in the Bradford area. Enquiries revealed that Daniels had been paid in excess of £260,000 by the construction companies for providing them with security guards between March 2006 and August 2007.

Daniels was aware that he required an SIA licence to supply security guards to the building site because the construction company refused to pay him for his staff until he showed this licence.  A witness from this company told Daniels in person that any contract with the company was subject to the provision of details of employers’ liability insurance, bank account, and SIA licences.

Daniels satisfied all the other requirements but consistently failed to provide SIA licences, and never obtained a licence himself.   It is unlikely that Daniels would ever be granted a licence due to the nature of his previous convictions. Daniels provided security staff for a renowned construction company for a limited period.  The company withheld payment pending the production of the SIA licence.  However, the company were eventually forced to pay up because associates of Daniels effectively blocked the building site until payment was made.

Daniels was in and out of prison between the relevant dates and during this time the security business was operated by a third party.  He gave instructions in letters that he sent from prison, and payments were received into the third party’s bank account. Daniels also persuaded a female associate to receive payments totalling £31,816 from one of the construction companies as a favour as he did not want the money going into his account.  She did not derive any benefit for doing this and was eliminated from the money laundering investigation.

Head of the Regional Asset Recovery Team (RART, Detective Superintendent Waite, said:  “This case illustrates that the recently established Regional Policing Unit for Yorkshire and the Humber, will look for innovative ways of disrupting and dismantling any organised criminality which posses a threat to our communities. In this case, they worked closely with the SIA to tackle individuals engaged illegally in the security industry and money laundering predominantly in Bradford.

“This is an excellent result arising from this ground breaking partnership between the regional police money laundering team and the private security industry regulator. It sends out a clear message to those tempted to engage in organised crime at any level.”

SIA Director of Compliance and Enforcement, Dave Humphries, said: “Daniels supplied unlicensed security guards to customers in the Bradford area, showing a blatant disregard for the law, and was targeted by the police and the SIA. The courts, recognising the seriousness of his offences, sentenced Daniels to prison. This case sends out a clear message to those thinking of working illegally in the private security industry – break the law and you will face severe consequences.” The North Eastern RART team has now begun confiscation proceedings. 

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