Unlicensed Derby director to pay £9k for security offences

SIAA Derby security director has been ordered to pay more than £9,000 after being found guilty of working illegally as an unlicensed security director, and failing to provide information to the Security Industry Authority.

Louise Lowe, 29, was the director of Fortis Security (UK) Limited, supplying door supervisors to bars and clubs in Derby city centre. However, she was working illegally as she did not hold the necessary SIA licence to supply operatives.

In 2011, SIA investigators were looking into her husband Mark Lowe’s activities, but he ignored their requests for information and so an investigation was launched.  In January 2012, Mark Lowe pleaded guilty to security offences and was ordered to pay more than £14,000.

Last year, an application was made to Companies House to replace Mark Lowe with Louise as director of Fortis Security (UK) Limited.  However, Louise did not hold an SIA licence and as the business continued to trade, she was breaking the law.

The SIA investigation revealed that between December 2011 and February 2012, Louise Lowe deployed door supervisors to two venues and she also ignored SIA requests for information.

At Derby Magistrates’ Court yesterday [10 Oct], Lowe claimed that she did not know that she needed to hold an SIA licence and was further unaware of the investigation and prosecution of her husband.

The court heard that that Lowe had previous criminal offences, which would have barred her from holding an SIA licence until 2013.

The Magistrate told Lowe “ignorance of the law is no defence, you engaged in licensable conduct without a licence and the prosecution case is proved.”

Lowe, of Collingham Gardens, Derby, was found guilty of two counts of engaging as an unlicensed director of Fortis Security (UK) Ltd. She was also found guilty of two counts of failing to provide information to the SIA. Lowe was fined £2,225, ordered to contribute £7,278 towards the prosecution costs and pay a £15 victim surcharge.

Head of Investigation Nathan Salmon said: “We knew that in failing to provide information to the SIA, Louise was attempting to conceal information regarding Fortis Security (UK) Limited, its employees and the running of the business; identical offences to those faced by her husband Mark earlier this year.

“Like her husband, Louise was working illegally by not holding an SIA licence. Together, Mr and Mrs Lowe have paid a significant financial penalty and precluded their future involvement in the private security industry.”

SIA Website