Three London security company directors have been fined and been given a criminal record for failing to disclose information to the Security Industry Authority (SIA). The prosecution is part of an ongoing investigation into the use of fraudulent SIA licences.
On 08 March 2021, two former company directors, Damien Burrell and Omar Nelson, were sentenced at Thames Magistrates’ Court. In a previous hearing, on 17 July 2020, both pleaded guilty to failing to provide information to the SIA. This is an infringement of the Private Security Industry Act 2001.
Burrell, the director of Pro-Active Event Staffing Ltd, was fined £233 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £1,323.50 plus a victim surcharge of £32 within 28 days.
Nelson, the director of No. 1 Security Ltd, was sentenced in his absence. He was also fined £233 and required to pay prosecution costs of £1,323.50 plus a victim surcharge of £32 within 28 days.
The third security director, Shahbaz Ahmed of HAR Services Ltd, also pleaded guilty to the same charge at Thames Magistrates’ Court on 22 October 2020. SIA investigators made repeated requests for information to Ahmed, but he failed to engage with them. He was fined £80 and was required to pay court costs of £100.
SIA investigators found that these three security companies were sub-contracted to supply a security guard who attempted to use a fraudulent licence. These included Burrell’s company Pro-Active Event Staffing Ltd, Nelson’s company No. 1 Security Ltd, and Ahmed’s business HAR Services Ltd.
SIA investigators pursued the directors, following a query from the client of an SIA approved contractor. After initially ignoring the SIA’s requests for information eventually Burrell and Nelson reluctantly provided information to SIA investigators.
On 23 March 2019 an HAR employee arrived at a student accommodation centre in London to start his shift. He presented an altered SIA Security Guard licence. During routine induction checks an employee noticed that the licence had been tampered with. The man fled the premises and this was reported to the SIA.
Nathan Salmon, SIA Criminal Investigations Manager, said:
“Nelson, Burrell and Ahmed did not carry out adequate due diligence of licensed security and as a result betrayed the trust of their client to whom they were contracted for the protection of London students.
They have been prosecuted for failing to engage with the SIA. They thought that ignoring us would mean they would face no consequences.
The reality is that it is against the law to ignore a legal request for information and these three now have criminal records and will not be able to work in the industry in the future.
The use of fraudulent SIA licences is completely unacceptable. I would encourage anyone who has concerns to report them to the SIA to enable us to investigate.”
The SIA’s investigations into the use of fraudulent licences continues.