Door supervisor handed suspended prison sentence for working without SIA licence

On Thursday 26 October at Leamington Spa Magistrates Court, Karl Alexander Morrison (now known as Karl O’Brien) was found guilty of working without a Security Industry Authority (SIA) licence. Morrison was found working without an SIA licence at an illegal traveller’s encampment in Coventry by SIA investigators following intelligence received from Warwickshire Police in April this year.

From a subsequent investigation, it was discovered that Nottinghamshire Police was also gathering evidence of Morrison working without a licence at a pub in Sutton in Ashfield.

Morrison was sentenced to eight weeks’ imprisonment suspended for 12 months. He was also ordered to complete 120 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay costs of £500 as well as a victim surcharge of £115 (to be paid within a fortnight).

Pete Easterbrook, the SIA’s criminal investigations manager, said: “As the SIA investigated Morrison, our investigators found him to be a volatile and aggressive individual. I’m of the opinion that, had he continued to work in a security-related role, it’s likely the public would have been exposed to considerable risk. I’m pleased that this risk has now been addressed. I would like to thank both Nottinghamshire Police and the witnesses in this case for supporting the SIA in securing this conviction.”

Private Security Industry Act 2001

The investigation process began back in April this year when Warwickshire Police alerted the SIA’s West Midlands Investigations Team that Morrison was unlicensed to transact security duties, which is an offence under the Private Security Industry Act 2001.

SIA investigators looked up Morrison’s licensing history and found that he had a pending application to work in the close protection sector under the name Karl O’Brien. He had also asked for an overseas criminality check exemption, claiming that he lived abroad from 2011 to 2016.

To receive an overseas criminality check exemption, an individual needs to send the SIA a character reference and a signed and sworn oath from an EU-registered solicitor to prove there are no criminal convictions for the relevant period. However, when the SIA contacted the Prison Service, the latter confirmed this individual had been in prison at various times and resident in the UK during those years.

The SIA suspected Morrison had applied for a licence under a different name because his previous offending would have meant he wouldn’t be granted an SIA licence.

Morrison failed to send the SIA a character reference or sworn oath and no further action was made to his application.

In May this year, the SIA began the process to prosecute Morrison.

Easterbrook concluded: “I share the concern expressed by the officials at Leamington Spa Magistrates Court that someone with Karl Morrison’s offending history was found working in the security industry. I’m satisfied that the sentence imposed in this case reflects the seriousness of the offences Morrison committed. This case serves to highlight the fact that there’s no place whatsoever within the security industry for those who deliberately undermine the safeguards provided by regulation. Those who do so can expect to be dealt with robustly.”

About the Author

Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications)

Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting.

In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector.

In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute’s George van Schalkwyk Award.

An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award.

Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site.

Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media.

Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014.

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