Door supervisor who refused to wear Government licence receives criminal conviction

Door supervisor Warren Steele has had his licence revoked by the Security Industry Authority (SIA) following a conviction for failing to display his licence while on duty. Steele was sentenced on 15 September at Chester Magistrates Court. A head door supervisor, Steele was caught on two occasions failing to display his SIA licence when he was working at a bar near Chester. This is an important condition, as it demonstrates to the public that the door supervisors they see at bars and clubs are properly licensed and regulated.

Pete Easterbrook, the SIA’s criminal investigations manager, stated: “Warren Steele thought that the conditions attached to his SIA licence didn’t apply to him. He didn’t want to listen to SIA investigators’ advice when we spoke to him, and instead displayed an attitude that was both disappointing and concerning. The majority of operatives working within the security industry engage positively with the SIA and our partners. However, the circumstances of this case meant that we considered prosecution to be entirely appropriate.”

Wrexham County Chief Inspector David Jolly explained: “The prosecution of Warren Steele demonstrates the effective partnership between the North Wales Police Licensing Team, the local authority and the SIA. The irresponsible behaviour shown by Steele undermines all the fantastic work that operatives in the night-time economy undertake to ensure that members of the public can enjoy themselves in safety.”

Background to the case

This case began back in February when SIA investigators, in conjunction with the North Wales Police Licensing Team, were conducting checks in the Connah’s Quay area. When those investigators challenged Steele over not displaying his licence, he answered that he didn’t think he should have to. The SIA team and the police warned Steele that failing to display his SIA licence constituted a breach of his licence conditions.

On 23 June, the SIA’s criminal investigations team were carrying out licence checks once again in the Connah’s Quay area. They came across Steele who was still not displaying his licence, despite having been told in February to do so. Consequently, the SIA decided to prosecute Steele for ignoring the licensing conditions.

The court heard that Steele had held SIA licences for a number of years, and should therefore have been aware of the SIA licensing conditions.

Licence revoked   

As a result, Steele had his licence revoked and was issued with a conditional discharge for six months. He was also ordered to pay costs of £250 and a victim surcharge amounting to £20.

Pete Easterbrook added: “SIA licence holders have both a responsibility and a legal obligation to adhere to the conditions of their licence. These are not optional. In this case, failure to comply has resulted in a criminal conviction and a revocation of the individual’s SIA licence. Where appropriate, we will try to encourage compliance in the first instance. However, we will not hesitate to prosecute those who display a blatant contempt for regulation and, in doing so, undermine the safeguards and assurances that regulation provides.”

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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