SIA defends suspension of security officer charged with indecent exposure

On Tuesday 9 January at Workington Magistrates’ Court, the Security Industry Authority (SIA) successfully defended an appeal against the suspension of a licence from a security officer charged with indecent exposure.

The licence holder, who cannot be named because the case is still to be heard at Carlisle Crown Court, was suspended in November last year having been charged with alleged indecent exposure. The officer allegedly exposed himself to a group of children (aged one, four and eight) at a public swimming pool.

The police informed the SIA of the security officer’s alleged behaviour, following which his SIA licence was suspended. The suspension will be reviewed following the outcome at the Crown Court’s deliberations.

SIA solicitor Neil Diamond told the Court: “As a regulator, the SIA places paramount importance on public safety. The SIA was given a legal power to temporarily suspend licences for precisely these types of circumstances. It would present an unacceptable level of risk for someone awaiting trial for such a serious offence to continue in a position of trust and responsibility in the interim.”

Dismissing the security officer’s appeal, the magistrates found that the SIA had acted in accordance with its own guidelines and that the decision to suspend was appropriate.

The magistrates further found that there could be a threat to public safety if the licence didn’t remain suspended, and were duly satisfied that suspension was in the public interest.

The security officer was ordered to make a contribution to the SIA’s legal costs of £200.

Lisa Targowska, the SIA’s deputy director for legal, concluded: “We will always rigorously defend appeals of this nature, particularly so where there’s any potential risk to the public. Security operatives are in a position of trust, and so we will not hesitate to use our powers of suspension where it’s in the public interest to do so.”

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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