On 20 June 2017 at Chester Magistrates’ Court, the Security Industry Authority (SIA) successfully prosecuted Stacey Sam Harrison, a door supervisor who had worked using a forged licence for over five years.
In August 2016, an SIA investigator inspected security staff at a taxi company in Chester. This individual was operating as a taxi marshal, working to make sure that taxi queues didn’t get out of hand. The SIA investigators inspected further and observed that the SIA licence displayed on the security operative’s arm was different to the name his colleagues called him.
Investigators checked the Register of Licence Holders and found out that the licence the security operative was wearing had expired in 2014. The expiry date on the licence card he was wearing also appeared to have been altered, so SIA investigators made a formal request for the SIA licence to be returned.
Further questioning revealed that this security operative was in fact Stacey Sam Harrison, a family member of the original licence holder. The date of birth and address Stacey had originally provided were his own. Checks revealed that Stacey Harrison had never held an SIA licence.
SIA investigators interviewed Stacey Harrison under caution in January this year, at which point he admitted taking the expired licence. He said he found the licence at a family member’s house and made amendments to it. These amendments were to the expiry date and sector. He adjusted the sector as he wanted employers to think he held a door supervision licence, as his employers were seeking door supervision contracts.
During the interview, it became clear that the activity he was employed for was licensable. He also told investigators that he worked at another taxi company on a regular basis and, on occasion, at the racecourse in Chester for the same employer.
Directors interviewed by the Regulator
Following the initial inspection in August last year, the directors of the company were interviewed by the SIA. This interview revealed that Stacey Harrison had been working for the company, unlicensed, from 2011 to August 2016. SIA investigators also discovered that the directors knew Harrison under a different name, and that Harrison had led them to believe he was licensed at all times.
One of the directors produced a copy of the licence Harrison had supplied to them, which appeared to have been subject to similar alterations to that which had been handed to the SIA investigation officers.
Harrison pleaded guilty to working without a licence. He claimed that he didn’t have a job at the time, and couldn’t afford the £500 required to obtain a licence. He apologised to the Court for committing these offences.
The presiding Judge commented that licences exist for a reason and that the offences committed by Harrison were serious, especially the forgery of a licence. Harrison was fined £360, a sum reduced to £240 due to his early guilty plea. He was also ordered to pay £250 in costs and a victim surcharge of £30.
Pete Easterbrook, criminal investigations manager at the SIA, commented: “Working as a security operative without an SIA licence is a serious offence. However, Stacey Harrison took this one step further and altered the SIA licence of a family member and attempted to pass this off as genuine. This is fraud and will not be tolerated by the SIA or the security industry, especially so in view of those front line operatives who have worked hard to genuinely obtain their SIA licence. The conviction of Mr Harrison for these offences serves as a reminder that those who seek to undermine the law in this way are very likely to be found out and will face the consequences of their actions in court.”