Crown Court upholds SIA’s decision to refuse ACS status for Extreme Security Solutions Limited

On Friday 9 June 2017 at Chester Crown Court, the Security Industry Authority (SIA) successfully defended an appeal by Extreme Security Solutions Limited against a decision to refuse the company’s application for Approved Contractor Scheme (ACS) status.

The company appealed to the Crown Court after its initial appeal was dismissed by South Cheshire Magistrates’ Court on 21 February 2017.

Based in Macclesfield, the company applied for ACS status in November 2015 after a similarly-named ACS company, Extreme Security Limited, went into liquidation with significant debts and owing tens of thousands of pounds to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs.

Mark Longden, of Chapel-en-le-Frith, was a director of both companies.

Further compliance issue

There was another compliance issue as one of the previous directors of Extreme Security Solutions Limited, namely Mark Longden’s wife Amie Longden, had been unlicensed for several months prior to obtaining an SIA licence in March 2016.

After an investigation, the SIA also discovered that the company had been supplying an unlicensed security officer to a local college over an extended period. When interviewed by SIA investigators, the officer admitted that he had been unlicensed since 2009 and had problems with both alcoholism and debt.

The company’s application for ACS status was refused in September 2016. Its initial appeal against the decision was dismissed by South Cheshire Magistrates’ Court in February this year. New evidence produced at the Crown Court appeal also showed that, on its website, the company was incorrectly claiming to already hold ACS status.

Serious lapse

Dismissing the company’s further appeal at Chester Crown Court, Recorder Harry Narayan stated that the deployment of an unlicensed officer to a college was a “serious lapse” by the company given that the licensable status of the officer concerned was “easily checkable”.

Narayan also noted that the failings took place “over a lengthy time” and “at a place where persons were entitled to be protected” and where “those in authority should be properly checked”. The fact that the company’s website claimed the business already held ACS status demonstrated that “the company is not being run as it should be”.

Extreme Security Solutions Limited was ordered to pay the SIA’s legal costs of £2,976 in addition to the £4,067 costs ordered previously by South Cheshire Magistrates’ Court.

Lisa Targowska, the SIA’s deputy director of legal matters, said: “We’re grateful the Magistrates’ Court agreed with us that this company is simply not fit and proper to be awarded ACS status. We will continue to do our utmost to protect the integrity of the ACS and keep unsuitable businesses out of the scheme.”

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 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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