Security officer sentenced for working at school with forged SIA licence

On Friday 17 January, Oladeji Christopher Owolabi of West London was sentenced at Wood Green Crown Court for two counts of fraud and one count of possessing documents with an improper purpose contrary to the Identity Documents Act 2010. Owolabi must now undertake an 18-month community order involving 300 hours of unpaid work. He had been in custody since 7 November last year following an appearance at Westminster Magistrates’ Court at which he pleaded guilty to the offences.

The 17 January prosecution by the Security Industry Authority (SIA) brings to an end a case that started in 2017. Between April 2016 and November 2017 a security operative, supposedly named Olukayode Obanla, performed the role of security officer at Haringey Sixth Form College in Tottenham. The officer, who was in fact Owolabi, gained the job at the college by using an altered SIA licence. He had failed to secure a genuine SIA licence of his own due to relevant criminal convictions which included using false identity documents.

An SIA investigation began after an anonymous tip-off to the SIA and Haringey Sixth Form College. The SIA quickly discovered that the documents Owolabi had used to try and gain a licence in his own name were fraudulent.

For more than a year, the SIA investigators pursued Owolabi in order to interview him, but he refused to engage with them. That left the SIA with no choice but to issue a summons to Owalabi’s last known address in West London. He failed to attend Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday 6 November and, as a result, the court issued a warrant for his arrest.

Owalabi finally agreed to appear in court on Thursday 7 November when he was then taken into custody.

Pete Easterbrook of the SIA’s criminal investigation team said: “Owolabi pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud in November and was in jail for two months. Friday’s court hearing has resulted in a substantial community order and a criminal record. Owalabi deliberately deceived his employer. He betrayed the trust and jeopardised the safety of vulnerable young people in his care at Haringey Sixth Form College.”

Easterbrook added: “Owolabi has also undermined the SIA licensing regime through his criminal acts, which is entirely unacceptable. The court recognised the seriousness of his criminality and, as such, Owolabi was remanded in custody for two months and has now received a substantial community order.”

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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