On Wednesday 6 June at Shrewsbury Crown Court, Showtime Security Guards Ltd and its director, Maria Francis, pleaded guilty to supplying unlicensed security officers. The sole shareholder of Showtime Security Guards Ltd, namely Matthew Davies, was found not guilty of the same offence. However, Davies was found guilty of intimidation by attempting to persuade a witness not to give evidence.
Pete Easterbrook, the Security Industry Authority’s (SIA) criminal investigations manager, stated: “Showtime Security Guards Ltd was run with little or no regard for whether the security operatives supplied by the business were licensed or not. This indifferent attitude potentially put the public at risk and showed no concern whatsoever for the safeguards provided for by using SIA licensed operatives.”
Easterbrook added: “The owner of the company, Matthew Davies, carried out a number of acts which the court agreed were intended to intimidate a prosecution witness into not giving evidence. This is an extremely serious offence so we didn’t hesitate to prosecute him.”
The investigation began back in December 2016, when the SIA received information from West Mercia Police that Showtime Security Guards Ltd was employing unlicensed security officers. SIA investigators subsequently established that the business was supplying unlicensed security operatives at Tuffins Supermarket, at Craven Arms, at a construction site in Radbrooke, Shropshire and to The Foyer at Ludlow, which provides residential and support services for vulnerable 16-to-24 year-olds.
In July last year, SIA investigators formally interviewed Francis and Davies. It later became apparent that Davies had contacted a witness and attempted to pervert the course of justice by placing them under pressure not to attend court.
The court heard voice recordings of Davies using strong language in an attempt to stop the witness giving evidence. He made comments referring to the witness being “ripped apart in court” and “plagued” if they testified against him.
As a result, the SIA prosecuted Showtime Security Guards Ltd, Maria Francis and Matthew Davies under the Private Security Industry Act 2001 for supplying unlicensed security operatives and Davies for perverting the course of justice. Both Francis and the company pleaded guilty.
Davies pleaded guilty to one count of supplying unlicensed security operatives and was found guilty of perverting the course of justice.
Northampton security company FBI Security Ltd successfully prosecuted
On Thursday 31 May, security director Liam Warren of Firm But Intelligent (FBI) Security Ltd pleaded guilty at Northampton Magistrates’ Court to supplying an unlicensed door supervisor, Gary Collins, to the Edge of Town pub last December.
Both Liam Warren and Gary Collins were successfully prosecuted. Liam Warren pleaded guilty to supplying an unlicensed security officer and was in breach of Section 5 of the Private Security Industry Act 2001. Gary Collins was prosecuted for being in breach of Section 3 of the Private Security Industry Act 2001 for performing as an unlicensed security operative.
Liam Warren was fined £100 and required to pay an additional £115 in court costs, while Gary Collins was fined £100 and required to pay court costs of £60.
The offences took place in the early hours of 3 December 2017 when a Northamptonshire Police officer carried out checks at the Edge of Town pub in Northampton’s Regent Square. The pub had a contract with Liam Warren’s company FBI Security Ltd to provide licensed door supervisors.
The police officer identified Gary Collins who was working that night as a door supervisor without a valid SIA licence. Collins’ licence had expired the previous week (on 26 November).
The prosecution was brought by the Crown Prosecution Service and Northamptonshire Police working in partnership with the SIA.
John Montague, senior manager of the SIA’s Partnerships and Interventions team, commented: “FBI Security Ltd has both broken the law and breached the trust of its customer, the End of Town pub, as well as the patrons of this public house by supplying an unlicensed door operative. The period before Christmas is a particularly sensitive time and having security staff who are licensed shows that they are fit and proper and competent to carry out their role in protecting the public. Both Liam Warren and Gary Collins broke the law and deceived the people who employed them. I welcome the action taken by Northamptonshire Police. We were pleased to support them.”