The former director of a security firm has pleaded guilty to repeatedly deploying an unlicensed door supervisor to venues around Leeds. Haidar Mumtaz, formerly of 2 B Secure Ltd from Keighley in West Yorkshire, sent Steven Hare from Bradford to work on security duties at the Baracoa, the Rosse and the Bierkeller in Leeds on no fewer than 24 occasions between December 2018 and February this year. Hare was not properly licensed at the time and, as a result, the Security Industry Authority (SIA) decided to prosecute.
Mumtaz also neglected to inform the SIA that, in February this year, he had been charged with a number of offences relevant to his own status as an SIA licence holder. This duty to report is a condition of the licence. Any failure to do so is an offence under the Private Security Industry Act 2001.
On Thursday 7 November, Mumtaz was ordered by Leeds Magistrates’ Court to undertake 120 hours of unpaid community service to be completed in 12 months. He must also pay costs of £633 plus a victim surcharge of £90.
Hare, who appeared before the magistrates on 30 September, was fined £80. The court also ordered him to pay costs of £629.33 plus a victim surcharge of £30.
Significant risk to the public
Pete Easterbrook of the SIA’s criminal investigations team commented: “The court rightly took the view that unlicensed and unregulated security staff are a significant risk to the public. Both Mumtaz and Hare, as employer and employee, had a responsibility to ensure that licensable activity was taking place in accordance with the law. They failed in that duty. Mumtaz also committed a clear breach of the conditions of his licence by failing to inform us that he had been charged with relevant offences earlier this year. This came to light due to a routine formal disclosure to us by West Yorkshire Police.”
Easterbrook continued: “Licence holders in a similar position are reminded that they’re required to notify the SIA of any charge or conviction obtained while they’re licensed. We will always consider the circumstance of any notification in line with our published approach. However, failing to notify the SIA at all is a criminal offence and one which we will treat seriously.”
Licence Dispensation Notice
Hare had been issued with a Licence Dispensation Notice (LDN) by an SIA Approved Contractor. The SIA authorises Approved Contractors to issue an LDN in order to deploy security staff while their licence application is being processed. An LDN is not transferable, and therefore Hare was committing an offence by working for a company other than an Approved Contractor who issued him with the LDN while he didn’t hold a full licence.
Mumtaz resigned his directorship of 2 B Secure Ltd on Friday 17 May this year. The company then installed two new directors, namely Mark Bateson and Andrew Brennan, who then resigned following pursuit by SIA investigators. Brennan was reappointed to 2 B Secure Ltd on Wednesday 6 November.
On Thursday 28 November, 2 B Secure Ltd was fined £10,000 at Leeds Magistrates’ Court and required to pay costs of £778.40 as well as a victim surcharge of £181. 2 B Secure Ltd will have to pay the full amount within 28 days.
Easterbrook added: “The severity of the fine 2 B Secure Ltd has incurred reflects the poor conduct displayed by the former directors of the company, all of whom sought to avoid the consequences of their actions by resigning at various stages during this investigation. These actions were designed to limit the ability of the SIA to prosecute the company. This approach was ill-judged and quite clearly didn’t have the desired effect. This prosecution should act as a reminder that the consequences of supplying unlicensed security operatives are serious and we will always take appropriate action where regulation is undermined and members of the public are put at risk.”
2 B Secure Ltd supplies security services to no less than 14 venues throughout the West Yorkshire region and employs 60 licensed door supervisors.