Colwyn Bay security firm ordered to pay £1,900

The Proceeds of Crime Order must be paid within three months otherwise its director, Robert Leonard Gaze, faces a 14-day jail sentence.

The court also fined ALG Security Ltd £900 and ordered it to pay £200 court costs and a victim surcharge of £90. Robert Gaze was fined £675 and ordered to pay £200 court costs and a victim surcharge £67. The order follows the prosecution of ALG Security Services Ltd and its director Robert Leonard Gaze who pleaded guilty at Llandudno Magistrates’ Court on 13 August 2021 to a series of offences under the Private Security Industry Act. The prosecution was brought by the Security Industry Authority (SIA).

ALG Security Services applied to be accredited under the SIA’s Approved Contractor Scheme (ACS) during the pandemic. When lockdown ended, an SIA regional investigator visited a Rhyl construction site on 22 October 2020 as part of preliminary investigations. During routine checks the investigator identified three unlicensed security guards from the signing-in book. The SIA stopped ALG’s ACS application and began a criminal investigation.

The SIA interviewed the three unlicensed individuals during March 2021, which revealed several anomalies.

On 17 March 2021 the director of ALG Security Services Ltd, Robert Leonard Gaze was interviewed by SIA investigators, stating he took people at their word as being licensed.

During the interview Gaze revealed ALG Security Ltd had supplied security services to Workerbee (a production company working on a Channel 4 production “The Bridge” in Llyn Brenig) between June and September 2020. This was a revelation as ALG had failed to mention this when the SIA requested information previously. Withholding information from the SIA is an offence.

During the interview ALG declared that it had a number of self-employed staff. However, the independent assessment undertaken for their application to the SIA’s Approved Contractor Scheme revealed that all the staff were in fact employees of the company.

Robert Leonard Gaze resigned his directorship of ALG Security Ltd on 09 December 2021.

The prosecution of ALG Security and Gaze follows earlier prosecutions of the three unlicensed people: Carter, Williams and Hawksey.

Jonathan Carter of Llandudno revealed that he was in the process of getting a licence and he had also worked at the Workabee site. It was confirmed that Carter was engaged by ALG on a self-employed basis. The SIA prosecuted Carter on 22 June 2021 after he pleaded guilty to working unlicensed. The court fined him £200. He was also required to pay £200 court costs and a £34 victim surcharge.

Another guard, Tomos Williams of Llandudno Junction, said he worked at the Rhyl construction site but in a training capacity for ALG Security Services Ltd. ALG said that Williams had given a licence number, but that the company had not done any due diligence on Williams. ALG engaged him on a self-employed basis. Williams pleaded guilty at Llandudno Magistrates’ Court on 22 June 2021 to working unlicensed. The court subsequently fined him £200, along with a victim surcharge of £34.

Christopher Hawksey claimed that he worked for ALG Security in return for lodgings. He confirmed that he worked with one of the directors of ALG Security at the site. He pleaded not guilty to working as an unlicensed guard but subsequently changed his plea on 13 August 2021. He was fined £162 and ordered to pay court costs of £85 plus a victim surcharge of £34.

Mark Chapman, SIA Criminal Investigations Manager, said:

ALG Security and its director failed to meet the criteria to become an SIA approved contractor. The recruitment and deployment of unlicensed security personnel does not fit the criteria for a reputable business supplying security. ALG’s criminality put the public at risk and on 13 May the business and its director were sanctioned by the court, incurring a significant penalty. Their actions skewed the market for legitimate businesses during a difficult operating time, not to mention the risk they posed to the public by being unlicensed. The licensing regime is there to protect everyone. Messrs Gaze, Carter, Williams and Hawksey now all have criminal records.

Notes:

  • The offences relating to the Private Security Industry Act (2001) that are mentioned above are as follows:

    • ALG Security Ltd: Section 5 – Supply of unlicensed operatives

    • Robert Gaze: Section 5 (via Section 23) – Supply of unlicensed operatives; Section 23 – consent, connivance or neglect of directors for employing unlicensed guards; Section 19 – failure to provide information relating to an investigation

    • Jonathan Carter: Section 3 – working without a licence

    • Tomos Williams: Section 3 – working without a licence

    • Christopher Hawksey: Section 3 – working without a licence

  • The Approved Contractor Scheme (ACS) is voluntary and exists to raise performance standards. To be an approved contractor a business needs to meet a sector-specific approval based on a relevant set of qualifying criteria that is independently assessed.

  • The Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) sets out the legislative scheme for the recovery of criminal assets with criminal confiscation being the most commonly used power. Confiscation occurs after a conviction has taken place.

  • If a person has a POCA Order against them they have to pay it regardless if they serve a jail sentence.

  • By law, security operatives working under contract must hold and display a valid SIA licence. Information about SIA enforcement and penalties can be found on the website.

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