Cost of providing illegal guards highlighted in Peterborough

BSIThe Security Industry Authority (SIA) has warned of the consequences of supplying illegal security guards after a Peterborough-based company was fined over £30,000.

Scarlet Security Limited was fined £3,000 and order to pay full costs of £31,347.98 at Norwich Crown Court after being found guilty of illegally supplying a security guard to work on a construction site.

The firm, based in Stuart House, St John Street, Peterborough, was investigated by SIA investigators, supported by Norfolk and Cambridgeshire Police and the UK Border Agency (UKBA), after it received intelligence reports of suspected illegal activity.

During the investigation an employee was discovered to be working illegally without an SIA licence. The individual was arrested and referred to the UKBA – he was eventually deported as it was discovered he did not have the right to remain in the UK.

Scarlet Security Limited, which was liquated on 12 April, chose to have the case heard at Crown Court but the company was not represented at trial and no defence was presented. The court heard that Ken Washington was owner of the company and its former director was named Caroline Kariuki.

Recorder Rupert Lowe said upon sentence he was satisfied the individual had worked for Scarlet Security Limited “for some time” and stated the case was important as the offence “undermines the regulatory framework and immigration system”.

SIA head of investigation Nathan Salmon said the investigators decided to proceed with the case despite those running Scarlet Security liquidating the business to send a warning that such an action was “not a protection against prosecution”.

He said: “The prosecution of Scarlet Security is a reminder that some businesses continue to supply individuals to work in the private security industry unlicensed.

“The company was not undertaking adequate vetting of its staff as it claimed it had done. It is a concern for the regulator that the individual worked in the industry although he did not have the right to remain in the UK.

“We were unable to engage with persons in control of the business at the time of the offence which has frustrated proceedings; however, this verdict is very positive.”

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