Before people begin working in security roles, it is vital that they attend the relevant courses. For example, they may need to complete close protection training. Those who enter jobs without meeting this requirement can face penalties. Luckily for individuals who are keen to forge careers in this field, it is now simple to access the necessary close protection courses.
Meanwhile, the same standards of rigour apply to companies. For example, any firm that falsely claims to be part of the Security Industry Authority (SIA) run Approved Contractor Scheme can expect serious repercussions.
The scheme is intended to raise performance standards in the security industry and it is run on a voluntary basis. It is an offence for a company to suggest it is an approved contractor when it is not and fines of up to £5,000 can be handed out to any organisations that try this.
During a recent hearing at Cardiff Crown Court, two directors of a security company were sentenced for their dishonesty in relation to the scheme. The pair had already been found guilty of falsely claiming to be part of the SIA accreditation initiative. They had stated that their firm was accredited in order to maintain a lucrative security contract with supermarket chain Lidl.
The duo used fake documentation to secure and prolong a contract worth £15,000 per week.
Lidl sought to cancel the contract after it made enquiries with Approved Contractor Scheme assessors that revealed the security firm was in fact not accredited. However, one of the directors began withdrawing funds from the business. In five months, he pocketed over £145,000 in cash.
The SIA subsequently made an application under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 to recover funds from the director and a special confiscation order was passed ordering the individual to pay £80,000 within six months. Failure to do so will lead to a custodial sentence of 18 months. Meanwhile, the businessman was also fined £1,000 for the offence and was ordered to pay £1,000 towards prosecution costs.
In addition, he has been banned from being a company director for ten years.
Head of the investigation Nathan Salmon remarked: “This is a significant prosecution by the SIA which seeks to protect the integrity of the Approved Contractor Scheme. Parties who claim to be approved should not benefit when they cannot demonstrate meeting the high standards of the scheme.”
He added: “These proceedings demonstrate that the SIA will robustly pursue individuals who breach the law and is a good example of all security stakeholders coming together to provide the evidence of the crime. In particular I would like to thank staff from the SSAIB, our assessing body, and Lidl who played an important role in identifying the offence and supporting the SIA investigation.”
By obtaining the relevant SIA accreditation by legitimate means, companies can avoid problems like these. Anyone who wants to find out more about the Approved Contractor Scheme, or about SIA close protection courses and other provisions, can simply head online. There is a wealth of information available for people to see.
About the Author – Anna Longdin is a freelance blogger who writes for a range of security industry sites, including Wilplan Training.