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October 13, 2020

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Prosecutions

Security boss fined £1000 for supplying unlicensed security guards in Carlisle

A Taunton security boss was fined at Carlisle Magistrates’ Court on 30 September for deploying unlicensed security following a prosecution by the Security Industry Authority (SIA).

Peter Blythe, 57, of Taunton, pleaded guilty to two counts of supplying unlicensed security personnel. Blythe, a Director of PB Facilities Management Ltd, was prosecuted by the Security Industry Authority (SIA). He had previously applied to the SIA for a licence but had been turned down due to his criminal record.

The court fined Blythe £1,000 and required him to pay court costs of £225 and a victim surcharge of £100. The magistrates were unimpressed by his disregard for private security industry law, and said that if he had not been receiving benefits the fine would have been higher. They also fined PB Facilities Management Ltd £1,000, of which Blythe is sole director, and the company was required to pay £225 in court costs.

This case began in 2018 when Blythe recruited a security worker for a construction site at Flusco, near Penrith. CT Thomas and Sons Ltd, the groundworks operator, had been suffering theft of plant and equipment from the site.

Blythe specifically advertised for security operatives who “didn’t need to be licensed.” However, in the UK it is illegal to work in the private security industry without a valid SIA licence.

A police officer from Cumbria Constabulary visited the site on 22 October 2018. Blythe introduced himself as the site’s security guard. The police visited the site again, on 28 January 2019, this time with an SIA investigator. They interviewed the man Blythe had hired and established that he was working unlicensed as a security officer.

On 5 November 2019, SIA investigators interviewed Blythe under caution. He claimed that he did not realise that he needed to be licensed to perform his duties, and said that he would stop immediately.

According to the SIA, throughout the investigation Blythe lied to investigators, the police, and his client by claiming that he was fit and proper to provide security.

The site manager confirmed to the SIA that Blythe had been providing security, and was appointed because he had been recommended. There was an endangered species, Great Crested Newts, on the site which Blythe was licensed to manage. Blythe eventually admitted that he was doing security work alongside his caretaker work.

Peter Easterbrook, one of the SIA’s Criminal Investigation Managers, said: “SIA licence holders are required to demonstrate that they are fit and proper to undertake roles which require a high degree of trust and responsibility.  By virtue of his previous convictions, Peter Blyth was clearly not fit and proper and sought to undermine the purpose of regulation by not only working unlicensed himself, but also by supplying another unlicensed security operative. As the director of a security business, Blythe should have known better, but his actions showed him to be dishonest and more concerned with putting profit before complying with the law.  The outcome of this case should serve as a reminder that we will not hesitate to prosecute those who put the public at risk by supplying unlicensed security operatives.

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