Guarding

SIA in Yorks op

by Mark Rowe

More than 150 checks on security staff working across South Yorkshire found the majority were complying with the law, the Security Industry Authority (SIA) reports.

Operation Hydrus was carried out by the SIA and South Yorkshire Police with support from the charity Crimestoppers on Friday, March 1.

The first aim of the op; to ensure that security staff and their employers were operating within the law, by holding a valid SIA licence and meeting licence conditions. The second; to provide a visible presence in the towns, to encourage the public to report security operatives working without an SIA licence or in breach of licensing conditions.

Daytime checks took place in Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield. In total, 69 security staff working at 11 sites were inspected. In the evening, the focus was on door staff working at venues in Barnsley, Bawtry, Doncaster, Hillsborough and Sheffield city centre. In total, 88 door staff working at 40 pubs and clubs were inspected.

In total, 157 checks were made with 155 licensed operatives found. Two operatives were found unlicensed, one had his licence suspended following a police disclosure that he had used unreasonable force as a door supervisor. The other individual was suspected of being an unlicensed employer of his own in-house door staff.

Investigators issued four warnings to individuals for breaches of the licence conditions – three for failing to display their licence and one for failing to notify the SIA of a change of address. The operation identified a number of issues which came to light as a result of the joint visits and intelligence sharing between the agencies.

Officers conducted Police National Computer (PNC) checks, which identified individuals who had undisclosed convictions. The police were also able to locate and arrest a door supervisor wanted for outstanding offences. This man had not informed the SIA of his criminality and is now subject to an investigation that may result in his licence being revoked or suspended. Whilst checking venues in Hillsborough in Sheffield, a door supervisor fled the scene and is suspected of working unlicensed. It is also suspected that the director of the security supplier at this venue is also unlicensed.

As a result of this operation South Yorkshire Police and the SIA will now further investigating the three suspected unlicensed individuals.

SIA Head of Investigation, Nigel Davies said: “Operation Hydrus is one of the biggest inspections we have conducted in the area to date. We were pleased to join our partners as part of our commitment to protecting the public.

“While the majority of individuals checked were working legally, it is worrying that a small minority are breaking the law and this is not acceptable. The operation also helped us and the police detect other individuals and offences. We are now looking into the offences found and further enforcement action may take place.”

Licensing manager for South Yorkshire Police Benita Mumby said: “This was a successful operation with excellent partnership work and this proves that, in the main, security companies are operating professionally and within the law.”

Crimestoppers regional manager for Yorkshire and Humberside, Dave Hunter said: “Properly trained and licensed security operatives play a big role in protecting the public. Working in any of the designated security roles without holding an SIA licence is a criminal offence, and we would encourage people to let us know if they are aware of anyone attempting to work without the required licence. We want to encourage the public to provide us with information relating to private security operatives working without an SIA licence or in breach of SIA licensing conditions. Contact Crimestoppers and tell us what you know, not who you are, by calling 0800 555 111 anonymously or by filling out a secure online form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.”

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