On Thursday 22 June 2023, a Birkenhead company director and his company were sentenced at Liverpool Magistrates’ Court.
Christopher Smith, sole director of Prenton-based Storm Secure Ltd was sentenced to a conditional discharge for a period of 12 months and ordered to pay £1,200 prosecution costs and a victim surcharge of £22.
The company was handed an absolute discharge. The sentencing followed the prosecutions on 11 May when Mr Smith entered guilty pleas for the supply of an unlicensed door supervisor to a Birkenhead bar and restaurant in November 2021.
The Security Industry Authority (SIA) brought the prosecutions following a joint enforcement initiative with Merseyside Police and Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council licence enforcement officers.
Together they carried out inspections in Birkenhead in November 2021 having received information that several bars and pubs were using illegal security.
The team inspected a beach bar and restaurant and requested the venue’s signing-in register, which provided details of those people working there in a security role.
They also obtained a letter from the venue stating that a recently formed company, Storm Secure Ltd, was its security supplier.
Analysis of the signing-in register revealed false licence numbers had been recorded for an unlicensed man who worked for two days in November 2021.
SIA investigators consequently interviewed Mr Smith under caution on 1 April 2022. During the interview, he confirmed that he had deployed the unknown man without the appropriate checks.
Mr Smith told SIA investigators that he was using another person, whom he trusted, to find suitably licensed people. SIA attempts to interview this unlicensed security operative were unsuccessful.
Mark Chapman, one of the SIA’s criminal investigations managers, said of the prosecution, “Christopher Smith has been sentenced and now has a criminal record. The SIA licensing regime exists to protect the public.
“By deploying illegal security into the Birkenhead night-time economy, he let down his client and the patrons of the venue, including on Bonfire Night, one of the busiest nights of the year. We are grateful to our enforcement partners Wirral Borough Council and Merseyside Police for their assistance in helping us to identify the licence offending.”
Image: Stock image for illustrative purposes only © Birkenhead News