On Tuesday 21 February at South Cheshire Magistrates’ Court, we successfully defended an appeal by Extreme Security Solutions Limited against a decision to refuse the company’s application for Approved Contractor Scheme (ACS) status. The court heard that the company, based in Macclesfield, applied for the ACS in November 2015. A similarly-named ACS company, Extreme Security Limited, went into liquidation in January 2016 with significant debts and owing tens of thousands of pounds to HM Revenue & Customs. After an investigation, the new company’s application for ACS was refused in September 2016 on the basis that the director, Mark Longden, was previously the director of a company (Extreme Security Limited) which had gone into liquidation within the past 12 months.
Another reason we refused their ACS application was that the previous director, Amie Longden, was unlicensed for several months prior to obtaining an SIA licence in March 2016. Additionally, the SIA had discovered that the company supplied an unlicensed security guard to a local college over a period of several months. The court heard that, when interviewed by our investigation officers, the unlicensed guard had stated he also had problems with alcoholism and debt. Julian King, representing the SIA, drew the court’s attention to the disregard for public protection when the company supplied unlicensed staff to a location as sensitive as a college.
Mark Longden is the current director of Extreme Security Solutions Limited and a former director of Extreme Security Limited. He denied knowing that the new company had been supplying an individual who was unlicensed. He accepted that Extreme Security Solutions Limited should have had better procedures in place to prevent the offence taking place, but claimed that the various problems with the company had now been resolved. Longden denied that Extreme Security Solutions Limited was a “phoenix” company, and stated that the company had not been trading at the time of its ACS application – despite having declared on the application form that it held several contracts to supply security services.
Upholding the decision to refuse the company’s application for ACS, the Magistrates stated that our evidence had been “clear and credible”. In contrast, the Magistrates found that the evidence of company director Mark Longden had been “vague and inconsistent”. Upon dismissal of the appeal, Extreme Security Solutions Limited were also ordered to pay the SIA’s legal costs of 4,067. Lisa Targowska, SIA Deputy Director Legal, said:
“The SIA will continue to vigorously defend court appeals of this nature. The aim of the Approved Contractor Scheme is to improve standards within the security industry, and we are determined to ensure that the scheme is not undermined by unsuitable companies who attempt to circumvent its requirements.”
- The Security Industry Authority is the organisation responsible for regulating the private security industry in the United Kingdom, reporting to the Home Secretary under the terms of the Private Security Industry Act 2001. The SIA’s main duties are: the compulsory licensing of individuals undertaking designated activities; and managing the voluntary Approved Contractor Scheme.
- For further information about the Security Industry Authority or to sign up for email updates visit www.sia.homeoffice.gov.uk.
LOS ANGELES (AP) Heavily armed sheriff’s deputies stood watch Tuesday at a Los Angeles-area subway station named in an unconfirmed threat and Mayor Eric Garcetti took the line to work to show confidence in security measures. Temporary barriers were in place at the entrance to the Red Line station near Universal Studios and some commuters were subjected to bag searches as deputies stood by with rifles and dogs. The mayor, who had urged people to go about their normal routines, used the station to get to work.
Garcetti said the threat was reported to an overseas tip line and relayed to the FBI.
“So this threat did not come from a person directly,” he said. “It came from a person who said they knew of a person.” Garcetti would not release further information, including the country where the call was received. Information about the potential threat was relayed to the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force from international partners Monday morning and was publicly revealed in a Monday night press conference.
Deirdre Fike, assistant director of the FBI’s Los Angeles office, said the credibility of the threat was still being investigated but it was announced due to its specificity and because the attack was threatened for the next day. Area U.S . Rep .
Adam Schiff, ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said he was briefed by law enforcement about the threat. “While the threat is still under investigation, law enforcement and local officials acted appropriately by alerting the public promptly, increasing security and urging residents to go about their normal daily business,” he said in a statement that recalled a threat that closed the Los Angeles Unified School District last December. “If it turns out to be a hoax like the prior threat against the LAUSD, it will represent another profound example of the extraordinary cost imposed on communities throughout the United States by such actions,” Schiff added.
The Universal City Red Line station is adjacent to the studio theme park, the Universal CityWalk entertainment district, hotels and office buildings. The line carries commuters from the San Fernando Valley to Union Station in downtown Los Angeles . About 150,000 riders a day take it and the Purple Line, which covers some of the same route.
Police Chief Charlie Beck and Sheriff Jim McDonnell said stepped-up security would include additional uniformed officers as well as officers in plainclothes. “This could be real, it could be a hoax . But we must remain calm but vigilant,” McDonnell said.
Both he and Beck encouraged anyone who sees anything suspicious to contact authorities immediately.
AP photographer Richard Vogel and reporter John Antczak contributed to this report.
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A pair of men posed as security workers and allegedly attempted to take a boy away from a secondary school. They had turned up outside Wellacre Academy, on Irlam Road, Flixton, in Greater Manchester on Tuesday, November 29, towards the end of the school day at 2.15pm. The men are said to have dressed in fake security clothing and were carrying fraudulent ID.
They stood outside the school and asked for an 11-year-old boy, reported the Manchester Evening News1 . Greater Manchester Police arrived at the scene and arrested a 19-year-old man and 21-year-old man at the scene on suspicion of attempted abduction.
Two men are being questioned over the alleged attempted abduction (Photo: Getty)
They remain in police custody for questioning. Principal Melanie Wicks told the MEN: “On Tuesday 29 November at 11 a.m .
two men in security uniform approached the school receptionist requesting to speak to one of our Year 9 students.
“The receptionist immediately raised her concerns directly with myself, as Principal.
“I spoke to the men about the purpose of their visit and became suspicious regarding the circumstances surrounding their request and reason for being on the school site.
“I explained our safeguarding policy and that under no circumstances would they be given access to any of our students and immediately escorted them from the premises and notified the relevant authorities of my concerns.
“The police were extremely helpful and were quick to respond and investigate the situation.
“The two men were subsequently arrested, less than two hours after the incident was reported.
“I would like to alleviate any concerns and reassure both students and parents that their safety is our primary concern at all times.”
Ms Wicks said stranger danger assemblies would be held as well as an increased staff presence in the local community at the beginning and end of the school day.
Anyone with information should call police on 101, quoting incident number 1088 of 29/11/16, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.