This recent case from the Govt press office highlights an important issue for brokers and insurers; when offering third party liability on public sector sites, live events or business premises, you need clear protocols on ID checks. Knowing who is on site, especially when that person is allgedly responsible for site security, is a vital part of risk assessment.
Mohammed Bashir was found guilty of fraud at Bolton Magistrates’ Court on 22 February 2022 following his misuse of a Security Industry Authority (SIA) licence. The court handed Bashir a 26-week jail sentence, which was suspended for two years. It also ordered him to do 200 hours of unpaid community service and pay £1,000 court costs, plus a victim surcharge of £128. Bashir originally pleaded not guilty to the charges at Bolton Magistrates’ Court in September 2021.The SIA brought the prosecution.
Bashir’s criminality came to light when he applied for an SIA licence of his own in July 2020. The SIA rejected his application due to a string of convictions that disqualified him from being a fit and proper person to bear a licence. Bashir made an unsuccessful approach to the SIA to appeal the decision. He supplied a reference from a long-time friend and colleague, which suggested that Bashir had been working in the security industry, with a licence, for the last three years. The SIA opened an investigation immediately.
SIA investigators soon discovered that Bashir had falsely claimed to be properly licensed when seeking work from SIA approved contractor Lingwood Security Management Ltd in December 2018. In fact he used his father’s non-front line licence to work for Lingwood at various NHS hospitals in Northwest England up to the end of February 2019. In May 2019 he also purported to be licensed and presented his father’s Door Supervisor’s licence to Radius Security Ltd.
Mark Chapman, one of the SIA’s criminal investigation managers, said:
Mr Bashir has been found guilty and given a suspended prison sentence for three counts of fraud. We deemed him unfit to hold an SIA licence due to his prior criminality, yet he worked illegally in hospitals at a time when the NHS was severely under pressure and dealing with vulnerable people. The SIA’s licensing regime is there to protect the public and keep people safe and he sought to undermine the licensing regime by his dishonest behaviour. This successful prosecution has stopped him in his tracks, and he now has a substantial costs’ order to pay.