Indian-origin security supervisor prosecuted for working illegally at UK pub

LONDON, Aug 22: An Indian-origin man has been prosecuted and fined after he was found to be working illegally on an expired licence as a security supervisor at a UK pub.
Vikramjit Sharma from Worcester in the West Midlands region of England was caught working illegally as a door supervisor at the pub in November last year during a routine inspection by the UK’s Security Industry Authority (SIA) and West Mercia Police.
Earlier this month, he was sentenced in his absence at Worcester Magistrates’ Court to a GBP 250 fine and is also required to pay a victim surcharge of GBP 100.
The court also ordered him to pay the full GBP 1,663.80 prosecution costs and a collection order was imposed, which means Sharma now has a criminal record.
The prosecution followed checks that revealed his licence had been revoked by the SIA in September 2022 on the grounds that Sharma no longer had a right to work in the UK.
“The SIA licensing regime is there to protect the public. SIA licence holders must be ‘fit and proper’ people to protect the public,” said Mark Chapman, one of the SIA’s Criminal Investigations Managers.
“Sharma’s licence had been revoked. A simple online test by employers can check on our register of licence holders to assess whether a licence holder is legitimate and remains active. He is now unable to work in private security and has a criminal record,” he said.
The case began when West Mercia Police joined SIA investigators to carry out a routine inspection of Worcester’s night-time economy last year.
The investigators approached a well-known pub chain where two men were working as door supervisors. Sharma was one of them and he was displaying his SIA licence.
Sharma was contacted several times and told that his licence had been revoked and he was given 21 days to appeal the SIA’s decision. He was also directed to return the licence to the authority.
During the inspection on November 4, 2022, the SIA’s investigators established that Sharma had made an entry in the pub’s signing in-book. The venue had a security contract and had subcontracted to another company. It was this company that employed Sharma to the venue and they remain under investigation.
According to the SIA, Sharma was interviewed and he told investigators that he had no knowledge that his licence had been revoked. Yet evidence showed that he had accessed his online account repeatedly during the period and SIA investigators took Sharma’s licence off him.
The authority’s investigators sought to further interview Sharma under caution but he reportedly failed to engage with them. He was also due to appear in court on June 23, but failed to attend and therefore was finally prosecuted in absentia on August 11.
By UK law, security operatives working under contract must hold and display a valid SIA licence. The Security Industry Authority is the organisation responsible for regulating the private security industry in the UK, reporting to the Home Secretary. (PTI)