On Tuesday 14 June 2022, the Security Industry Authority (SIA) prosecuted a Belfast man at Laganside Magistrates' Court for providing false information and failing to comply with the Private Security Industry Act
The case was brought by the SIA after its criminal investigation team carried out checks at Belfast’s Voodoo on Friday 2 August 2019.
Tomas Tolan of Belfast pleaded guilty after previously pleading not guilty. He was given a 12-month conditional discharge, ordered to pay court costs of £200 and a victim surcharge of £42.
A man who was working as a door supervisor at Voodoo told an SIA investigator that he had been working at the venue for about a year and that he had been deployed by Tomas Tolan’s operation, Fianna Security.
The SIA asked Tolan to provide information, including details about his company structure, contracts, and the number of employees. On 7 October 2019, when Tolan replied to the SIA, he confirmed the name of his company to be Fianna Security Consultants. He failed to provide information about the company, payroll details, evidence of signing-in sheets or similar records, and withheld his bank account details. On 28 November 2019 the SIA interviewed Tolan under caution about his refusal to supply key information and the inaccuracies concerning his deployment of a man at Voodoo. Tolan’s failure to provide accurate information led to his prosecution by the SIA.
The SIA’s investigation revealed that Tolan was in fact a sole trader and did not own a company.
Mark Chapman, the SIA’s Criminal Investigation Manager said:
The primary purpose of the licensing regime is to protect the public. Mr Tolan provided inaccurate information to the SIA when we questioned him about his business dealings. This is unacceptable from a licensed person who is required to follow particular standards of conduct. The defendant provided services to a high-profile Belfast venue at the height of the holiday season and his actions, about which he was evasive in his response to questions, had potentially put the public at risk. Mr Tolan was prosecuted, pleaded guilty, and now has a criminal record.
Notes to Editors
By law, security operatives working under contract must hold and display a valid SIA licence
Read about SIA enforcement and penalties
The relating to the Private Security Industry Act (2001) that are mentioned above are:
Section 19 - failing to provide information relating to an investigation
Section 22 - providing false information
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 visit www.gov.uk/sia. The SIA is also on Facebook (Security Industry Authority), LinkedIn and Twitter (SIAuk).