Weston-super-Mare man prosecuted for providing unlawful security at Oktoberfest

On Friday July 1, Weston-super-Mare man Stephen Berrisford pleaded guilty at North Somerset Magistrates’ Court to providing unlicensed security at the town’s Oktoberfest last year. Mr Berrisford was fined £133 and must pay £500 court costs and a victim fine surcharge of £34 by August 31, 2022. He is a sole trader trading as Steve Security & Supply and is in possession of an SIA license.

Friday’s sentencing follows the prosecution of another Weston-super-Mare man, Chadd Heath on May 6, where Heath pleaded guilty to working as an unlicensed security guard at Oktoberfest last year .

SIA investigators visited Oktoberfest as part of a routine licensing inspection in partnership with Devon and Cornwall Police licensing officers on October 1, 2021. They saw three people wearing jackets security at the front door and asked to see their security licenses. Two people correctly posted their licenses, which were checked by investigators. The third person, Chadd Heath, did not show a license and SIA investigators arrested him.

That night, Heath wore a jacket marked with the word “Security” which he said he wore to keep warm. Heath revealed that he did not have a license and was therefore working illegally. SIA investigators discovered that security had been deployed by Steve Security & Supply and, the same night, contacted Mr Berrisford, the company’s sole trader, to verify Mr Heath’s status. Mr Berrisford said Heath worked as a steward and therefore did not need to be made redundant.

The SIA investigator learned from Oktoberfest organizers that they recruited seven gate supervisors and no stewards to protect the event.

Mr Berrisford was questioned by the SIA on bail on February 4, 2022 and reiterated that Chadd Heath worked as a steward. This led to the SIA taking legal action against Stephen Berrisford for deploying unlicensed security.

Jenny Hart, head of criminal investigations at the SIA, said:

This latest lawsuit ends an investigation into an SIA-licensed man who deployed unlicensed security at a popular local event. He betrayed the trust of the organizers and put the guests in danger. As a result of that lawsuit, he now has a criminal record and is subject to license status review, meaning it could end his career in private security.

Notes to Editors:

  • By law, security guards working under contract must hold and display a valid SIA license
  • Learn more about SIA enforcement and penalties
  • The offense relating to the Private Security Industry Act (2001) referred to is:
    • Section 5 – Provision of Unlicensed Security Guard

Further information :

  • The Security Industry Authority is the body responsible for regulating the private security industry in the UK, reporting to the Home Secretary under the Private Security Industry Act 2001. The main functions of the SIA are the issuance of compulsory licenses to persons undertaking designated activities and the management of the voluntary licensed contractor program.
  • For more information about the Security Industry Authority or to sign up for email updates, visit: www.gov.uk/sia. The SIA is also on LinkedIn Facebook (Security Industry Authority) and Twitter (@SIAuk).

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