Suspended jail sentence for boss who supplied unlicensed security to school

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Martin Coe, the former director of Evolution Security Services NW, was found guilty following a two-day trial at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court on 05 and 06 October. Coe had pleaded guilty at a previous hearing to failing to provide information to the SIA, despite being legally required to do so. The prosecution was brought by the Security Industry Authority (SIA), who will now seek to recover assets from Coe through Proceeds of Crime Act proceedings.

SIA investigators discovered that unlicensed security guards had worked for Coe on numerous occasions at Baines School in Poulton, the Wyre Light pub in Fleetwood, and at the Poulton Industrial Estate.

Nathan Salmon, of the SIA’s Criminal Investigation Team, said:

Martin Coe refused to co-operate with an SIA investigation, and he has wasted court time by denying the charges against him. Providing unlicensed security staff to a school is a very serious matter. The public, who expect the very highest standards from those who protect them, will be reassured that Coe will now be banned from working in security. In addition, we will be pursuing the recovery of any profit he has made from his crimes.

Neil Reddington and Gavin Macaskill had originally been found working at the Wyre Light in May 2019 by a licensing officer from Lancashire Constabulary, who was following up on reports of unlicensed operatives at the venue. Both men were employed by Evolution Security.

Reddington was sentenced at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court on 29 February 2020.

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 offences relating to the Private Security Industry Act 2001 that are mentioned in the above news release are:
    • 2 counts of Section 5 by way of Section 23 (a director deploying unlicensed guards through the company)
    • 2 counts of Section 19 (failing to provide information relating to an investigation)
  • read the Private Security Industry Act 2001
  • Martin Coe’s sentence comprised:
    • Charge 1 (s5 Wyre Light) – 26 weeks custody
    • Charge 2 (s5 Northern Security) – 6 weeks custody consecutive
    • Charge 3 (s19 Evolution NW) – 4 weeks custody concurrent
    • Charge 4 (s19 Evolution) – 4 weeks custody concurrent

Further 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. Our 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) and Twitter (SIAuk).
  • Media enquiries only please contact: 0300 123 9869, [email protected]

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