ON TUESDAY 5 July, Christopher Browne of Scarborough was ordered by York Crown Court to pay a £164,000 Confiscation Order within three months or face an 18-month jail sentence following a Proceeds of Crime action. The amount is the realisable funds from the sale of his Scarborough house which is currently subject to a Proceeds of Crime Act Restraint Order. Browne was also sentenced to a £200 fine and a £20 victim surcharge.
The sentencing follows Browne’s conviction on 9 February last year at Scarborough Magistrates’ Court for working as an unlicensed company director of Scarborough-based Coastal Security Ltd.
The prosecution was brought by the Security Industry Authority (SIA).
Browne held a valid SIA security guarding licence up until 15 February 2016. After his licence expired, he refused to apply for a new security guarding licence even after repeated attempts by the SIA to help him to engage with the regulator’s licensing process. Browne continued to work as an unlicensed director of a company supplying security for more than four-and-a-half years between 15 February 2016 and 21 August 2020.
Browne responded to a request for information when he gave a full and frank account during an interview under caution on 20 August 2020 and admitted that he had knowingly acted as a director of a company supplying private security industry services without an SIA licence.
Browne was a director of Coastal Security Ltd for 21 years from December 2000. The business supplied CCTV, security equipment and security officers, but the company has now been put into liquidation.
Jenny Hart, one of the SIA’s criminal investigation managers, said the court order reflects the seriousness of Browne’s failings to engage with the SIA and get licensed. “We did everything possible to engage with Browne, but he failed to renew and apply for a licence to operate. He was negligent and put the public at risk as he refused to become licensed. His non-compliance has exacerbated the situation, which could have easily been avoided.”