South Wales July 21 2017 A South Wales security firm which has covered some of the UK’s biggest music festivals is being investigated for allegedly using unlicensed stewards.
LS Armour Security Ltd, which is based in Barry, is under investigation after checks were made at a festival in Gloucester last year, and the company is accused of giving fraudulent or cloned badges to its staff there.
The Security Industry Authority (SIA) confirmed the news this week, saying it was “exceptional” for it to comment on ongoing operations, and it had already made two arrests after seizing business documents - some linked to future events.
The statement read: “This type of unlawful conduct remains rare due to responsible organisers and security providers conducting appropriate due diligence.
“Nevertheless, the SIA understands that at this time of year, event organisers and primary contractors may not have sufficient SIA-licensed staff, which can lead to extensive sub-contracting.
“This provides opportunities to rogue providers that, with appropriate checks by organisers and primary contractors, can be largely mitigated.”
Checks were made at the 2000trees Music Festival in Gloucester on July 7, which featured acts such as Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes, Lower Than Atlantis and Pulled Apart By Horses.
The firm, based on High Street, Barry, is understood to have worked at festivals like Glastonbury and the Liverpool International Music Festival in the past.
The SIA said it was aware the company had employed both staff with cloned badges as well as correctly licensed staff, so said festival organisers should not automatically assume their LS Armour staff were unregistered.
It added the company has contracts to supply SIA-licensed staff to events and festivals in July and August, but it has taken measures “to mitigate the impact on those affected”.
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In a letter to promoters, the SIA said: “If SIA-licensed staff arrive on site and are unknown to you, you must take all reasonable steps to ensure the person named on and in possession of the licence are the same person by requiring them to provide further evidence of identity.
“This will mitigate the risk of the cloned licence.
“The SIA will be contacting organisers of events and festivals known to be using LS Armour Security Ltd and will work with them and to ensure that operatives are correctly licensed.”
In response LS Armour criticised procedures currently in place to check if employees hold valid licenses and said it was difficult to check if employees had the right qualifications.
Erica Lloyd, company director of LS Armour, said the company was not sure how many “cloned badges” had been identified or discovered.
She said it was difficult to comply when the only definitive check of whether someone holds a license is by checking the register on the SIA website.
She added: “This simplistic, inadequate vetting / checking system was brought to the attention of an SIA representative earlier this month, although at this time and on looking at the SIA website this appears to still be the only avenue of checking available.
“In conclusion may I add that we as a company are fully complying with the SIA investigation and are prepared to answer any further questions they may have.”