On Tuesday, 26 January 2021, a Bradford man pleaded guilty at Bradford and Keighley Magistrates’ Court to working without a licence as a door supervisor at a Bradford nightclub. Abbas Ali Shah worked illegally between 11 November 2018 and 18 March 2019 during the busy festive season.
Shah was fined £80 and required to pay £32 as a victim surcharge plus a £670 contribution to court costs. In passing sentence the magistrates took into account Shah’s financial situation.
The prosecution, which was brought by the Security Industry Authority (SIA) followed a tip off from West Yorkshire Police. When Shah started working at a venue, he did possess a valid SIA licence. However, it expired in October 2018 and he didn’t apply for a new licence until April 2019. During the period Shah worked illegally 30 times.
Shah called West Yorkshire Police on a number of occasions to report violent incidents at the venue in November 2018. When the police invited him for an interview following an inspection of the club’s signing in book by a police officer, Shah failed to attend the interview.
Nathan Salmon, the SIA’s criminal investigations team, said:
Clubbers go out to have a good time and feel safe on a night out. Shah’s behaviour was inexcusable, especially during the hectic pre-Christmas and New Year period; he put the clubbers in his care at risk. He knew he should be licensed and decided – for a reason only known to himself – not to renew his licence. He now has a criminal record and won’t be able to work in the private security industry. There has been a delay in progressing this investigation and prosecution due to the ongoing pandemic. However, we remain steadfast in punishing breaches of security regulations that present any threat to public safety.
Shah’s employer – a West Yorkshire security business – his manager and his supervisor entered not guilty pleas at the same hearing and a trial will take place later this year.