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Weston-super-Mare man prosecuted for supplying illegal security to Oktoberfest

July 7, 2022

Stephen Berrisford pleaded guilty at North Somerset Magistrates’ Court to supplying unlicensed security to the town’s Oktoberfest last year.

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

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

SIA investigators visited the Oktoberfest as part of routine licence inspection in partnership with Devon and Cornwall Police licensing officers on 1 October 2021. They saw three people wearing security jackets at the entrance gate and asked to see their security licences. Two people correctly displayed their licences, which were verified by the investigators. The third person, Chadd Heath, did not display a licence, and the SIA investigators challenged him.

That night, Heath wore a jacket marked with the word ‘Security’ which he said he was wearing to keep himself warm. Heath revealed that he did not have a licence and was therefore working illegally. The SIA investigators found that the security was deployed by Steve Security & Supply and on the same night contacted Mr Berrisford, the sole trader of the enterprise to check Mr Heath’s status. Mr Berrisford said that Heath was working as a steward and therefore did not need to be licensed.

The SIA investigation officer found out from the Oktoberfest organisers that they had procured seven door supervisors and no stewards to protect the event.

Mr Berrisford was interviewed by the SIA under caution on 4 February 2022 and reiterated that Chadd Heath worked as a steward. This led to the SIA bringing a prosecution against Stephen Berrisford for deploying unlicensed security.

Jenny Hart, the SIA’s Criminal Investigations Manager, said:

This latest prosecution brings to an end an investigation into a man who holds an SIA licence who deployed unlicensed security to a very popular, local event. He betrayed the trust of the organisers and put the guests at risk. As a result of this prosecution, he now has a criminal record and is liable to have a licence status review which means it could end his private security career.

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