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Monday, 11 January 2010

Glasgow firm Spyguard's general manager Gavin Scott, 64, and directors Paddy Dyer, 44, and Gary Fitzpatrick, 46, have all had their licences removed.

12:00 | , , , , , ,

GANGLAND security firms are on the run after police chiefs started sharing secret files with industry watchdogs, we can reveal today.Strathclyde Police are handing over intelligence on rogue firms to the Security Industry Authority (SIA) - leading to dozens of people losing their licences because of underworld links.One company have already lost their SIA approved contractor status.One security source said: "The SIA have failed to clean up the industry partly because it hasn't got enough power."It's fantastic the police are now sharing what they know about these people. If that continues, it could make a real difference."Glasgow firm Spyguard's general manager Gavin Scott, 64, and directors Paddy Dyer, 44, and Gary Fitzpatrick, 46, have all had their licences removed.The SIA acted after police told them how the firm used intimidation to win contracts.Former Army sergeant and weapons instructor Scott unsucessfully appealed against losing his licence at Glasgow Sheriff Court.In a written judgement, Sheriff John Brown said: "Such information, in my view, entitles the SIA to take the action they have to suspend the licence in the public interest."Scott, from Yoker, Glasgow, said he had no idea if his employers were involved in organised crime.He added: "I'm being punished not for who I am but for who the police say I work for. Does anyone know who they work for? "I earn £300 a week as a supervisor. Does that sound like someone who is a bigtime crook? I was 22 years in the Gordon Highlanders. I have no criminal record yet am being treated like one."It seems everyone is being tarred with the same brush."
Others who have had their licences revoked include gangster Eli Webb, 44, who has walked free on five attempted murder charges.He lost his licence a week after the it was revealed he was linked to "roll wars" - in which bakery firms were targeted in a campaign of intimidation.An industry source said: "It's incredible that someone like Webb was even licensed in the first place."Barry Dempster - a 29-year-old tanning salon boss linked to Pegasus Security - has also lost his licence. He is the son of underworld figure Bobby 'The Devil' Dempster. Boss Stephen Palombo, 41, had won approved contractor status for his firm X714 by convincing the SIA they were legitimate.But X714 were stripped of the status because of their links to Willie Bennett, 50, an associate of the Daniel crime clan.Palombo, who also runs a drug-testing business for employers, was unavailable last night. A spokeswoman said: "He's out the country and X714 is no longer in business. I don't know the name Willie Bennett."The SIA also moved to end Motherwellbased Izon Security's approved contractor status over alleged links to drug dealer Thomas Allan, 50.But the firm successfully challenged the move at Hamilton Sheriff Court.A police source said: "We can now spell out in detail the connections between criminals in the background and the people fronting and running the firms."That allows the SIA to review the suitability of individual licence holders and any firms who have gained approved contractor status. There's a lot more to come."Those stripped of their licences are now barred by law from working in security.Lawyer Jim Kelly said he planned a second appeal on Scott's behalf.He added: "I believe that the police and the SIA are acting illegally in the way they target people they suspect are involved in crime."If people pass all the tests laid down by the SIA, then they should be allowed to hold a licence."

The SIA said: "We can suspend a licence if we think there is a risk to the public."

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