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Operation Secure

posted 9 Mar 2009, 07:30 by myEdinburgh Admin   [ updated 9 Mar 2009, 07:31 ]
Officers from Lothian and Borders Police were joined by counterparts from the UK Border Agency and Security Industry Authority for a series of raids on building sites across the force area on Wednesday (March 4).

A total of 65 sites were visited during Operation Secure, an intelligence gathering and enforcement operation focusing on sites protected by private security companies.

Visits were made to sites across the Lothians and Scottish Borders, where officers carried out checks to ensure that security personnel complied with regulations laid down in the Security Industry Act.

Officers detected 17 offences under the Act, the majority of which related to personnel working without the appropriate licence.

In addition, a Chinese man was arrested by the UK Border Agency for an immigration offence.

A Lothian and Borders Police spokesman said: 'While these raids included an enforcement element, they were primarily carried out to gather intelligence on private security companies.

'There is intelligence to suggest that some private security firms have links to serious and organised crime groups, who attempt to legitimise their activities through the ownership of such companies.

'It should never be forgotten however, that these criminal networks are responsible for blighting local communities with drugs and violence, and we will continue to ensure that their activities are disrupted.

'Rest assured that any criminality uncovered as a result of this operation will result in those responsible being brought to justice.'

Christy Hopkins, SIA Head of Investigation, said: 'This operation shows the commitment of the SIA and its partners to target security companies who seek to profit by disregarding the law.

'The SIA regulates the private security industry to ensure that only fit and proper people are employed in these positions of trust within our communities.

'We will continue to work closely with our partners to cause maximum disruption to rogue security companies.'

Phil Taylor, Regional Director of the UK Border Agency in Scotland and Northern Ireland said:

'Our message is clear - we will not tolerate immigration related crime, which threatens to damage our communities.

'This successful operation shows our commitment to work closely with our colleagues in police forces throughout Scotland to help uncover this activity.

'We are determined to deal with this threat, and we will step in and identify those who are breaking our immigration laws and remove those people who are in the UK illegally.'

Source: Lothian & Borders Police