Security firm wins review of decision to revoke licence

Delta Security Group had warned loss of licence would cost 140 jobs

Mr Justice Michael Peart: When the matter came before  him in the High Court yesterday, he was told it had settled

Mr Justice Michael Peart: When the matter came before him in the High Court yesterday, he was told it had settled

 

A security firm employing 140 people has settled its High Court action over a decision to revoke its licence.

Under the settlement, the Private Security Authority has agreed to quash that decision and to reconsider the matter.

Delta Security Group had claimed it would be unable to trade and that it would have to lay off its staff after its licence was revoked with immediate effect earlier this month. The authority regulates private security firms.

Marie-Louise Thornton and Joseph Craven, trading as Delta Security Group, had secured leave to bring judicial review proceedings alleging the authority’s decision was unfair and unlawful and breached their rights including a right to fair procedures.

When the matter came before Mr Justice Michael Peart yesterday, he was told it had settled.

Michael O’Connor, for Delta, based in Oranmore Business Park, Galway, said that following discussions, both parties had agreed the decision to revoke the licence could be quashed and the matter remitted to the authority for further consideration.

The action arose after the PSA conducted an audit last January of Delta Securities business and raised issues related to references provided for two staff members. The company said it took the inspectors’ concerns very seriously and emailed a document to the PSA to address the issues raised.

When the company was told the authority could not open the email, it sent the document by post.

Delta said it received no further correspondence until earlier this month when the regulator stated it was revoking Delta’s licence.

Delta sought to appeal the decision, asking for a meeting and engaging a solicitor. It was claimed the authority had agreed to temporarily reinstate the licence but, after Delta’s solicitor queried the need in those circumstances for a meeting, the temporary reinstatement of the licence was revoked.

Delta claimed it was being punished for querying the purpose and appropriateness of the meeting, which was a reasonable legal concern. It also claimed that before the PSA may revoke a licences, a serious breach of health and safety regulations must be shown and there was no such breach.