Brisbane man fined for unlicensed security work
8 November 2018
A Brisbane trader was convicted and fined $10,000 in the Holland Park Magistrates Court yesterday (7 November 2018) after the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) brought charges for acting as an unlicensed security equipment installer.
Simon John Hickey, sole owner and operator of Smerff Electrical in Stretton, was fined $10,000 and ordered to pay court costs of $2,702.60 after being found guilty of five counts of acting as an unlicensed security equipment installer and two counts of advertising as a security equipment installer. A conviction was recorded.
The court heard Mr Hickey was uncooperative throughout the investigation and repeatedly showed abusive and discriminatory behaviour towards investigators.
In January 2018, the Richlands Magistrates Court convicted and sentenced Mr Hickey to six months’ imprisonment, with the term of imprisonment suspended after serving seven days, for the unlawful stalking of an OFT inspector involved in the investigation of the unlicensed security work.
The Holland Park Magistrates Court heard that between 14 February and 1 May 2017, Mr Hickey installed security equipment on five occasions, despite the fact he was not licensed to do so under the Security Providers Act 1993 (the Act).
The court also heard Mr Hickey had previously been refused a Queensland security equipment installers licence and security adviser licence in 2008 due to having disqualifying offences in his criminal history and that he had not applied for a licence under the Act since.
Mr Hickey continued to advertise for work installing security equipment through the Smerff Electrical website throughout the investigation and court proceedings.
In sentencing, Magistrate Turra said Mr Hickey’s behaviour in publishing disparaging material online about OFT officers investigating him showed a lack of remorse for his offending, and was hurtful and confronting to those officers.
Magistrate Turra also said Mr Hickey was not a fit and proper person to hold a security licence, and the entire incident was a mess of his own creation.
Fair Trading Executive Director Brian Bauer said the security industry was regulated to maintain a high standard of probity and professionalism, and to help protect consumers from undesirable practices.
“Before engaging a person to install security equipment, consumers are encouraged to check the person is appropriately licensed by using the free online licence check on the OFT website,” Mr Bauer said.
“The OFT will continue to take action against individuals who work as a security provider without holding the appropriate licence.”
More information on the obligations for security providers in Queensland, as well as a free online licence search is available at www.qld.gov.au/fairtrading or by calling 13 QGOV (13 74 68).