Door­man ‘not im­per­son­at­ing po­lice of­fi­cer’

Man is cleared

Llanelli Star - - FRONT PAGE - Ian Lewis & Nino Wil­liams [email protected]­

A SE­CU­RITY door­man was found driving a car equipped with blue lights and sirens while wear­ing a uni­form that re­sem­bled a po­lice of­fi­cer’s with a stab vest, hand­cuffs, body cam­eras and a spray can­is­ter, a court heard.

Aaron Davies was ar­rested on sus­pi­cion of im­per­son­at­ing a po­lice of­fice in July last year near the McDon­ald’s restau­rant in Trostre, Llanelli, where he worked as a door­man. He was stopped in his Jaguar car by po­lice shortly af­ter 11.40pm on July 27.

Davies, 20, de­nied im­per­son­at­ing a po­lice of­fi­cer and was cleared af­ter a trial at Llanelli Mag­is­trates’ Court.

Davies, who was em­ployed by Phoenix Se­cu­rity, told Dis­trict Judge Christo­pher James his uni­form was sim­i­lar to that of oth­ers em­ployed by the firm and the lights and sirens were not fit­ted to his car while on pub­lic roads.

Prose­cu­tor Sian Vaughan ar­gued the de­meanour of the uni­form was to look like a po­lice of­fi­cer.

Dur­ing cross-ex­am­i­na­tion Davies said: “My hivis jacket has a Vel­cro se­cu­rity patch on the left breast [and] ‘Se­cu­rity’ writ­ten on the arm and on the back of the vest.

“From any an­gle it says ‘Se­cu­rity’ – I am a se­cu­rity guard, it’s my job.”

Davies said he would wear the same uni­form when work­ing se­cu­rity at other stores such as Mor­risons and Pound­land.

He said he wore a stab vest – which was not stan­dard is­sue from Phoenix Se­cu­rity – for his own safety af­ter be­ing stabbed with a pen pre­vi­ously and said he would “rather be safe than sorry”.

Davies, of Parc Hendy Cres­cent, Pen­clawdd, Swansea, said he had hand­cuffs in case he needed to detain trou­ble­mak­ers at McDon­ald’s.

Ex­plain­ing the siren fit­ted un­der the bon­net and red and blue lights – which of­fi­cers found in the boot – Davies said he only used them when work­ing in se­cu­rity at fes­ti­vals and never on a pub­lic road.

Po­lice found these were op­er­ated by a con­trol panel fit­ted next to the steer­ing wheel. Davies said he had never told any­one he was po­lice of­fi­cer or acted in a way to make any­one be­lieve he was.

Pe­ter Vokes, area man­ager for Phoenix Se­cu­rity, was asked by Ms Vaughan if what Davies was wear­ing when ar­rested was is­sued by Phoenix. Mr Vokes said the hi-vis vest was and one body cam­era was but an­other was not. He said Davies’ black wicker polo shirt, hand­cuffs, and spray were also not part of the Phoenix uni­form.

He said: “I car­ried out au­dits on uni­forms and told him to not carry hand­cuffs but on other vis­its he had them again.”

De­fence bar­ris­ter Hywel Davies showed a pic­ture of Phoenix staff in a sim­i­lar uni­form to Davies’ and Mr Vokes con­firmed staff were is­sued uni­forms in other ar­eas of the firm but not within his man­age­rial area. When asked by Mr Davies what Mr Vokes be­lieved Davies looked like he replied: “A se­cu­rity guard.”

Am­man­ford po­lice sta­tion cus­tody sergeant David Munk­ley, who has 21 years ex­pe­ri­ence in the po­lice, said he was fooled by Davies’ ap­pear­ance.

“When he came into the po­lice sta­tion af­ter ar­rest I told the other of­fi­cers: ‘You should have told me you were ar­rest­ing a po­lice of­fi­cer’,” said Sgt Munk­ley.

“I thought he was a po­lice of­fi­cer when I saw him from a dis­tance.”

Judge James cleared Davies of the sin­gle charge, say­ing: “It is clearly the high-vis­i­bil­ity uni­form used in the se­cu­rity in­dus­try – even though the de­fen­dant has pur­chased his own equip­ment and adapted the uni­form, in par­tic­u­lar the vest with pock­ets, which can be bought on the in­ter­net.”

Fol­low­ing the case Mr Davies said: “I have ap­plied to join the Bri­tish Trans­port Po­lice and my ar­rest came two weeks be­fore I was due to be mea­sured for a uni­form.

“The ar­rest paused my ap­pli­ca­tion and I had my SIA [Se­cu­rity In­dus­try Au­thor­ity] li­cence taken off me. I had also been work­ing as a hol­i­day rep but be­cause I was on bail I was not al­lowed to leave the coun­try so I lost my job with them.”

Pic­ture: Jonathan My­ers

Aaron Shaun Davies, 20, out­side Swansea Mag­is­trates’ Court. Be­low, in his work out­fit.

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