The director of a security company who forced unpaid jobseekers to sleep rough before assisting at the Jubilee pageant has had a string of previous companies ‘struck off’ by regulators after a failure to submit accounts. The revelation could further bring into question the professionalism of an operation awarded security contracts for the Olympic Games.

Molly Prince was a director of the following businesses, which were were all compulsorily struck off by Companies House using powers under the Companies Act — having failed to submit any accounts whatsoever:

Prince’s current company, Close Protection UK, hit the headlines after it used unpaid jobseekers to steward the weekend’s jubilee celebrations, forcing them to camp overnight under London Bridge. The incident soured the celebrations, and has once again shone a harsh light on government workfare schemes.

Earlier we revealed that the boss of Tomorrow’s People, the back-to-work charity which referred jobseekers to Close Protection UK, is Conservative peer Baroness Scott. Scott and Tomorrow’s People had already been reprimanded by the Charity Commission for breaching rules on political activities, with their links to the Tory Party.

That might go a little way towards explaining Downing Street’s off-hand dismissal of the scandal, a spokesman saying:

“This is a one off … This is an isolated incident. The company has apologised.”

Interestingly, Close Protection UK’s last accounts appear to indicate the company was operating with substantial liabilities — and a bank balance of just £1,317.

Perhaps this explains why they are relying on forced labour.

  1. Lynda Davies says:

    I am disgusted and ashamed at the scandalous behavior of this women, who is presumably acting with government approval ! What sort of Country have we become to act this way towards young unemployed people who don’t know London and were promised a wage in return for work how could anyone be so heartless, and what guarantee is there this won’t happen again at the Olympics which are supposed to showcase our Country. I am in Canada at the moment and how do I answer questions such as ” why doesn’t the Queen step and stop it” I have no answer, we must get these greedy uncaring people out and return to the things that made us great in the first place – our fair, caring society.

  2. I wonder if this shouldn’t be Baroness Stedman-Scott rather than (plain) Scott. So as not to confuse the two?

  3. DR DAVID ATOSKI says:

    I just love You news ferrets that get all these horrible stories out in the open. keep up the good work ;-)

  4. Who chose a company with directors with that kind of record to work for the Olympics.

    I hope that this gets a lot of publicity (though I doubt it will).

    Listen up world. This is the kind of country you are dealing with. Don’t ever trust them to run anything. They are as bent as a nine bob note and they are fond of slavery.

  5. reason why companies like this get selected are because of their willingness to do it on the cheap and the political links

  6. David Rowland – Jeremy Hunt – Sayeeda Warsi – Lord Michael Ashcroft – Michael Spencer – Adam Werrity – Liam Fox – Bell Pottinger – Lord Bell – Tim Collins – Philip Green – Andy Coulson – Rebekah Brooks, Rupert Murdoch – James Murdoch – Adam Smith – Fred Michel – Andrew Cook – Care UK – Serco _ KPMG – McKinseys – Cash for Access – Peter Cruddas – Cash for Cameron – Anthony Bamford JCB -A4e -Emma Harrison now CPUK and Tomrrow’s People.

    These names are just off the top of my head believe it or not there are many more, this just goes on and on and on.

    These are all people with links to the Tories and all in some way or another under some kind of suspicion, or have been under suspicion leaving a cloud hanging over the Tory government and Tory party. It’s fair to say that all governments will have a certain degree of people, but not like this one and not a government so young, it’s only just over 2 years old and already it has more sleaze than Labour’s 13 years and the previous 19 years of Tory governments put together.

    How long are the British people going to put up with this before they wake-up and see what is going on? We are being overrun by unelected cronies of the PM and Tory party, we haven’t got an elected government, we have a dictatorship.

    We are being lead (and I use that term loosely) by an unelected PM leading and unelected government. This is why I believe in peace time when there is a hung parliament there should be a set time a minority or coalition or pact government can stay in power. I’s suggest 2.5 years maximum.

  7. Mary Prince also has had three other companies struck off without filing accounts, Monkey Consultancy, Brook Tavern (wardley) and Licensed Retail Trading Ltd.

    Another company she is a director of, The Leadership Development Centre in Salford has been close to being struck off 3 times.

    Mary has recently registered 2 companies, Vision Lifestyle and Commitment Fitness under her assumed name of ‘Molly’, is this legal?

  8. Having worked in this cut throat paranoid industry – I’m very inclined to believe this alleged account . It is always ” interesting ” to hear what ex services and retired police say about these firms . They often appear to operate on the edge as it were . It’s also ” interesting ” that the Army Forum ARRSE seems to be scathingly critical of these outfits .

    The Police Federation( Far from left wing ) appear to be taking an interest too – the thin end of the wedge perhaps ? …at least Margaret Thatcher had enough strategy to keep them onside …it’s not really a simplistic right v left issue more of a moralistic , ethics and decency one

    : June 5, 2012 at 10:20 pm
    I received “training” from CP UK a few years ago.
    Let me start by saying the
    Company is a joke! I Enrolled on a close protection (CP) course as unfortunately the SIA do not deem the Royal Military Police Close Protection unit; where I qualified as worthy of there qualification yet the foreign and commonwealth office were quite happy for me to deploy to various embassy’s around the world. Anyway to gain my civilian SIA badge I had to attend an SIA recognised training programme for a 3-4 day course paid for by the MoD.
    I arrived at a tired out former shop on a back street in Hindley Wigan First impression was not a good one and I thought things can only get better!!
    I was ushered to a small make shift class room on the first floor to be greeted by the instructor (more about them later) who introduced himself as a right hard tw@t (no joke)! Also in the class
    room were other students who had paid upwards of £2000 for a full CP course lasting in the region of 2 weeks. There was a pretty even split in the room half were pumped up tough guys bored of working the doors and the other half job seekers on some kind of a grant paid by the government.
    My course began by the instructor asking my previous qualification (which made him look silly) before sending me out with four other students to teach them how to do a reconnaissance visit. Not correct me if I am wrong but surely that was his job!!
    Each venue I visited were aware of the company. One such venue was the Lowry hotel in Manchester. I spoke with the head of security t the hotel who was well are of the company and Molly Prince. In his words he told me “you seem like a nice fella who knows the job, if I were you I would get the hell away from that company and if Molly Prince turns up here with here doormen again pushing our customers out of lifts etc I will bar the company from using this hotel for good!!

    And so this went on…
    On the final day Prince ordered a range rover be hired as she would be a VIP for the evening while the students were put through the paces and tested. She was driven around Manchester with a friend and a team of body guards (students/doormen). She shopped in the town centre before being driven back to the 5* Lowry where she changed.
    Her and her friend were then taken back in to Manchester where she went on the p!ss until the small hours before being driven back.

    That was the final test for the students CPUK now sanctioned them as CP operators worthy of an SIA badge! Better still Prince enjoyed a night out costing thousands all paid for by the students fees!!

    I honestly can’t believe this outfit is still running, and am even more shocked they are contemplating allowing them to provide staff for the Olympics.

    What a joke !!!

  9. The security industry is riddled with these jokers. I did a CP course as part of my research for a series of thrillers and even as a layman with no previous experience it was quickly apparent that there are any number of ‘thick-necked twats’ and serial fantasists running and involved with operations like this. Luckily, and it was luck, I had two instructors who were ex-RMP Close Protection Unit and they were the real deal. Funnily enough they didn’t feel the need to tell anyone how hard they were or big time it because they were professionals.
    The SIA should be abolished and a body put in place that is fit for purpose. Companies like CPUK are not only exploitative but, in my opinion, extremely dangerous. Security, especially when you are dealing with the general public, is best left to paid professionals.

  10. Bearing in mind the public sector contract regulations would legally require contracts such as this to be competitively tendered & part of the process is a company qualification stage involving financial checks on the company, I’d like to know how CPUK won the contract in the first place. I suspect an FOI enquiry would not show a very transparent process..

  11. As a former FCO Officer Desk-Officer dealing on a daily basis with diplomatic protection (buildings and personnel) from an administrative stance, I can assure you that no heed whatsoever is ever paid to Mickey-mouse outfits like CPUK (or whatever other name it will no doubt choose to resurrect itself by) by security professionals. Similar organisations were well known to us. The ones I have investigated are often run and staffed by serial-Walter Mitty type characters (and that’s being polite!) and are mostly a source of amusement. That is amusing until stories such as this one appear when they cease to be amusing and become a source of national and political disgrace.

    It’s M.D. Mary Prince has a string of failed companies behind her. Typing the registered address of CPUK (15 King Street, Hindley, Wigan) into Google-earth shows you that the company appears to be working out of a run-down grubby side street in the North-West. I cannot believe that such a company would be allowed anywhere near events as prestigious as the Diamond Jubilee celebrations and the Olympics let alone be a source of training for the industry if organisations such as the DWP, Tomorrow’s People and (if their contract with the London Olympics remains in place) the DCMS have done even rudimentary background checks. That they ARE involved in these events tells me that at best someone has not done their homework. – @EamonnMy10cents

  12. The Insider says:

    Their credit rating is 4 (out of 100) with a note “credit at your discretion”. Their net worth at March 2011 was minus £185,000 and they claim to employ just 9 people. Since 2008 they have twice been threatened with compulsory striking off by Companies House. Sound like the perfect business partners for this coalition.

  13. I’ve just contacted the SIA to ask them if they remain confident of CPUK’s fitness to retain their “approved SIA trainer” status. I’ve also asked for some info re. the process of awarding “approved status” to wannabe trainers. I’ll keep you informed of their response: @EamonnMy10cents

  14. Despite the SIA, Security in Britain is still full of Jokers. Standeasy Security will be providing security at Royal Ascot, but they have just had their SIA ACS revoked as the SIA decided Standeasy Security are not a fit and proper company, and their one time foul mouthed and violent idiot Director David Graham Price had his SIA Security Guarding licence, 0330012447553189, revoked 12 March 2011, but he still continued illegally for several months as a Director of Standeasy Security. Let’s hope he is now safely in prison. Let’s hope that Standeasy are nowhere near the Royals.

    One company providing security for the Olympic site at Weymouth was struck off by Companies House and simply reregistered using a slightly different name. Olympic Security will be cheap and cheerful with dodgy companies.

  15. So what has happened to the suckers with Close Protection UK is being called a huge surprise? Not to me it isn’t. Exactly these sort of things have happened to me and loads of other guards that I have met. Security employers can and do lie.

    Both Opium Security Solutions Limited and Opium Security Limited were struck out as UK companies. But wait. Opium Sec UK rises from the ashes early 2012 with just a very slight name change and somehow immediately wins an Olympic security contract! You see name changes in security companies all of the time – just enough to be a new company. Security staff are often recruited in large numbers for festivals, then travel at own expense and never get paid. The “security company” is known only at the end of a mobile phone and the unpaid staff have no chance of ever getting paid as the employer has pocketed the money and gone AWOL. I doubt if a lot of these short term Jack in the Box security companies even have public liability insurance, which raises the question, if anything goes wrong, who is responsible and who pays?

    Anyone who has been around UK security will know about the semi literate criminal types who run many security companies, where wages and office bills go unpaid but the owners buy themselves fancy new cars and jet off around the world on “business trips” staying in expensive hotels and holiday resorts. Security Officers are frequently charged lots of money, maybe £100, for uniforms they have never been issued with. Best of all are foreigners who are soon leaving the UK as their os no need to pay them. How can they manage from many thousands of miles away to get wages out of a thieving UK security employer with no intention of ever paying?

    Xfor illegally deducted money from wages to pay the vetting company but the money never went to the vetting company, and Xfor ran from their offices owing substantial rent. They resigned before the SIA kicked them out of the ACS, but even after bankruptcy Xfor reopened using almost the same names and are back in the ACS as if nothing has happened. Xfor had 3 people arrested as spies or terrorists in Kenya and they were caught on camera accepting money to obtain confidential private details. Xfor still breaks the law by attaching magnetic tracking devices to cars. And numerous people who were employed by Xfor went unpaid. Xfor used to charge for more staff at the Hindhead Tunnel than they actually supplied, and the claimed mobile patrols did not always take place, but Balfour Beatty were still charged. Xfor promised people from Bradford and Scotland work. The suckers came down, and despite promises, no work and nowhere to stay. But what would you expect of Steve Gillespie and Gary Lincoln Hope (Hopeless?) as they are both pretty low intelligence and exceptionally untruthful.

    Cobra Security of Southampton have had several name changes but are owned by Sean Knowlson who has two Anti Social behaviour orders. Thousands of pounds of tax and NIC never made it to HMRC but went walkies and many staff went unpaid with P45s never being issued. Their 24 hour control room meant simply Sean Knowlson drove when he was a disqualified driver with a mobile phone with him. Cobra did the usual thing of charging clients even when nobody was actually on site.

    One very common trick with security companies is to deliberately cause an alarm activation which means the company is called out for £100 to reset the alarm that they have activated themselves.

    Much more can be said about numerous security companies, but that is enough. Thanks to Lord Prescott and others who are trying to get things changed. Good luck in what you are trying to achieve.

  16. So what has happened to the suckers with Close Protection UK is being called a huge surprise? Not to me it isn’t. Exactly these sort of things have happened to me and loads of other guards that I have met. Security employers can and do lie.

    Both Opium Security Solutions Limited and Opium Security Limited were struck out as UK companies. But wait. Opium Sec UK rises from the ashes early 2012 with just a very slight name change and somehow immediately wins an Olympic security contract! You see name changes in security companies all of the time – just enough to be a new company. Security staff are often recruited in large numbers for festivals, then travel at own expense and never get paid. The “security company” is known only at the end of a mobile phone and the unpaid staff have no chance of ever getting paid as the employer has pocketed the money and gone AWOL. I doubt if a lot of these short term Jack in the Box security companies even have public liability insurance, which raises the question, if anything goes wrong, who is responsible and who pays?

    Anyone who has been around UK security will know about the semi literate criminal types who run many security companies, where wages and office bills go unpaid but the owners buy themselves fancy new cars and jet off around the world on “business trips” staying in expensive hotels and holiday resorts. Security Officers are frequently charged lots of money, maybe £100, for uniforms they have never been issued with. Best of all are foreigners who are soon leaving the UK as their os no need to pay them. How can they manage from many thousands of miles away to get wages out of a thieving UK security employer with no intention of ever paying?

    Xfor illegally deducted money from wages to pay the vetting company but the money never went to the vetting company, and Xfor ran from their offices owing substantial rent. They resigned before the SIA kicked them out of the ACS, but even after bankruptcy Xfor reopened using almost the same names and are back in the ACS as if nothing has happened. Xfor had 3 people arrested as spies or terrorists in Kenya and they were caught on camera accepting money to obtain confidential private details. Xfor still breaks the law by attaching magnetic tracking devices to cars. And numerous people who were employed by Xfor went unpaid. Xfor used to charge for more staff at the Hindhead Tunnel than they actually supplied, and the claimed mobile patrols did not always take place, but Balfour Beatty were still charged. Xfor promised people from Bradford and Scotland work. The suckers came down, and despite promises, no work and nowhere to stay. But what would you expect of Steve Gillespie and Gary Lincoln Hope (Hopeless?) as they are both pretty low intelligence and exceptionally untruthful.

    Cobra Security of Southampton have had several name changes but are owned by Sean Knowlson who has two Anti Social behaviour orders. Thousands of pounds of tax and NIC never made it to HMRC but went walkies and many staff went unpaid with P45s never being issued. Their 24 hour control room meant simply Sean Knowlson drove when he was a disqualified driver with a mobile phone with him. Cobra did the usual thing of charging clients even when nobody was actually on site.

    One very common trick with security companies is to deliberately cause an alarm activation which means the company is called out for £100 to reset the alarm that they have activated themselves.

    Much more can be said about numerous security companies, but that is enough. Thanks to Lord Prescott and others who are trying to get things changed. Good luck in what you are trying to achieve.

  17. She had 3 others dissolved under different name

    http://company-director-check.co.uk/director/909696726

    Nome of these seemed to have filed anything either. The one Monkey Consultancy seems to sum it up. The Observer deals with her 8 comps with Max Clifford saying they never traded…so why set them up then? Did these 3 not trade either. Where is this lavish lifestyle she talks about coming from too. The THE LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT CENTRE LIMITED, the 4th company does not seem to be doing that much here despite it being described as a cash cow receiving lots of money from training (sounds like hyperbole to me) . It seems to be saying this funds the lifestyle but figures do not add up

  18. Whole thing needs looking into in my humble opinion, at the very least to insure public money is accounted for as well as explaining how she got contracts with so few assets

  19. On Twitter that Observer said she paid for Beckham’s house in cash? Surely not as the banks would not take it would they?

  20. All other issues to one side, but not forgotten, there was one interesting point that all have missed. Has it occurred to anyone how willing these ‘benefit scroungers’ were to get work. It gives the lie to all the government bilge about people not wanting to work.

  21. The message mentioned by aaa posted on the 8/6/2012 is not correct.

    Xfor had 3 people arrested as spies or terrorists in Kenya and they were caught on camera accepting money to obtain confidential private details. I know one of the three persons and I can asure you they were not involved in obtaining private details. In fact I think only one of them was. But the rest of your article goes undisputed.

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