Two men have been jailed for a construction industry card fraud that led to people working on sites without proper health and safety knowledge.
Callum Ingram and Stephen McWhirk made £37,700 from falsifying the results of Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) health, safety and environment tests.
The pair were administrators at the accredited DWM Plant Ltd in Knutsford, Cheshire, where they charged money to help candidates pass the tests.
According to a statement from the CITB, some candidates travelled long distances and completed their tests in only 4-5 minutes and were helped via use of a remotely operated mouse.
Ingram, 28, of Manchester and McWhirk, 62, of Macclesfield, Cheshire, carried out the offences between March and September 2019. They both pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud and fraud by false representation. They were each sentenced to 28 months in prison at Chester Crown Court today.
After the hearing, detective constable Sarah Newton from Cheshire Police said: “Fraudulently obtained CSCS [Construction Skills Certification Scheme] cards mean that the holder has not demonstrated the professional competence and awareness of health and safety legislation that is required for them to work safely in the construction industry.
“This creates obvious risks to not only themselves, but also to other workers, and members of the public, while also undermining confidence. We will continue to work with partners wherever criminality puts people at risk.”
CITB fraud manager Ian Sidney said: “We welcome the result today. It sends out a message that we will not tolerate individuals compromising construction site safety by facilitating some people cutting corners to obtain their site cards, without the required knowledge, skills or experience to pass the tests.”
Following the pair’s arrest in 2019, some 1,305 completed tests were revoked and the DWM Plant centre lost its accreditation and has shut down.
Anyone that has information about fraudulent testing activity is asked to inform the CITB confidentially at [email protected]