Bailiffs to carry mandatory body-worn cameras to deter aggression
The Ministry of Justice has announced that body-worn cameras must be worn by bailiffs recovering debt from individuals.
The ministry adds that it will work with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to see how this would operate in housing-related debt issues.
A statement from the MoJ says that the vast majority of bailiffs act professionally and within the rules but “there are concerns that some bailiffs continue to employ intimidating tactics that put both themselves and often vulnerable consumers at risk.”
This initiative comes after recent government moves to improve industry standards and better protect vulnerable consumers. This includes introducing a new 60-day ‘breathing space’ for people struggling to cope with debt – during which creditors will not be able to chase payments and individuals must seek professional advice.
Justice Minister Paul Maynard says: “The use of intimidation and aggression by some bailiffs is utterly unacceptable, and it is right we do all we can to tackle such behaviour. Whilst most bailiffs act above board, body-worn cameras will provide greater security for all involved – not least consumers who are often vulnerable. We are looking carefully at other measures to improve the system and will not hesitate to take action where necessary.”
The announcement follows a recent Government call for evidence aimed at ending intimidating practices, whilst better protecting vulnerable people.
A response outlining its findings, including options for independent regulation and an improved complaints system, will be published after the summer.