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'Not simply a case of a small number of bailiffs flouting the rules', Citizens Advice responds to MOJ call for evidence

25 November 2018

Citizens Advice has responded to the Review of enforcement agent (bailiff) reforms: call for evidence launched by the Ministry of Justice today.

Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said:

“With no system to hold them to account, rule-breaking bailiffs are causing people increased stress, anxiety and financial hardship.

“Almost five years on since they were introduced, it’s high time that the government review its 2014 reforms. While they may have been well-intentioned, they haven’t worked. Since then, Citizens Advice has seen a 24% rise in bailiff problems.

“This is not simply a case of a small number of bailiffs flouting the rules. Our evidence shows one third of the 2.2 million people contacted by a bailiff in the last two years experienced them pushing the limits of the law.

“For the government to show they’re taking this issue seriously, they must use this review to establish an independent bailiff regulator.

Notes to editors

  1. Citizens Advice is made up of the national charity Citizens Advice; the network of independent local Citizens Advice charities across England and Wales; the Citizens Advice consumer service; and the Witness Service.

  2. Together we help people resolve their money, legal and other problems by providing information and advice and by influencing policymakers.

  3. Citizens Advice is the statutory consumer advocate for energy and postal markets. We provide supplier performance information to consumers and policy analysis to decision makers.

  4. The Citizens Advice Witness Service provides free and independent support for both prosecution and defence witnesses in every criminal court in England and Wales.

  5. Citizens Advice also offers Pension Wise appointments at 500 locations across England and Wales.

  6. The advice provided by the Citizens Advice service is free, independent, confidential and impartial, and available to everyone regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality.

  7. To get advice online or find your local Citizens Advice in England and Wales, visit

  8. You can get consumer advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 or 03454 04 05 05 for Welsh language speakers.

  9. We helped 2.6 million people face to face, over the phone, by email and webchat in 2017-18. For full service statistics see our monthly publication Advice trends.

  10. Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 23,000 trained volunteers, working at over 2,500 service outlets across England and Wales.