Bailiff body cameras meaningless without industry regulator
The introduction of compulsory body cameras will do nothing to protect people from rule-breaking bailiffs while the industry is not regulated, Citizens Advice has said.
The charity has been campaigning with its partners in the Taking Control coalition for the introduction of a regulator to enforce rules set out in government reforms in 2014.
Research by Citizens Advice and debt charity Stepchange found one third (850,000) of the 2.2 million people contacted by a bailiff in the two years to November 2018 experienced them breaking those rules - such as forcing entry into a home or removing goods needed for work.
The research also found nine in 10 people back an independent regulator for bailiffs.
The latest figures from Citizens Advice reveals 44,000 people sought help on bailiff issues in the past 12 months - more than one every three minutes.
Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said:
“Bailiff body cameras will do nothing to protect people while there is no industry regulator to oversee how they are used.
“While it’s encouraging the government has committed to further action, its next step must be the creation of an independent regulator to crack down on rule-breaking bailiffs.
“At Citizens Advice, we help one person every three minutes with a bailiff problem. We hope the government will take full consideration of our recommendations in its upcoming response to its call for evidence.”
Notes to editors
- Citizens Advice includes the national charity; the network of independent local Citizens Advice charities across England and Wales; the Citizens Advice consumer service; and the Witness Service.
- Citizens Advice is the statutory consumer advocate for energy and post. We provide supplier performance information to consumers and policy analysis to decision makers.
- The Citizens Advice Witness Service provides free, independent support for prosecution and defence witnesses in every criminal court in England and Wales.
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- To get advice online or find your local Citizens Advice, visit citizensadvice.org.uk
- For consumer advice, call the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 or 03454 04 05 05 to talk in Welsh.
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