Body-worn cameras to be mandatory for bailiffs
Written by: Sam Fenwick | Published:
Image: Mohamed Hassan/Pixabay

The Ministry of Justice has announced that the use of body-worn cameras will be made compulsory for bailiffs, in line with a recommendation made by the Justice Committee back in April.

The announcement, which does not relate to County Court bailiffs, follows a recent Government call for evidence aimed at ending intimidating debt collection practices and improving the protection of vulnerable people. A response outlining its findings will be published after the summer and a period of further engagement.

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Justice minister Paul Maynard said: “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.”

In its report, the Justice Committee said that “Technology has moved on since the National Standards [on enforcement] were produced in 2014… We were struck by the LGSCO’s [Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman] evidence that they had not found fault with the agent’s behaviour in a single case where the enforcement agent was wearing a body-worn camera.

“We recommend that body-worn cameras be mandatory for all enforcement agents visiting homes and businesses. We also recommend that the regulator produce good practice on their use.”

It added that there was strong support for this approach within the debt collection industry and that body-worn cameras were described by those who provided it with evidence as “crucial”, “very useful”, “invaluable” and “an excellent advance”.

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