Body-Worn Video Cameras for Bailiffs
Nov 7, 2019
In his role as Chairman of the High Court Enforcement Officers Association (HCEOA) our Co-founder Andrew Wilson recently participated in a Ministerial Roundtable, which concluded that body-worn video cameras are to become compulsory for all enforcement agents, or bailiffs, in England and Wales.
This is part of wider Government efforts to ensure enforcement agents work to the same high standards and to improve public trust in the industry.
"We fully support this reform having successfully utilised body-worn cameras for our team of certificated enforcement agents for a number of years," says Sarah Roscoe, Managing Director of Andrew Wilson & Co.Protection for debtors and enforcement agents
The move to compulsory body-worn cameras builds on reforms introduced in 2014 to regulate the operation of enforcement agents. While the vast majority act professionally and within the rules, there are concerns that some bailiffs employ intimidating tactics that put both themselves and debtors at risk.
Justice Minister, Paul Maynard, said: "Whilst most bailiffs act above board, body-worn cameras will provide greater security for all involved – not least consumers who are often vulnerable."
The Civil Enforcement Association (CIVEA), which represents bailiff firms, said: "This decision offers reassurance to the public that standards are consistently high and gives protection to our agents who do a difficult job on behalf of local authorities."Professional, fair and accountable
Rogue bailiffs may dominate headlines, but they have no place at Andrew Wilson & Co, explains MD Sarah Roscoe:
"We put a lot of effort into recruiting the right people, deliver training in areas such as conflict management and regularly review cases to ensure the ongoing professional conduct of our agents. Footage obtained from body-worn cameras facilitates this process and means that any complaints we receive can be properly investigated.
"Accountability and treating people fairly are important in this business, but equally so for us is protecting the safety of our workforce. Body-worn cameras have a vital role to play in this too by deterring or recording evidence of any abusive behaviour directed towards our enforcement agents."