Portsmouth City Council awards contract to Bristow & Sutor

Bristow & Sutor is one of the UK’s leading players specialising in debt recovery and has over 42 years’ experience in the collection of local council tax, non-domestic rates and unpaid Penalty Charge Notices. The company also began working with Transport for London (TfL) earlier this year to collect unpaid Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) for road charging schemes and traffic enforcement contraventions.

Portsmouth City Council required support from suitable enforcement service providers who could show evidence of committing to reduce the costs of collections, optimise the use of contracts, maximise collections, ensure a high-quality service and provide comprehensive reports and evidence of accountability. Future planning was also part of the decision-making process as the introduction of a Clean Air Zone will require a PCN to be issued to vehicles that are non-compliant. The Clean Air Zone proposal is currently undergoing additional sensitivity testing as a result of Covid-19.

Despite visits being placed on hold for five months, Bristow & Sutor has managed to secure £8million pounds of revenue for local authority clients throughout the coronavirus pandemic. During this timeframe, the company received no complaints from customers or the public. Investment in the use of technology was key to this success and also to the wider achievements of the company in recent years. The business picked up a Silver Award for digital transformation and change at the DXCA’20 Awards in July and has also received FORS Silver accreditation this year for its vehicle management systems and support.

Supporting Portsmouth City Council with a future Clear Air Zone requirement was particularly of interest to Bristow & Sutor, who themselves have been taking steps to reduce their carbon footprint and implement green road technology. As well as the usual high-quality range of portals, apps, and debt recovery tools the company is known for, recent investment has been made into dynamic routing software. This will ensure Enforcement Agents (EAs) returning to the field will be supported with technology that optimises the number of visits made, promotes fuel efficiency, provides direct routes and removes the need for manual route planning. The software reacts in real-time to road closures and traffic delays whilst also considering which cases remain a high priority. This real-time visibility also ensures EAs remain trackable and accountable at all times.

Andy Rose, CEO at Bristow & Sutor, says, “Bristow & Sutor is delighted to have been chosen by Portsmouth City Council for support with their road traffic debt enforcement. The reality of Government suspending enforcement action during the coronavirus lockdown has left local authorities requiring fast, efficient and accountable recovery action as soon as possible. Through ongoing training, a pragmatic approach and continuous technological investment, we have ensured we are ready to help immediately and we look forward to doing so.”