StepChange responds to the Justice Committee’s Report on Bailiff Enforcement

The Justice Committee have today [Thursday, 11 April 2019] released a report, highlighting the need for reform of the bailiff industry, including the introduction of an independent regulator and complaints procedure.

Commenting on the report, Peter Tutton, Head of Policy, said: “This is a well-considered and important report from the Justice Committee, and its recommendations to drive much-needed reform and oversight of the bailiff sector are welcome.

“Enforcement by bailiffs is intrusive and places disproportionate costs on people in the most vulnerable circumstances. With our research estimating 850,000 cases of bailiff misconduct in the past two years, the case for change is urgent.

“We are pleased to see the report’s recommendations for the establishment of an independent complaints procedure and independent regulation of the bailiff sector. It is also key that the committee have recommended oversight of the fees charged by bailiffs to ensure these are proportionate and just.

“With powerful cross-party consensus supporting an independent bailiff watchdog and new complaints body, the case for independent bailiff regulation has never been stronger.

“The Ministry of Justice must now act quickly to introduce a properly resourced, independent bailiff regulator. We call on the Government to introduce a Bill bringing these recommendations into effect in the next Queen’s Speech.”