The Ministry of Justice have announced that they will be introducing the mandatory use of body worn cameras for enforcement agents.
There are currently around 2,500 certificated enforcement agents who work to collect all different kinds of debts.
We very much welcome this news, at HCE group our enforcement agents have been utilising this technology for quite some time, we believe that it protects both agents and debtors and gives peace of mind and on occasion vital evidence should there be a need to review the footage.
Evidence that body worn cameras work
The move to compulsory body worn cameras comes as no surprise, the The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman’s evidence stated that they had not found fault in any case where the enforcement agent was wearing a body worn camera. The LGSCO also added; “The availability of body-worn video camera evidence means we can make a firm ruling on complaints about the behaviour of the bailiffs, as opposed to relying on the unsupported statements of the parties involved.”
The 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, we are looking carefully at other measures to improve the system and will not hesitate to take action where necessary.”
The use of body worn cameras will not be mandatory for County Court Bailiffs who are employed by HMCTS.
Further reform on the horizon?
A call for evidence was held last year to inform the next review of the enforcement regulations with nearly 300 responses being received. The Justice Select Committee’s inquiry will be published later this year and will include recommendations on further regulations if they are deemed necessary as well as an assessment on the case for independent regulation.