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MP in call for crackdown on rogue bailiffs

By Pete Madeley | Wolverhampton | Politics | Published:

An MP has called for a crackdown on the "widespread problem" of bailiffs acting aggressively and "breaking the rules".

Wolverhampton North East MP Emma Reynolds

Emma Reynolds wants to see new regulations on the behaviour of bailiffs, saying: "We can’t let bailiffs become a law unto themselves."

The Labour MP for Wolverhampton North East has secured a Parliamentary debate over the issue on January 9, where she plans to argue the case for stronger laws to protect the public.

It comes after a report from the charity Citizens Advice urged the Government to bring in an independent bailiff regulator following a steep rise in reports of problems with the industry over the past 12 months.

Ms Reynolds recently raised the case of one of her constituents in Parliament, who she says was subjected to "horrific" treatment at the hands of bailiffs.

“There is a widespread problem of aggressive behaviour by bailiffs and of bailiffs breaking the rules," Ms Reynolds said.

“New regulations introduced by the Government in 2014 were positive but there is no effective way to enforce these new rules. Short of taking a bailiff to court, there isn’t any way to complain about their behaviour, which means that they are unaccountable.

“I am delighted to have secured a debate in Parliament about regulating bailiffs. A recent report by Citizens Advice has highlighted the scale of the problem, with one in three people experiencing bailiffs breaking the rules.

"Since new rules were introduced, Citizens Advice has seen a 24 per cent increase in bailiff problems. This is not just a case of a few bad apples, this is a widespread problem.

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“I raised the most horrific case of this nature in Parliament. Bailiffs forced entry into the home of a disabled constituent, didn’t show any ID, told her “she didn’t look disabled”, made no allowance for her vulnerability and took cash from her purse.

“There is strong cross party support for better regulation of bailiffs, better protection for individuals from aggressive behaviour, and for an independent regulator."

The MP has called on constituents who believe they have been the victim of rule-breaking by bailiffs to contact her via emma.reynolds.mp@parliament.uk

Pete Madeley

By Pete Madeley
@P_Madeley_Star

Political Editor for the Express & Star. Responsible for local and national political stories, opinion, comment and analysis.

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