In light of The Ministry of Justice releasing public health guidelines for the resumption of bailiff visits this week, we’d like to point out that, contrary to some opinion, our industry is not made up of irresponsible bullies!
Far from it!
In addition to that, if ‘The Wolf’ is at the door, we haven’t seen him…
He certainly doesn’t work for #TeamCES, anyway.
Long before any guidance was issued, we at #TeamCES were already planning for a safe return to assignments.
We have gone above and beyond in commissioning bespoke training programmes on the subject in fact, and believe that our commitment to a ‘safe return’ to enforcement is not just steadfast, but industry leading.
We require our Agents to take part in COVID-19 training courses, as well as ‘Identifying Vulnerability’ training, to ensure that every single assignment we resume, is done with public health and public safety at the forefront of our thinking.
The Money Advice Trust have cautiously welcomed the Government’s latest guidance, stating that debtors and evictees will be given reassurance of their safety, but still raise concerns over the pressures that these people will face in paying off debts and facing eviction notices, and ultimately - visits.
The charity wants further restrictions brought in on the way debts are handled, including as and when bailiffs, or certificated enforcement agents as we should call them, are brought in to the situation.
In effect though, whilst they claim to be calling for industry reform with suggestions like more compliance and empathetic understanding, they are actually just looking for further protection for the people that use their services.
We understand that. We know all about vulnerability - how to spot it and how to signpost people to the right help, but we also know that people have been taking advantage of the evictions moratorium since the imposition of lockdown, and that simply cannot last.
We’ve already spoken about the long-term effects for people on both sides of the argument, if it’s even an argument.
Listen, we can get on board with public health guidance, because we’re already ahead of the game.
We agree with patience, understanding and empathy in the face of vulnerability.
We did anyway.
But…and it is a big ‘but’, things need to start happening soon, for the benefit of everyone. The inevitable can’t be put off indefinitely, as seems to be the ambition of some groups right now.