Over the last few years, Court Enforcement Specialists have been approached on a number of occasions regarding becoming involved in television series about the work that bailiffs and enforcement agencies carry out.
No matter which channel has approached us, and no matter which of these docu-series has been mentioned, we have always simply said… ‘thanks, but no thanks.’
And we have good reason for that.
Whilst producers and members of the public might think that the subject matter makes for enjoyable and fascinating viewing, we believe that the work we do should be carried out away from the public gaze, not because there is anything shady or mysterious about it, but because that is what we see as the ‘right’ thing to do.
The public interest isn’t at all hard to understand though...
So called ‘poverty porn’ has cemented its place amongst our TV Guides and top rated programmes for around a decade now, as people like to watch candid accounts of other people ‘getting into trouble,’ as it were.
It’s a bit like being back at school and the thrill that would come with someone else ‘getting done.’
But this is the real world, and there isn’t anything fun about watching someone else’s issues played out on the small screen, whether or not it is their fault.
For a start, can we be absolutely certain that the presence of cameras and film crews doesn’t influence the behaviour of enforcement agents? Isn’t it human nature to want to live up to the stereotype of the role?
This could lead to people doing things that aren’t best practice, or that they wouldn’t normally do, and that’s a dangerous road to go down.
Also, what if a debtor has innocently missed correspondence? Admittedly this is unlikley, but is it really worth wrongly ruining reputations, businesses and lives for the sake of a half hour episode of ‘Can’t Pay? We’ll Take It Away?’
Showing our Court Enforcement Specialists’ Agents building rapport with debtors or trespassers might not make for the type of television that the producers are after. They’re probably looking for half naked people legging it down the street, or people being chased over garden fences.
No one would tune in to watch the hours upon hours of unanswered phone calls or knocks on the door. And that’s another issue with the whole process, the perception of the industry.
It isn’t all 007 style action.
Some of it is though!
Above all else, we have to take into consideration the wishes of our clients and then we have to marry these up with the laws of the land.
There is perhaps the potential for claimants to seek more than what they are owed when a television crew comes into play. When there is bad feeling and ill will about, the chance to see a debtor humiliated on national TV, as some kind of revenge, could be too tempting to ignore, and whilst we understand it, we simply cannot condone it nor can we contribute to it through becoming involved with these television series.
Court Enforcement Specialists have nothing to hide, but we choose not to feature in these programmes for the reasons explained here.
Instead, we look to shed positive light on the industry by releasing engaging material, being open about our employees CPD and training, and through the work we do with charitable organisations.
We are confident that our team would look great on the television, but it’s just not for us.
Thanks for asking but no thanks.
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