Bailiffs will be required by law to wear body worn cameras amid fears they are intimidating and threatening householders.The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) is also considering a new regulator to clean up the industry amid evidence that a third of people in debt visited by bailiffs have subjected to “harmful” behaviour including illegal threats to break into their homes.Justice Minister Paul Maynard said: “The use of intimidation and aggression by some bailiffs is utterly unacceptable, and it is right we do all we can to tackle such behaviour.“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.”More than 2.3m debts were referred to bailiffs in 2016/17, according to data obtained through Freedom of Information requests by the Money Advice Trust charity. Enforcement agents are allowed to charge £75 for sending a letter and £235 for a home visit, further inflating people’s debtsCitizens Advice estimated that 39 per cent, or 850,000, of the 2.2 million people contacted by bailiffs in the last two years had seen bailiffs break the rules.These included telling people they can break entry into their house when they did not have the right to do that, or threatening to take control of “exempt” goods. These are goods that belong to someone else or which people need for their trade.One of the most graphic cases cited by the MoJ is motorcycle courier Jerome Rogers, 19, who took his life after a £65 debt spiralled into a £1000 debt. A bailiff had been outside his house for two and a half hours on the day he committed suicide by hanging himself.Ministers say compulsory body worn video will provide victims of bullying tactics with evidence to support complaints and to demand action.It will also provide reputable bailiffs with evidence to contest false complaints by householders seeking to avoid repaying their debts.They are now widely used by the police, providing evidence to secure convictions or longer sentences when juries or judges are shown the scale of abuse or violence that officers have faced.Further measures including a 30-day “cooling off” period where vulnerable debtors interest is frozen and the debt will not be pursued. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
Bailiffs to be legally required to wear bodyworn cameras amid fears they