Bailiff Britain

The privatisation of debt collection in Britain has meant that the bailiff industry has boomed – largely fuelled by State contracts. In the UK, some 300 local authorities have outsourced their debt collection to private bailiffs. On average, the industry serves 6 new debt enforcement instructions every minute. But at what social cost? Anyone who has tried to reason with a bailiff will agree that it’s not the easiest job. So in this programme, we ask how Britain’s bailiff culture emerged and what can be done about it. Ross Ashcroft talks to Alison Blackwood from the StepChange Debt Charity, and Lois Austin from Public and Commercial Services.