A London bailiffs company has hit back at a claim its enforcement officers are deliberately dressed to look like police to scare people into complying with their requests, saying at no point have they ever claimed to be law enforcement.
After an article accused S&K Enforcement of dressing up like police to intimidate tenants out of their homes during the course of their work to enforce evictions, the firm pointed out that its officers used and wore similar equipment to police officers, but that is where the similarities ended.
Hard to tell the difference between London Bailiffs and Police
In the article, Safer Renting, a charity group that supports people in dealing with issues with landlords, a caseworker was quoted as saying that during an eviction “our team found it hard to tell the difference” between bailiffs and police.
John-Luke Bolton told Novaramedia: “They were dressed up in an outfit that completely resembled a police officer’s uniform.”
However a spokesperson for the London Bailiffs S&K Enforcement has said “uniforms are a common practice” in the industry,. They said: “As an enforcement agency, S&K Enforcement acts in accordance with the law to enforce court orders, recover debts, and handle other legal matters. We operate within the boundaries of civil law, and our actions are guided by relevant legislation and regulations.
“Uniforms are a common practice among enforcement agencies to clearly identify their personnel and distinguish them from civilians. Our uniforms are not intended to misrepresent ourselves as police officers nor to imply that we have police powers. Our uniform serves as a professional dress code and helps ensure our safety, as well as transparency and accountability in our interactions with the public. Due to the nature of our work and for our own personal safety, this includes stab-proof vests, body-worn cameras and radios.
“Whenever our agents meet with a member of the public, they clearly identify themselves as enforcement officers. We always ensure to take the time to explain who we are and why we are there. We also carry the necessary paperwork to identify ourselves and we provide our contact information. All our notices and documentation have our company logo, contact information and address. We have never misrepresented ourselves as the police. We work closely with the Metropolitan Police and other law enforcement agencies and we call upon their assistance whenever necessary.
“Our interactions with members of the public are documented on body-worn cameras, and this is often relied upon in the event court proceedings prove necessary. S&K Enforcement is committed to upholding ethical practices and maintaining the highest standards of professionalism in our operations. We prioritise compliance with all applicable laws and regulations and work diligently to provide efficient and lawful services to our clients.”