This small commercial bailiff practice, has four staff with over thirty years combined service as bailiffs. All are certificated with their local County Court. Assignments include collecting money, serving notices (injunctions, divorce and bankruptcy petitions, etc) and repossession of property.
- Assaults, abuse and threats, including those arising from being recognised off duty.
- Damage to cars and property.
- Theft of property and cash.
- Risk of being taken hostage.
- Attacks by dogs.
Reducing the risk
Training and information
- Staff are encouraged to remain impartial and objective.
- Staff try to avoid confrontation, to be courteous and sympathetic.
- If someone becomes aggressive, staff are trained to stand sideways so as to appear less threatening.
- Protective clothing is worn to protect against dog bites and syringe injuries. Staff avoid wearing ties or scarves which can be grabbed.
- Staff ensure there is a safe means of escape (eg parking their car facing outwards from a cul-de-sac, or by leaving gates ajar).
- Staff plan for each assignment by:
- reading the documents to ensure that they are correct and properly empower the bailiff;
- considering whether assistance from colleagues will be needed;
- ensuring the respondent fully understands what is happening.
- If attacked, the bailiff backs away immediately and leaves the address.
- Joint visits with the police if trouble is anticipated.
- Staff ensure that their office/back-up knows precisely where they are. They use mobile phones to summon help.