Bailiff powers of forced entry
Although statistics imply that this power is used only about once every two months, it is a power that rarely has to be used. As a matter of 'good' practice, bailiffs daily explain to people that unless they let them in, forced entry will be undertaken with police support. Who could fail to cooperate in the face of such persuasion? It is a stain on our civil liberties.
As the forced entry provision was going through Parliament, Labour Ministers were clear that it would be used only against people convicted of a crime. They didn't mention that they included crimes like truancy and failing to buy a TV licence; they didn't mention that they would be used against the families of those who committed these 'crimes'.
The new Government should turn back the clock so that fines are once again civil debts owed to the State, and restore the principle that all bailiffs must act peacefully against property and people.