Police officer assisted a bailiff to take a vehicle or enter property

Arrested? see this article, then return to this page.

 

 

The Myth

Nothing in Schedule 12 requires a constable to assist a bailiff to take control of goods, unless the bailiff has a separate warrant to use reasonable force to take control of goods on a highway.

Police are required to assist bailiffs in the execution of property possession orders.

 

 

 

Entering Premises

A police officer may assist a bailiff enter premises provided the following conditions are met.

The bailiff has a warrant for the enforcement address

The bailiff has a warrant to enter by force issued by the court

There are controlled goods already inside the premises

 

 

Paragraph 22(2) of Schedule 12 of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 states;

(2)A warrant under paragraph 20 or provision included under paragraph 21 may require any constable to assist the enforcement agent to execute the warrant.

 

 

Paragraph 20 of Schedule 12 of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 states;

20(1)This paragraph applies if an enforcement agent has power to enter premises under paragraph 14 or 16 or under a warrant under paragraph 15.


(2)If the enforcement agent applies to the court it may issue a warrant which authorises him to use, if necessary, reasonable force to enter the premises or to do anything for which entry is authorised.

 

Paragraph 14 of Schedule 12 of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 states;

14(1)An enforcement agent may enter relevant premises to search for and take control of goods.


(2)Where there are different relevant premises this paragraph authorises entry to each of them.

(3)This paragraph authorises repeated entry to the same premises, subject to any restriction in regulations.

(4)If the enforcement agent is acting under section 72(1) (CRAR), the only relevant premises are the demised premises.

(5)If he is acting under section 121A of the Social Security Administration Act 1992 (c. 5), premises are relevant if they are the place, or one of the places, where the debtor carries on a trade or business.

(6)Otherwise premises are relevant if the enforcement agent reasonably believes that they are the place, or one of the places, where the debtor—

(a)usually lives, or

(b)carries on a trade or business.

 

 

 

Paragraph 15 of Schedule 12 of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 states;

15(1)If an enforcement agent applies to the court it may issue a warrant authorising him to enter specified premises to search for and take control of goods.


(2)Before issuing the warrant the court must be satisfied that all these conditions are met—

(a)an enforcement power has become exercisable;

(b)there is reason to believe that there are goods on the premises that the enforcement power will be exercisable to take control of if the warrant is issued;

(c)it is reasonable in all the circumstances to issue the warrant.

(3)The warrant authorises repeated entry to the same premises, subject to any restriction in regulations.

 

 

Paragraph 16 of Schedule 12 of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 states;

16(1)This paragraph applies where goods on any premises have been taken control of and have not been removed by the enforcement agent.


(2)The enforcement agent may enter the premises to inspect the goods or to remove them for storage or sale.

(3)This paragraph authorises repeated entry to the same premises.

 

 

 

 

Taking Vehicles

There is no provision enabling police to use their powers to assist bailiffs to take control of vehicles.

If a police officer performs a traffic stop and a bailiff then takes control of the vehicle, then enforcement fails because it is a breach of paragraph 13(3) of Schedule 12 of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 and regulation 10(2) of the Taking Control of Goods Regulations 2013.

 

Paragraph 13(3) of Schedule 12 of the Tribunals Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 states;

(3)Regulations may make further provision about taking control in any of the ways listed in sub-paragraph (1), including provision

(a)determining the time when control is taken;

(b)prohibiting use of any of those ways for goods by description or circumstances or both.

 

 

Regulation 10(2) of the Taking Control of Goods Regulations 2013 states;

10.—(1) The enforcement agent may not take control of goods of the debtor where

(a)the debtor is a child;

(b)a child or vulnerable person (whether more than one or a combination of both) is the only person present in the relevant or specified premises in which the goods are located; or

(c)the goods are also premises in which a child or vulnerable person (whether more than one or a combination of both) is the only person present.

(2) Where an item which belongs to the debtor is in use by any person at the time at which the enforcement agent seeks to take control of it, the enforcement agent may not do so if such action is in all the circumstances likely to result in a breach of the peace.

(3) In paragraph (2), “in use” means that the item is in the hands of, or being operated by, the person.

 

 

An action can be brought under paragraph 66 of Schedule 12 of the Tribunals Courts and Enforcement Act 2007, which states;

66(1)This paragraph applies where an enforcement agent


(a)breaches a provision of this Schedule, or

(b)acts under an enforcement power under a writ, warrant, liability order or other instrument that is defective.

(2)The breach or defect does not make the enforcement agent, or a person he is acting for, a trespasser.

(3)But the debtor may bring proceedings under this paragraph.

(4)Subject to rules of court, the proceedings may be brought—

(a)in the High Court, in relation to an enforcement power under a writ of the High Court;

(b)in a county court, in relation to an enforcement power under a warrant issued by a county court;

(c)in any other case, in the High Court or a county court.

(5)In the proceedings the court may

(a)order goods to be returned to the debtor;

(b)order the enforcement agent or a related party to pay damages in respect of loss suffered by the debtor as a result of the breach or of anything done under the defective instrument.

 

Here his how to bring the proceedings

 

 

 

Criminal LIability

 

Abuse of police powers:

 

Section 26 (1)-(4) of the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 states;

 

26 Corrupt or other improper exercise of police powers and privileges

(1)A police constable listed in subsection (3) commits an offence if he or she

(a)exercises the powers and privileges of a constable improperly, and

(b)knows or ought to know that the exercise is improper.

(2)A police constable guilty of an offence under this section is liable, on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 14 years or a fine (or both).

...

(4)For the purposes of this section, a police constable exercises the powers and privileges of a constable improperly if

(a)he or she exercises a power or privilege of a constable for the purpose of achieving

(i)a benefit for himself or herself, or

(ii)a benefit or a detriment for another person, and

(b)a reasonable person would not expect the power or privilege to be exercised for the purpose of achieving that benefit or detriment.

 

 

Failure to use a police power

Section 26 (1)-(4) of the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 states;

(5)For the purposes of this section, a police constable is to be treated as exercising the powers and privileges of a constable improperly in the cases described in subsections (6) and (7).

(6)The first case is where—

(a)the police constable fails to exercise a power or privilege of a constable,

(b)the purpose of the failure is to achieve a benefit or detriment described in subsection (4)(a), and

(c)a reasonable person would not expect a constable to fail to exercise the power or privilege for the purpose of achieving that benefit or detriment.

(7)The second case is where

(a)the police constable threatens to exercise, or not to exercise, a power or privilege of a constable,

(b)the threat is made for the purpose of achieving a benefit or detriment described in subsection (4)(a), and

(c)a reasonable person would not expect a constable to threaten to exercise, or not to exercise, the power or privilege for the purpose of achieving that benefit or detriment.

(8)An offence is committed under this section if the act or omission in question takes place in the United Kingdom or in United Kingdom waters.

(9)In this section—

“benefit” and “detriment” mean any benefit or detriment, whether or not in money or other property and whether temporary or permanent;


“United Kingdom waters” means the sea and other waters within the seaward limits of the United Kingdom’s territorial sea.


(10)References in this section to exercising, or not exercising, the powers and privileges of a constable include performing, or not performing, the duties of a constable.

...

 

Make a complaint to a justice of the peace here is a checklist

 

 

Ask the police to pay your damages.

 

If this is about a court fine which has already been paid, use this instead. Different law applies.