Bailiffs get power to use force on debtors

Gerrard Winstanley office at
Sun Dec 21 23:11:49 GMT 2008

Bailiffs get power to use force on debtors  	

The government has been accused of trampling on individual liberties
by proposing wide-ranging new powers for bailiffs to break into homes
and to use "reasonable force" against householders who try to protect
their valuables.

Under the regulations, bailiffs for private firms would for the first
time be given permission to restrain or pin down householders. They
would also be able to force their way into homes to seize property to
pay off debts, such as unpaid credit card bills and loans.

The government, which wants to crack down on people who evade debts,
says the new powers would be overseen by a robust industry watchdog.
However, the laws are being criticised as the latest erosion of the
rights of the householder in his own home.

"These laws strip away tried and tested protections that make a
person's home his castle, and which have stood for centuries," said
Paul Nicolson, chairman of the Zacchaeus 2000 Trust, a London-based
welfare charity. "They could clearly lead to violent confrontations
and undermine fundamental liberties."

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