The following guidelines must be adhered to when enforcing payment of fixed penalty notices.
1. Advance notice will be given to debtors of PS’s intention to make an initial call, unless efficient use of PS time or other circumstances warrant a call without notice. Follow up calls may be made with or without notice.
2. PS will take no action at a first visit if it appears that no responsible adult (person of at least 18 years of age) is present at the debtor’s address. If such a person is present, PS should establish whether that person is the debtor, and if so state clearly the purpose of the visit, ac, where appropriate explain the powers of PS. If the debtor is unavailable PS should ask when the debtor is available.
3. PS will at all times carry full and photographic identification and produce such without being asked whenever attending the debtor’s property, and will show such identification to any person who has reason to require it.
4. The nature of the work demands that PS adopt a firm but correct attitude with debtors and other people they contact in the course of their duties. PS are to be polite in their dealings with the public and must avoid being provoked if resentment is shown by an individual.
5. PS should promptly report any threats or matter of concern to the Debtor
6. PS will provide a contactable service for debtors whilst operations are in progress whenever practicable.
7. PS’ initial contact with a debtor will be with the intention of obtaining immediate payment.Where this is not achieved they should seek to assess the reason for non-payment.
8. The debtor must immediately be given a receipt for all cash payments. An official receipt should be sent where payment is made by another means and a stamped addressed envelope is provided.
9. PS will take no further action and will refer back to the Creditor seeking further instructions for any ‘vulnerable cases’. These include:-
- People recently bereaved
- Cases where the debtor (or debtor’s partner) is suffering from serious long term or acute illness, or is fragile because of advanced age or disability
- Recent marital break-up
- Where the debtor appears to be in the final weeks of pregnancy
- Where the welfare of young children would be put at risk
- Any cases considered appropriate by the bailiff for special consideration
- Any cases which appear to contravene issues in the Human Rights Act
10. Where there is doubt about clause 9 applying the creditor should be consulted before any further enforcement action is considered.
11. Payment arrangements from the debtor should not – where practicable – exceed six months. Only in exceptional circumstances and with the consent of the creditor should an arrangement to pay be accepted which exceeds six months.
12. PS should try to establish whether a defaulting debtor is in emplyment, ac, if so, identify the employer.