Given the sensitive nature of our work and the vulnerable situations in which many of our customers find themselves, ethical behaviour is simply non-negotiable and embedded in our values.
This is why we actively supported the launch in 2022 of a new Enforcement Conduct Board (ECB) in the UK. The ECB aim to deliver a level playing field of standards and best practice for the bailiff industry, initially through voluntary membership but eventually, it is hoped, through achieving statutory footing from the government.
Lowell works with the two largest enforcement agencies and have made it a contractual obligation for their agents to have body-worn video equipment, which is then regularly assessed for quality and standards. This has helped to provide Lowell with assurance over the processes, whilst offering the means to identify poor practice and training opportunities for agents. We are also making agencies take a more forbearance-based approach, including contacting Lowell before any escalation actions are taken. By introducing outcome-based checks, we have taken additional steps to ensure the right outcomes are being achieved across the board. In November 2022, Lowell, through Overdales, was the first to commit to only using enforcement agents who are members of the ECB.
This commitment supports our sustainability ambition of ‘Better Ethics and Understanding’ to build wider understanding of what our industry does and to be a leader in ethics and standards, working hand in hand with clients, partners and regulators to improve sector insight.