In 2014, Claire Sandbrook was approached by Lee Phillips of Keo Films, to see if she would help out on a documentary project. He needed a High Court Enforcement Officer to agree to allow their business and agents to be filmed rather urgently. Apparently, a larger enforcement team had let Keo Films down at the last minute, and Lee was stuck on filling the gap on this schedule. With two BAFTAS under his belt, it seemed to Claire, that he could be a trusted and careful film maker who would make an observational documentary which was truthful, accurate and insightful.

After discussions moved forward, Claire allowed the film crew from Keo to go out with enforcement agents working in her name.  In the description of the TV programme on the International Movie Database (IMDb) described it as an “Evocative observational documentary series tracing High Court Enforcement Officers as they deal with civil issues arising from Britain’s austerity measures and the financial fallout of the recession.”  You can check out the show at The Enforcers (TV Series 2015– ) – IMDb

And in fact, when Claire agreed to help out and allow the filming to go ahead this was the reason that the filming went ahead.  There have always been civil issues arising from the enforcement of a judgment debt.  As she said on many occasions, High Court Enforcement professionals may be the first people to see a person living with the consequences of debt, either as a result of having to pay a judgment or being evicted from their home.  In these acute situations, the enforcement teams engage with members of the public to compel payment or requiring them to leave their homes.  These are difficult situations and the presence of a film crew document and broadcast the impact of the law to the wider general public. 


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If this is done with compassion and empathy for all parties to the situation it makes for compelling TV.  Some commentators are shocked that it should be filmed and shown at all, and yet TV shows about bailiffs attract huge viewing figures.  This show deals with the topic of moving on trespassers who have outstayed their welcome.  The general public can see how enforcement works in practical terms. 

We can only guesstimate the social good that this type of TV has done for creditors and claimants in informing them about the availability of High Court enforcement.  For the general public we like to think these shows are seen as educational in content.  It allows us all to appreciate the consequences of debt and personal financial management.  These are difficult subjects and yet without this imagery and cases which are shown how else can people put the topic of enforcement in context. 

Watch Scott and Steve in action as they go into action on Writs addressed to Claire as their High Court Enforcement Officer. 

It was a great series but only two episodes were made, as ITV backed out of the show due to the popularity of the “Can’t Pay, We’ll Take it Away” TV franchise.

So, while one door closed, on this TV project, another one opened as Claire became the High Court Enforcement Officer for DCBL (Direct Collection Bailiffs Limited).  Personally, we think the ITV version filmed by Lee Phillips was the better version of the show, made with careful thought, and attention to guidance given by Claire and the Shergroup TEAM.