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Elderly woman’s horror at ‘heavy handed’ Islington Council bailiff tactics

16:29 06 February 2013

The letter sent by Islington Council baliffs

The letter sent by Islington Council baliffs

Archant

An elderly woman was horrified when bailiffs from Islington Council council left a debt collection letter, with all her personal details, in a communal letter box.

The woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, had fallen behind with her council tax – so the town hall sent in the debt collectors.

But she says on two occasions she returned home to find a letter from Newlyn PLC, the debt recovery company with her full name, address, and amount owing in full view.

She referred the matter to Brian Potter, chairman of the federation of Islington Tenant’s Associations, who said: “She is absolutely distraught – it’s outrageous that an open letter, not even folded, was placed in a communal are for everyone to see. So much for confidentiality and date protection.

“It’s obvious the council aren’t controlling these companies like they should be. I thought it was a scam to be honest, but the council confirmed it was them.

“It’s more than heavy handed, it’s outrageous.”

Cllr Greening, Islington Council’s executive member for finance, said: “We require our contractors to follow a strict code of conduct when corresponding with residents.

“We have asked Newlyn PLC to look into how this letter was delivered and they have assured us that a sealed, addressed envelope was used, as is always the case for any written correspondence.

“Newlyn staff had also made numerous previous attempts to get in touch with the resident before delivering this letter, but received no response.

“We’re talking to housing staff to see what improvements to the security of delivered post could be made.”

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