Monday, 10 August 2015

Stephen Duff's bailiff licence expires

Stephen Duff of Proserve Enforcement Solutions used to be a certificated bailiff (now know as an enforcement agent), but is no longer. His licence expired in July and he applied to Chelmsford County Court for its renewal. There were a number of objections from various parties and the Court did not renew his certificate.

Despite this, Proserve claim to use Certificated Bailiffs.

Here is a report from Hansard

Lord Lucas asked Her Majesty’s Government:Whether a person who represents himself to be a certificated bailiff, butis not, and intends by so doing to obtain a payment or goods from adebtor, commits a fraud within the meaning of Sections 1 to 5 of theFraud Act 2006; and, if so, which sections of the Act apply; and whetherit would be right for the police to claim that such an action is a civiland not a criminal matter. [HL2745]
Baroness Scotland of Asthal:The Fraud Act 2006 created a new general offence of fraud. This can becommitted by three means, one of which is false representation. Fraud byfalse representation is set out in Section 2 of the Act. Where a persondishonestly makes a false representation and intends, by making therepresentation, to make a gain for himself or another, or cause a loss toanother, or expose another to a risk of loss, that person will becommitting an offence. A person who dishonestly represents himself to bea certificated bailiff, but is not, is likely to be committing an offenceunder this section. It will be necessary to show that the person wasacting dishonestly in making the false representation, as well as thatthey intended to make a gain or cause a loss.The decision on whether to investigate a crime rests solely with thepolice, who will take into account available resources, national andlocal policing priorities, the likely eventual outcome and the competingpriorities of fraud and other criminal cases already under investigation.Such operational issues are a matter for the chief officer of the forceconcerned.
It appears that claiming you are a certificated bailiff when you are not is fraud by false representation. Of course, Proserve may have access to other certificated bailiffs, but if they do, the Prankster has been unable to uncover who they are.

Proserve are also claiming to have a consumer credit licence. Licences can be searched at this site. It does not appear that the licence number 432041 is valid or that Proserve have an interim permission reference number (formerly an OFT licence number).

The VAT number appears to be valid and according to VIES belongs to "STEPHEN JOHN DUFF !! PROSERVE"

Proserve also claim to provide Parking Enforcement and Parking Management. However, since Stephen Duff lost his judicial review it appears he has no way of obtaining keeper data until he joins an ATA.

It should be noted that Proserve Enforcement Solutions are different to Proserve Enforcement Solutions Limited, company registration number 08066641. According to Duedil this is a dormant company with two directors, Stephen and Karen Duff. Proserve Enforcement Solutions appear to be a sole trader. If this is the case Stephen Duff does not appear to be complying with the information requirements of the Business Names Act on business documents:

Displaying a sole trader or partnership business name
Your business name, your own name, or the partners' names and business address must be clearly displayed:
* wherever you run your business and deal with customers or suppliers* on all business letters, orders, payments, invoices, receipts and other business documents
His name does however appear on the website.

No doubt now that Mr Duff has lost his bailiff's licence he will have plenty of time on his hands to fix all these problems. On the other hand, online accounts using names Steven Duff has been suspected of using have been used to harass campaigners for fairer parking in the past, so he may find other uses for his time.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster


  1. I think certified is the better word - (Law) (of a person) declared legally insane