Episode 1 The Sheriffs Are Coming


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Episode 1

Series following high court enforcement officers. Sheriffs are pelted with eggs and rocks as they go in search of the money owed by a second-hand car dealer.


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Transcript


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Meet the sheriffs. My name's Mr Grix, my colleague and I are enforcement agents.

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It's to do with a High Court order. They work for the High Court,

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and if it says you're owed money,

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it's their job to go and get it.

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I'm here for ?6,072.18.

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They can demand payment on the spot...

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I'm here for the full balance.

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How are you going to pay it?

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..or remove assets instead.

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The car will be going, unless you can pay it.

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You'll have a week to pay in full before it gets sold at auction.

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Obstructing their work can be a criminal offence.

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I wouldn't do that if I was you. The door needs to stay open.

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Every year in England and Wales, unpaid debts totalling more

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than ?80 million are recovered by the sheriffs.

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Coming up...

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Louise Alderson thought she'd bought herself the perfect second-hand car,

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but it was a deathtrap.

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The back wheels were only holding on by one wheel nut,

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the side impact bars weren't there. I am lucky to be alive.

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But when the sheriffs visit the dealer, it all kicks off.

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A budding property developer's lost out

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after squatters took over his building.

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We have subsidised the squatters by approximately ?20,000.

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When the sheriffs try to evict them,

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they get more than they bargained for.

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Didn't see all that, did you?

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At a demolition company, Lawrence eyes up some seriously heavy goods.

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We've been sent to this address today, sir, to take control

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of goods, which at the moment is the excavators and the crusher.

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Ken's got a writ for a multinational giant.

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Look at the size of these buildings! It looks like Cape Canaveral.

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The sheriffs' success is often down to their ability to take

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control of the debtor's goods to use as leverage until they get paid,

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but debtors often claim their assets belong to someone else.

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The sheriffs won't take that at face value,

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and will always do what they can to get to the truth.

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Today, in the West Midlands, Tommy Coyle and Craig Wild's

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investigative skills are about to be tested.

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We're going back to a job where... We've been to before.

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It's a car pound.

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When we went before, we left notification of our attendance.

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They haven't responded to our paperwork,

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so we're back here again.

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The debtor deals in second-hand cars, and the claimant in the case

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is Louise Alderson, a teacher who came across

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the company when she was looking for a new car to get her to work.

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My old car had done quite a lot of mileage, and it was getting to

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the point where it probably needed a lot of repair work.

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I was looking for another Ford Fiesta.

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And when I spotted a lovely car advertised in Auto Trader,

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it looked really sporty and really attractive.

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And I'd just got married

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and my husband said, "Yeah, spoil yourself."

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So Louise went to have a look...

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and was initially underwhelmed by the dealership.

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My first impression was that, actually,

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this isn't what I was expecting.

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It was in the middle of an industrial estate,

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there was a tip nearby, and it didn't have a proper office.

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So I was immediately put off by that, but then when I saw the car

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and saw how lovely it was, and the man,

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the sales guy I spoke to, he came across as very friendly and

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very genuine, very honest, so that changed my mind.

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The Fiesta was ?6,000,

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reduced to ?5,000 with the part exchange of her old car.

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She took out a loan to pay for it, and drove it away.

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But it wasn't long before she experienced

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the first sign of trouble.

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About ten miles, maybe 15 miles away, on the way home,

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the engine warning light came on.

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So I pulled over, phoned them up and said this is what's happened,

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and he basically said, "Turn the engine off and turn it back

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"on again, and I assure you it won't come back on." And it didn't.

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But when the same thing happened the following day,

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Louise was very worried and so she took the car to a Ford specialist

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to check it over.

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They discovered the truth about Louise's new car -

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it had been badly repaired after an accident

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and it had some serious problems.

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The welding had been done incorrectly,

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the brake pipe was severely bent.

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The fan... The wiring for the brakes was actually hanging into the fan,

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and all of the electrics, most of them,

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had been disconnected, so it didn't even have air conditioning.

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It was a shock.

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A, I was very emotionally upset, and B,

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I'd just spent the money, couldn't afford, needed a car for

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work and was thinking, "What on earth am I going to do?"

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What she did was get straight on the phone to the dealers.

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They told me that the actual owner was away...abroad at the time.

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And we'd have to wait until the following Monday until he was back.

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That Monday came and went, no call. I phoned them.

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They still said, "Oh, no, he's still not here, you'll have to wait."

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And it was a continuum of that,

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my husband tried to ring them and speak to them as well.

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However, they just kept fobbing me off.

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Frustrated, Louise called Trading Standards.

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They sent out an independent vehicle inspector, who found even more

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problems with the car.

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The back wheels were only holding on by one wheel nut.

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He found there had been other damage,

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the side impact bars weren't there.

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He actually said I was very lucky to be alive.

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And that's how I do feel, that I am lucky to be alive.

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Yet even with this damning verdict on the car's dangerous condition,

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the garage still wouldn't commit to giving her a refund.

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It was just a continuum of, "Where's the car, we want the car,

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"meet the car, we'll send somebody out to get the car."

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But never at any point promising to actually pay for it

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at the same time as well.

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And my husband and I had decided that the one thing that we were

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adamant about not happening was for that car to go back on the road.

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So, Louise pursued the dealership through the County Courts.

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They didn't defend the case, and she was awarded a default judgment,

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requiring the company to pay her back, plus costs.

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They didn't, and now Louise has turned to the sheriffs as

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a last resort.

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The whole thing has been such an ordeal,

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I've had sleepless nights, I've been ill through it.

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All I can hope is that the sheriffs can get some money back for

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this for me, because if they can't do it, nobody can.

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The last time the sheriffs visited the dealership,

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they found a large lot full of vehicles,

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but it was locked up and no-one was around,

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so all they could do was leave a letter.

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Today, they're back, and things look a lot more promising.

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It's open. Are you ready?

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Again, there are plenty of cars in the yard,

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and this time the sheriffs have no problem finding someone to speak to.

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Is the boss about?

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He's not here at the moment, mate. Can he be contacted?

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We need to get him on the phone, basically.

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They don't seem surprised to see the sheriffs,

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and manage to get the company director on the phone.

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Hello, sir.

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It's to do with the High Court writ that's been issued against

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the company for ?8,627.07, as it stands at the moment.

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Obviously they've sent us out, they've sent us out to execute this court writ today.

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And it sounds like he's making all the noises Craig likes to hear.

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Right. Brilliant.

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Lovely. Sounds positive.

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It seems that it could be... he's just sorting it out.

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Maybe he got the letter before. So, it could be getting sorted.

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Actually, the situation isn't quite as straightforward

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as Tommy is hoping.

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The director doesn't want to pay,

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and says the sheriffs can't touch the cars here.

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He's saying that all the stock belongs to another limited company,

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and they're supplying us now more documentation for the cars here.

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In other words, none of the assets here belong to the debtor.

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If so, then the sheriffs will more than likely have to leave

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empty-handed, but they're not going to just take his word for it.

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So what we need to do, we'll just make a list now.

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If we can tick them off. OK.

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There may be dozens of cars here, but the sheriffs plan to

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check every single one against the paperwork the director provides.

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So they start noting the registration numbers of the cars.

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DY09.

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FG56.

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FG56.

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WP07.

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It's like a maze getting through here, a maze of cars.

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It's going to take some time, but as they only need to find a few

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decent cars belonging to the debtor company, it might be worth it.

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Just when they're getting stuck in,

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Craig's interrupted by a phone call from his office.

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The director has sent in some paperwork as promised,

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but all it does is convince the sheriffs they're on the right track.

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We've had an e-mail in straight away from the director, but they only

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list two cars, which I don't think are even here, to be fair.

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Meanwhile, perhaps unsure themselves of what stock is here,

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the employees are making a list of their own.

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They're taking their own lists.

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If they can supply the evidence that it was bought and paid for by

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a third-party company, rather than our company,

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then we'll be satisfied with that and then we'll walk away.

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If they can't supply that,

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then clearly we'll take it to the next level.

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Later, tempers flare as the sheriffs up the ante.

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LAUGHTER

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Mind that egg.

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Your cameraman!

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If this balance isn't paid,

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then we're instructed to remove these vehicles.

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Using the County Courts to try to recover money you're owed

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isn't difficult.

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1.5 million money claims are made every year in England and Wales,

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involving anything from faulty goods or poor workmanship

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to unpaid invoices.

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Claims can be filed by post or online for a small fee.

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Both parties in the case will be asked to submit evidence,

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and you may have to attend a court hearing.

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If you're successful,

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a County Court Judgment, or CCJ, will be issued against the debtor,

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and if they still don't pay, that's when you call the sheriffs.

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Enforcing a writ often requires the sheriffs to draw on all

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their powers of persuasion and negotiation, but these tactics

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work best when the debtor is willing to engage in a meaningful dialogue.

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Sometimes debtors simply don't want to play ball.

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In the south-east today, sheriffs Laurence Grix and Kev McNally

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are about to demonstrate that it's sheer persistence

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that pays off.

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This morning we are on our way to Pyecombe in West Sussex,

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just outside Brighton.

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We're going to see Wealden Haulage Demolition Limited,

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and this debt is relating to...

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tipper hire charges, crushed concrete haulage and muck away.

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In other words, waste disposal services

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supplied by another company, who haven't been paid.

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Wealden Haulage Demolition Limited were taken to court

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and didn't offer a defence,

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so judgment was entered by default.

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Three months later and they still haven't paid,

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but the sheriffs are hoping to finally make sure they do.

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They owe a total of ?16,335.

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They actually operate off a farm, so we're going to go there.

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As they turn in to the address,

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they immediately set eyes on a haulage truck.

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This is the right place, isn't it?

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They head past the farm shop and up the track towards a house.

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Hello. Hello, you two. Hello.

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Morning, sir. Hello.

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I'm looking for Wealden Haulage Demolition Limited.

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That's me. That's you.

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It's Markus Saich, the company director.

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We have a High Court writ to execute against

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Wealden Haulage Demolition.

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The amount outstanding today is ?16,335.99. Right.

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We're ordered out to take control of

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goods to that value to clear the debt...

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Right. ..and the only way to prevent further action is to pay in full.

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Yeah, but I've applied to the court to have that set aside,

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and I'm waiting to hear back, so...

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Right. An application doesn't stop enforcement, sir. I've...

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I've been told it does. By a solicitor?

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Yeah. Yeah? No, it doesn't.

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Is this your private residence or is the business actually run from here?

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The business is run from down there. This is my private residence. Right.

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I'm assuming you don't want goods removed.

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No, I don't know what goods you ARE going to remove,

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cos there isn't anything here that isn't on HP.

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But before Lawrence can probe for details, Mr Saich simply walks off.

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It's a bizarre turn of events, but Lawrence isn't fazed.

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I'm just going to make a note of some registrations

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and then we'll go down to where the business is run from,

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because we're more likely to find some assets down there,

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I would think.

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The sheriffs get in the van, and drive back to the farm shop

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where it looked like Mr Saich was headed.

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As they approach, Kevin thinks he spots movement inside.

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He's in there. What, in the shop? Yeah.

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Is that where he is, is he? Yeah.

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But any hopes that they may have found Mr Saich soon evaporate.

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No, it's shut.

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The farm shop is locked, and there's no sign of anyone inside.

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There was someone in there, 100%,

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and there's no-one else around, is there?

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No. They might be in an office at the back or something.

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Lawrence has a nose around, but there's no other way in,

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and still no sign of Mr Saich.

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Their best option now to get the debt paid is to identify some

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company assets, which on paper should be straightforward.

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They've got fixed assets of 674 grand,

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or they did have in November 15,

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so they've got a hell of a lot of assets.

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The problem is, not many of them seem to be here.

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We've got four-by-fours and things outside the house,

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which he's turned round and said are all on finance,

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but whether they belong to the company or not...

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There's also this tipper...

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That truck's what we'd need, really.

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..but it's massive.

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We can't clamp it, can we? No. Definitely.

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I don't think there is a clamp on the market that will

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get on the wheel of one of those,

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cos that would have to go on an articulated low loader,

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or possibly be dragged,

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but if you're going to drag it,

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you've got to take all the driveshafts out.

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It's a pig of a job.

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It's too much for now,

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and, importantly, if the debtor's appeal is successful,

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the sheriffs wouldn't be able to recover the costs.

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So, with no assets, and Mr Saich unwilling to cooperate,

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this time the sheriffs will have to call it quits, for now.

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But we'll check out all the vehicle registrations,

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and if any of them do come back to the company

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and they're clear of finance, we can come back and take them.

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So, at the moment, I'm just going to leave paperwork, and that's that.

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Later, the saga continues, when the sheriffs

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pay Wealden Haulage Demolition another visit.

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It's 6am in Brixton, south London.

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All right, I'll give out a couple of copies of the writ.

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Under the cover of darkness,

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the sheriffs are quietly preparing to carry out an eviction

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on a group of squatters.

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They've taken over a nearby commercial premises,

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and it's the job of team leader Mark King

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to take it back for the owner.

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The client has said there is potentially

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up to 15 people in there.

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We'll give them the opportunity to get their stuff together.

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If they don't, or they mess about or become aggressive or anything,

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they'll just be removed from the property.

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The building is owned by Julien Gressier.

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He works in the fashion industry,

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but, with a background in architecture,

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also has a sideline in small-scale property development.

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For me, it's about doing something that I like doing

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and trying to make a living,

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while creating homes which are desperately needed, you know,

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in the UK and in London.

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The property in question is a commercial building,

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which, until recently, was used to sell car parts.

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However, shortly after buying it at auction,

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Julien was informed that squatters had moved in.

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As the building had been empty for a few months,

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at first he was sympathetic, and went to speak to them.

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They were keen on some sort of deal whereby they stay in the place,

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look after it, and it wouldn't deteriorate any further.

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To some extent, we were probably open to discussion,

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but I think came a point where we fairly quickly realised

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that they were taking the mickey, if you can use that!

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The squatters are preventing access to the building

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which Julien needs to progress the works,

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and because he was unable to persuade them to leave,

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he's embarking on the legal process of getting them removed.

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We are paying, every month.

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Business rates are probably about ?3,000 a month.

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So, overall...

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we have subsidised the squatters by approximately ?20,000.

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Julien has now obtained a writ of possession from the courts,

0:17:540:17:57

which means he can legally evict the squatters.

0:17:570:18:00

It's now down to the sheriffs to finish the job.

0:18:000:18:04

Julien's sure that one way or another,

0:18:040:18:06

he'll get the property back,

0:18:060:18:08

but he's worried about what state it might be in.

0:18:080:18:11

The squatters have now been in the property for nearly a month,

0:18:110:18:14

a month and a half, maybe nearly two months?

0:18:140:18:17

We have been told by neighbours

0:18:170:18:19

that there are approximately 30 people in there,

0:18:190:18:22

dogs as well, so we don't know how bad it's going to be.

0:18:220:18:25

While the squatters are asleep,

0:18:280:18:30

the sheriffs are getting ready to make their move.

0:18:300:18:33

Team leader Mark King is no stranger to the tricks

0:18:330:18:35

squatters can employ to keep the authorities out,

0:18:350:18:38

so he's doing a recce with locksmith Andy

0:18:380:18:42

to find out what they might be up against,

0:18:420:18:44

and it doesn't look good.

0:18:440:18:46

Just had a look, all the shutters around the front and the side

0:18:460:18:50

are padlocked or locked up.

0:18:500:18:52

Don't look like they're being used.

0:18:520:18:54

There are two doors which are both locked,

0:18:540:18:58

but they're barricaded on the inside.

0:18:580:19:00

Barricaded doors are bad news for the sheriffs.

0:19:040:19:07

They want to gain access quickly and quietly

0:19:070:19:10

before the squatters are awake and can cause any trouble.

0:19:100:19:13

So Mark needs to choose which of the doors

0:19:130:19:16

he thinks will be the easiest for the team to force open.

0:19:160:19:19

Just get the door open.

0:19:190:19:21

He opts for one which he thinks the squatters might be using

0:19:210:19:24

to go in and out themselves, and gives the go-ahead.

0:19:240:19:28

Knock it in.

0:19:280:19:29

The door is putting up a fight, but persistence pays off.

0:19:300:19:34

And with a bit of elbow grease, the sheriffs manage to prise it open.

0:19:340:19:38

All right. Hold on, hold on.

0:19:390:19:42

What's behind it, though, is going to be much more of a problem.

0:19:420:19:46

That ain't the way they're coming in, then.

0:19:460:19:48

The doorway's thoroughly barricaded.

0:19:480:19:51

The sheriffs throw everything at it they can.

0:19:530:19:55

Someone else give it a go.

0:19:580:19:59

But they've lost the element of surprise,

0:20:010:20:04

so Mark might as well appeal to the squatters directly.

0:20:040:20:07

Right, listen, fellas.

0:20:070:20:09

We're enforcement officers with a High Court writ.

0:20:090:20:11

We're coming in. You need to start packing up your stuff, yeah?

0:20:110:20:15

What the sheriffs don't want is to give the squatters enough time

0:20:160:20:20

to create any more obstacles...

0:20:200:20:21

..especially as the heavily-fortified barricade

0:20:240:20:26

they're already up against isn't showing any signs of budging.

0:20:260:20:30

Keep going at that one.

0:20:300:20:32

Mark can't afford to waste any more time,

0:20:330:20:36

so turns his attention to the shutters instead.

0:20:360:20:39

That doesn't prove to be much easier, but eventually,

0:20:410:20:44

they manage to force a gap just wide enough to squeeze through.

0:20:440:20:48

All right, we're in, we're in. Go, go, go.

0:20:480:20:51

Once inside, they set about waking everyone up and moving them out.

0:20:530:20:57

Right, you need to pack your stuff straightaway.

0:20:590:21:01

You've got ten minutes.

0:21:010:21:03

All right, fella, get your stuff packed up.

0:21:030:21:05

You need to leave, yeah?

0:21:050:21:07

Half-asleep squatters aren't the easiest to get motivated.

0:21:080:21:11

And it's not only people that need to leave.

0:21:140:21:17

We've got dogs, yeah.

0:21:170:21:19

Yeah, three upstairs. All right. OK.

0:21:190:21:20

As the squatters slowly start to get their possessions together,

0:21:220:21:25

Mark reviews his tactical entry.

0:21:250:21:27

We chose the wrong door, really, didn't we?!

0:21:290:21:31

But you can't, you can't tell until you get inside.

0:21:310:21:36

I mean, we would have got through that eventually.

0:21:360:21:39

Either way, they're in,

0:21:400:21:42

and it seems like the squatters accept the game's up.

0:21:420:21:45

They were throwing stuff against the door first off,

0:21:450:21:48

but once we were in, they're just packing up, aren't they?

0:21:480:21:52

Because they know what's happening.

0:21:520:21:54

The sheriffs' priority now

0:21:560:21:58

is to try to get the squatters to remove as many of their possessions

0:21:580:22:02

as possible, preferably quickly.

0:22:020:22:05

Well, ideally...

0:22:050:22:06

..we don't want them to be here too long,

0:22:080:22:10

because the longer we're here, the more it's costing the client, but...

0:22:100:22:14

..on the other hand, we want them to take their possessions,

0:22:160:22:19

because if they've got their stuff,

0:22:190:22:21

then they're not going to want to get back in here.

0:22:210:22:24

DOG BARKS

0:22:240:22:27

And this group certainly has a lot of stuff.

0:22:270:22:29

While the squatters' possessions pile up on the pavement outside,

0:22:320:22:36

Mark has a look around the premises.

0:22:360:22:38

He's seen worse, but like many squatted properties,

0:22:380:22:42

it's been left in a bit of a state.

0:22:420:22:43

One of their bedrooms,

0:22:450:22:47

which is probably some old office or something.

0:22:470:22:50

Normally, they take their mattresses with them,

0:22:500:22:53

but they've not bothered this time.

0:22:530:22:56

So far, things are all going smoothly enough.

0:22:560:22:58

Just when it looks like this eviction

0:22:580:23:00

might pass without incident,

0:23:000:23:02

the mood starts to change.

0:23:020:23:04

Just come and go, get your stuff, if you carry on, listen,

0:23:050:23:08

if you carry on playing up, yeah,

0:23:080:23:09

it's going to affect other people getting their stuff, OK?

0:23:090:23:11

Come and get your stuff as you need to, and that's it.

0:23:110:23:14

Another of the squatters isn't keen on having their 15 minutes of fame,

0:23:140:23:18

and is obstructing our cameraman.

0:23:180:23:20

Just leave her alone. No, I'm in the street, you're not police,

0:23:200:23:23

you do your job, this is a public highway.

0:23:230:23:25

Yeah, it's a public highway.

0:23:250:23:27

When the sheriffs step in, tempers flare.

0:23:270:23:30

Don't touch me, not in a public place, don't touch me.

0:23:300:23:33

I'm not touching anything.

0:23:330:23:35

Not touching anything.

0:23:350:23:36

Hey, hey, hey, hey!

0:23:360:23:38

Look, just calm down, fellas.

0:23:380:23:41

Do you want to get arrested? Why?

0:23:410:23:43

Do you want to get arrested?

0:23:430:23:44

We're in the street. Well then, stop.

0:23:440:23:46

You're going to make things worse for everyone else out here.

0:23:460:23:49

The squatters are becoming more and more agitated.

0:23:490:23:52

The situation is starting to turn ugly.

0:23:520:23:55

Watch me! Hey, hey, hey!

0:23:560:23:58

Try and burn me again with it, and I will chuck it.

0:23:580:24:00

No. You don't... You are grabbing me.

0:24:000:24:03

You just tried to burn me with your cigarette.

0:24:030:24:05

Don't grab me. This woman is grabbing me.

0:24:050:24:07

I'm not doing anything.

0:24:070:24:08

No-one else to go back in now.

0:24:090:24:11

No-one goes in now, Rupert.

0:24:110:24:13

What?

0:24:130:24:14

Take a step back.

0:24:140:24:15

What? Take a step back, take a step back.

0:24:150:24:17

No-one's going back in there cos she's messing about.

0:24:170:24:20

For the sheriffs, enough is enough.

0:24:200:24:23

With some of the squatters getting aggressive,

0:24:230:24:25

the decision is taken not to let any of them back inside.

0:24:250:24:29

So whatever possessions are still in the building will have to be left behind.

0:24:290:24:33

So it's now all the more important the building's well and truly secured,

0:24:330:24:37

so they don't break back in later.

0:24:370:24:40

Locksmith Andy's already on the case,

0:24:410:24:43

and there is at least one door where the job's been done for him.

0:24:430:24:47

Yeah, a bit of barricading from the front.

0:24:470:24:50

So I don't think Andy will do anything with that,

0:24:500:24:52

because it's as good as it's going to be.

0:24:520:24:54

As the new locks go on, the squatters start to disperse.

0:24:560:25:00

But just as it appears that the tensions have been defused,

0:25:000:25:03

one man who was causing trouble earlier comes back for more...

0:25:030:25:07

A MAN SHOUTS

0:25:070:25:08

..kicking our cameraman in the shins as a parting shot.

0:25:080:25:12

We don't care. You're not welcome.

0:25:120:25:14

He's just doing his job. Leave him alone.

0:25:140:25:17

That's the last we see of him, though,

0:25:170:25:19

and as the final stragglers head on their way,

0:25:190:25:21

the sheriffs' work is done.

0:25:210:25:23

All the locks have been changed.

0:25:230:25:26

All the padlocks, exterior locks, door locks, everything.

0:25:260:25:30

The property's secure.

0:25:300:25:31

Um...

0:25:310:25:33

just got to sign vacant possession to the client,

0:25:330:25:36

and then it's time for breakfast.

0:25:360:25:38

The property is now back in the hands of the owner,

0:25:410:25:44

and, a few weeks later, we're catching up with him.

0:25:440:25:47

Julien says the damage turned out to be far worse

0:25:470:25:51

than he had feared.

0:25:510:25:52

You had the alarm system that they ripped out...

0:25:540:25:57

..you had the copper pipes, which were pretty much running all across,

0:25:590:26:03

that they nicked.

0:26:030:26:04

You know, chopped them off, sold for scrap, I guess.

0:26:040:26:08

The worst was actually all the rubbish that we had to get rid of.

0:26:080:26:11

That was probably about ?3,000 to get rid of it.

0:26:110:26:16

But with the clear-up complete, the space is now usable once more.

0:26:170:26:22

Julien is relieved to have his project back on track.

0:26:220:26:25

I'm really happy I got the place back.

0:26:250:26:27

It was pretty much two months of delay,

0:26:270:26:31

but it's now behind us.

0:26:310:26:34

I have to thank the sheriffs very much

0:26:340:26:36

for their...for their help.

0:26:360:26:39

And giving us the space back, really.

0:26:390:26:41

Tommy and Craig are at a used-car dealer's in the West Midlands

0:26:510:26:54

which owes just over ?8,500 to Louise Alderson.

0:26:540:26:59

She bought a car from them which was too dangerous to drive.

0:26:590:27:02

The boss of the business claims all the cars on the forecourt

0:27:020:27:05

today belong to another company.

0:27:050:27:08

But he's not here, and so far has e-mailed through paperwork for just two of them.

0:27:080:27:13

Now Craig's office have rung to say he's sent two more.

0:27:130:27:17

So he's supplied those four. But no others yet.

0:27:170:27:21

So those four are obviously exempt.

0:27:210:27:24

Sheriffs are entitled to do a diligent search of

0:27:240:27:27

a debtor's premises.

0:27:270:27:28

While they wait for the paperwork to trickle in, Craig has a look

0:27:280:27:31

through the filing cabinet to see if he can speed the process up.

0:27:310:27:35

The first thing he finds is a sales ledger.

0:27:350:27:39

The Renault Megane, right there - ?2,560.

0:27:390:27:43

Good price...

0:27:430:27:45

for you.

0:27:450:27:46

MAN LAUGHS

0:27:460:27:48

It's not long before he discovers some more interesting information -

0:27:480:27:52

logbooks and sales invoices.

0:27:520:27:55

One immediately catches his attention.

0:27:550:27:59

This document here says "purchased from the third-party company",

0:27:590:28:02

and this is for a Subaru that's outside,

0:28:020:28:04

but it's only an '02 plate, and we're after 8,000 quid.

0:28:040:28:08

There's some of these other vehicles as well.

0:28:080:28:11

The document shows that one of the cars outside was bought FROM

0:28:110:28:15

the very company the sheriffs were told owns everything here.

0:28:150:28:19

Something isn't stacking up.

0:28:190:28:21

Before long, Craig's identified a number of other vehicles too,

0:28:240:28:28

and the sheriffs step outside the cabin to confer in private.

0:28:280:28:33

We've got an '09 Renault Clio. These are all here. Mm-hm.

0:28:330:28:36

The logbooks are in there and the keys are in there as well,

0:28:360:28:39

so the game might be up soon.

0:28:390:28:40

Seize this paperwork, then, yeah? They ain't having it back.

0:28:400:28:43

Craig reckons if these vehicles don't belong to the other company,

0:28:430:28:47

and they're up for sale in the debtor's yard,

0:28:470:28:49

then they must belong to the debtor.

0:28:490:28:52

Confident they're onto a winner, Tommy takes all the keys and

0:28:520:28:56

documents he can from the cabin and locks them in his van.

0:28:560:28:58

Craig calls up the director and gets straight to the point.

0:29:000:29:05

My office have instructed me to let you know that, obviously,

0:29:050:29:07

if this balance isn't paid,

0:29:070:29:08

then we're instructed to remove these vehicles.

0:29:080:29:11

The director still claims the vehicles belong to someone else.

0:29:110:29:15

Sir, I'm not here to argue.

0:29:150:29:17

If you can't provide evidence -

0:29:170:29:19

further evidence, because we've got the evidence here -

0:29:190:29:21

these vehicles will be removed today.

0:29:210:29:24

Unless, of course, he's willing to pay.

0:29:240:29:26

OK, so the choice is yours.

0:29:260:29:28

The balance stands at ?8,627.07.

0:29:280:29:32

I need an answer from you, and if you want to pay this bill or not.

0:29:320:29:35

That'll be a no, then, yeah? Right.

0:29:350:29:37

It looks like this is about to become a removal job,

0:29:370:29:41

and just as they start making the calls,

0:29:410:29:43

a third man arrives in the office.

0:29:430:29:46

Hello, my friend. I don't want no camera in here.

0:29:460:29:48

You've got to get out.

0:29:480:29:49

No, no, no. We're here for the, erm...

0:29:490:29:52

I don't want no camera in my face, mate, so get out, please.

0:29:520:29:55

Yeah, yeah...

0:29:550:29:56

Although it's not clear who he is,

0:29:560:29:58

one thing that is certain is he's not pleased to see us.

0:29:580:30:01

He tells the cameraman to leave, but then follows him to the road

0:30:010:30:05

and unleashes an extraordinary tirade of abuse.

0:30:050:30:09

White BLEEP. Listen, yeah? You dirty BLEEP.

0:30:090:30:12

You film me, I'll smack your head all over the floor, you white BLEEP.

0:30:120:30:15

BLEEP!

0:30:150:30:17

Have that for the BBC.

0:30:170:30:19

BLEEP dirty BLEEP.

0:30:190:30:20

Film me? You know what?

0:30:200:30:22

Dirty BLEEP!

0:30:220:30:24

Pleased with himself, he heads back to the hut

0:30:250:30:28

and, shortly afterwards, drives off...

0:30:280:30:31

Out my way, mate!

0:30:310:30:32

..but not without once again making known his feelings

0:30:320:30:35

towards the camera.

0:30:350:30:36

Don't film me, mate.

0:30:360:30:37

And he's not done yet -

0:30:390:30:40

ten minutes later, the same man is back,

0:30:400:30:43

this time with a friend in tow, and armed...

0:30:430:30:47

with eggs.

0:30:470:30:48

All right, all right... Lads...

0:30:520:30:54

MEN LAUGH That man got egged!

0:30:540:30:56

The men run off, still hurling abuse.

0:30:560:30:58

Yeah, you're on camera, mate!

0:31:000:31:02

MAN YELLS INDISTINCTLY

0:31:020:31:04

As they leave, one throws a rock.

0:31:040:31:06

Come on, then, you BLEEP!

0:31:060:31:08

What connection, if any, they have to the dealership is unclear,

0:31:080:31:12

and the salesman left behind takes a very different approach.

0:31:120:31:15

Are you OK?

0:31:150:31:17

Tommy, meanwhile, is unfazed.

0:31:170:31:20

We've just been attacked with eggs,

0:31:200:31:22

and they're trying to film it and stuff, so just...

0:31:220:31:25

They look like young lads being idiots,

0:31:250:31:27

but we're going to get the police here now, cos assault's happened.

0:31:270:31:30

It's a bit unfortunate, but part of the job.

0:31:300:31:33

The cameraman's coat's come off worse for wear,

0:31:330:31:36

but luckily no-one's hurt...

0:31:360:31:38

More of it's on your head, mate.

0:31:380:31:40

..and the men have vanished by the time the police arrive.

0:31:400:31:44

Are you all right? It's just that they've ran off.

0:31:440:31:46

They jumped our cameraman, basically... OK.

0:31:460:31:49

..smashed eggs on him, started throwing rocks at him.

0:31:490:31:51

A rock just skimmed his head. OK.

0:31:510:31:53

And we got you... Obviously, we called you guys. All right.

0:31:530:31:56

After speaking to our cameraman, the police head into the cabin.

0:31:560:32:00

They're just going to make a bit of an investigation.

0:32:000:32:02

There was threats made of...that they were going to petrol-bomb us,

0:32:020:32:05

and that they were going to come back,

0:32:050:32:07

so obviously we have to take these things seriously,

0:32:070:32:09

especially the fact they were throwing rocks.

0:32:090:32:12

Craig, meanwhile, has made some progress -

0:32:120:32:15

a friend of the director arrived during the disturbance on the road.

0:32:150:32:19

He's now leaving, but it seems he wants to get the debt paid.

0:32:190:32:23

Luckily for us,

0:32:240:32:25

a friend arrived and managed to talk round the situation to him,

0:32:250:32:29

and it's more cost-effective to pay it now and challenge it later,

0:32:290:32:32

which is exactly what he's going to try and do,

0:32:320:32:34

so, as we speak now, the money's on its way.

0:32:340:32:37

We'll be about another half an hour,

0:32:370:32:39

so we're just getting the receipt ready,

0:32:390:32:41

so, as soon as it turns up, we can count it and be on our way.

0:32:410:32:44

Satisfied the situation has calmed down, the police leave,

0:32:470:32:51

and soon word comes through that the money is ready for collection.

0:32:510:32:55

One of the salesmen goes to pick it up.

0:32:550:32:58

When he returns 45 minutes later, the sheriffs are expectant.

0:32:580:33:03

Oh, look, he's got an envelope.

0:33:030:33:06

Have we got it? Yeah? There we go.

0:33:060:33:09

Have you got the money?

0:33:090:33:11

No money? No.

0:33:110:33:12

No money at all? No, man.

0:33:120:33:14

Well, where did you go? TOMMY LAUGHS

0:33:140:33:17

The man has returned empty-handed.

0:33:170:33:19

That's wasting our time, now - it's as simple as that.

0:33:190:33:23

He said he was going to get the money.

0:33:230:33:25

Quite what has caused the apparent change of heart isn't clear,

0:33:250:33:29

but Craig no longer cares,

0:33:290:33:30

and once again gets the director on the phone.

0:33:300:33:34

Your man's come back without the money,

0:33:340:33:35

so my office has just told us to start removing the vehicles now.

0:33:350:33:40

There's six vehicles to have away.

0:33:400:33:41

No problem, then, sir. Thanks a lot. Bye-bye.

0:33:410:33:44

Done now?

0:33:440:33:45

"Do so as you wish," he said, so that's fine by me.

0:33:450:33:49

All right, then, Tommy-boy, let's get these cars done now, shall we?

0:33:490:33:53

Later, the job goes right up to the wire,

0:33:540:33:57

as the company makes more promises of payment.

0:33:570:34:01

Here we go. He's back.

0:34:010:34:03

Is it...? Have you got the cash now, then?

0:34:030:34:05

Let's have a look at it.

0:34:050:34:07

Lawrence and Kev are back on the trail of a debt

0:34:150:34:18

owed by a company called Wealden Haulage Demolition Ltd.

0:34:180:34:22

They previously visited the company's registered address,

0:34:220:34:25

which was on a farm. This is the right place, isn't it?

0:34:250:34:28

But the director, Markus Saich, was far from helpful.

0:34:280:34:30

And the only real asset there wasn't going anywhere in a hurry.

0:34:330:34:36

That would have to go on an articulated low loader.

0:34:360:34:40

Or possibly be dragged.

0:34:400:34:42

Other vehicles seen at the site have now been confirmed as being

0:34:420:34:45

on finance, and further contact with Mr Saich hasn't come to much.

0:34:450:34:49

The director did contact me,

0:34:510:34:53

saying that there was an order from the court stopping enforcement.

0:34:530:34:57

But despite repeated requests, he hasn't provided that.

0:34:570:35:01

So as far as we're concerned, this writ is still live.

0:35:010:35:04

So far, they've had the doors shut in their face at every turn.

0:35:040:35:08

But the sheriffs don't give up easily,

0:35:080:35:10

and now they've got a new lead -

0:35:100:35:12

a tip-off of a site where Wealden might be operating.

0:35:120:35:15

So they're going there in the hope of collecting the ?19,000 now owing.

0:35:150:35:20

On arrival, it appears to be

0:35:210:35:23

some kind of aggregate processing facility.

0:35:230:35:26

There aren't any signs mentioning the debtor company,

0:35:260:35:28

but Lawrence spots a man working on the site and tries his luck.

0:35:280:35:32

Morning.

0:35:320:35:33

Looking for Wealden Haulage Demolition.

0:35:350:35:37

That's you.

0:35:390:35:40

My name's Mr Grix. My colleague and I are enforcement agents.

0:35:400:35:43

We've got a High Court writ against Wealden Haulage Demolition.

0:35:430:35:46

We're ordered here today to take control of goods,

0:35:460:35:48

which by the looks of it is the excavator and the crusher.

0:35:480:35:51

Are you able to get him on the phone?

0:35:510:35:54

Thank you very much.

0:35:540:35:55

The man said it's the right place

0:35:550:35:57

and the machines they expected to see are here.

0:35:570:36:00

So far, so good.

0:36:000:36:01

Until Lawrence is handed the phone.

0:36:030:36:05

Good morning, sir.

0:36:060:36:07

Was it you I met at the other address, at your house?

0:36:090:36:11

It is indeed the company director, Markus Saich.

0:36:110:36:14

We've been sent to this address today, sir, to take control

0:36:140:36:17

of goods, which at the moment is the excavators and the crusher.

0:36:170:36:21

Once again, Lawrence is told everything is on finance.

0:36:210:36:24

Have you got paperwork to that effect?

0:36:240:36:26

Are you able to get that to us?

0:36:260:36:28

You're not.

0:36:280:36:30

Mr Saich says if Lawrence wants the paperwork, he can come and get it.

0:36:300:36:34

Right, well, I'm not coming there, sir, because I'm here,

0:36:340:36:36

and I'm going to be taking these goods into control.

0:36:360:36:39

I can't take them into control at your other premises, can I?

0:36:390:36:43

But not only is Mr Saich refusing to bring the documents

0:36:430:36:46

the sheriffs need to see, he's now once again claiming that

0:36:460:36:49

enforcement action has been stopped by the court.

0:36:490:36:52

Lawrence is sceptical.

0:36:520:36:54

You told me weeks ago, sir, there was

0:36:540:36:56

an order from the court stopping execution.

0:36:560:36:59

I've asked you repeatedly for that and you haven't provided it.

0:36:590:37:03

It hasn't been stopped until you find out what's going on.

0:37:030:37:06

I have a live writ.

0:37:060:37:07

OK, then, sir, call the police.

0:37:090:37:10

It would be far more helpful if you have... Oh, there you go.

0:37:100:37:13

Actually, it would be a good thing if the police turn up now.

0:37:150:37:17

That might prompt him to get down here,

0:37:170:37:19

and that would be better for us.

0:37:190:37:20

It's one of the ways in which we can progress this one at the moment.

0:37:200:37:24

Otherwise, Mr Saich's reluctance to cooperate is once again

0:37:240:37:28

leaving the sheriffs in a tricky position.

0:37:280:37:30

If the machinery really doesn't belong to Wealden Haulage

0:37:300:37:34

Demolition Ltd, then removing it would be a very expensive mistake.

0:37:340:37:38

But it doesn't sound like the director's going to help them

0:37:380:37:41

put the ownership beyond doubt.

0:37:410:37:43

The director of the company doesn't really want to speak to us.

0:37:430:37:46

Whenever you get a job where you can't establish some

0:37:460:37:48

kind of sensible dialogue,

0:37:480:37:50

it's really awkward to get any kind of resolution, one way or the other.

0:37:500:37:54

If the vehicles are leased from somebody, just give us

0:37:540:37:56

the paperwork and we can go away!

0:37:560:37:58

As it is, the sheriffs will have to work it out for themselves,

0:37:580:38:02

so they head inside the yard for a closer look.

0:38:020:38:05

But as they do, the worker present asks our camera to leave

0:38:050:38:09

and shuts the gates behind him.

0:38:090:38:10

Seeing the chain go on, Lawrence gives the man a warning.

0:38:120:38:16

I know that obviously your boss is telling you to do things,

0:38:160:38:19

but I just have to advise you, from your point of view,

0:38:190:38:22

it is a criminal offence to obstruct us,

0:38:220:38:24

so I'm just advising you on a personal level,

0:38:240:38:27

because if you do anything... I wouldn't want you doing anything

0:38:270:38:30

that puts you personally in jeopardy

0:38:300:38:32

because you're following your boss's instructions.

0:38:320:38:35

The employee goes back to work while the sheriffs have a nose around.

0:38:350:38:40

However, their exploration of the site reveals

0:38:400:38:43

nothing besides the huge amounts of concrete,

0:38:430:38:46

and no further clues to the ownership of the machines.

0:38:460:38:49

There's a building next to the yard with another company's name

0:38:490:38:52

over the door, so Kev heads in to ask what, if anything,

0:38:520:38:56

they can tell the sheriffs about the crusher and the diggers.

0:38:560:39:00

He soon returns with news.

0:39:000:39:02

That crusher's financed and it's owned by this lot. Yeah.

0:39:020:39:05

He got his boss on the phone and he was like,

0:39:050:39:07

"Yeah, no, no, it's definitely ours."

0:39:070:39:08

And they've got no reason to... No.

0:39:080:39:10

Meanwhile, Lawrence has made a discovery of his own -

0:39:100:39:14

one of the two diggers has broken down on top of a pile of aggregate.

0:39:140:39:18

They began the day hoping to walk out of here with nearly ?20,000,

0:39:180:39:22

but that now looks like a tall order.

0:39:220:39:24

# Don't know where we're going, got no way of knowing

0:39:240:39:29

# Driving on the road to nowhere. #

0:39:290:39:31

Unfortunately, there's nothing we can do

0:39:310:39:33

because the one digger is immobile with a knackered engine,

0:39:330:39:37

the crusher we've already confirmed belongs to somebody else

0:39:370:39:40

and the digger's in use, and we can't take

0:39:400:39:43

something into control if it's actually in use at the time.

0:39:430:39:45

And he's still adamant it's leased from somebody.

0:39:450:39:47

More than two hours after they arrived,

0:39:490:39:51

and with no sign of the police, Lawrence eventually gets

0:39:510:39:54

a call from the debtor's solicitor, who's only just been instructed.

0:39:540:39:58

They say they'll need a few days to collect the relevant paperwork.

0:39:580:40:02

Frustrated, but with no leverage to demand payment,

0:40:020:40:05

Lawrence has no choice but to agree.

0:40:050:40:07

If you're actually going to cooperate,

0:40:090:40:10

which I imagine you will, and deal with this in a sensible manner

0:40:100:40:13

rather than just being obstructive like your client,

0:40:130:40:15

I'll give you till close of business on Monday to get

0:40:150:40:18

the paperwork over, and then I'm quite happy to leave it.

0:40:180:40:20

Otherwise I will be back and I will remove it.

0:40:200:40:23

But the sheriffs never need to return.

0:40:230:40:25

Following filming, Wealden Haulage Demolition Ltd paid

0:40:250:40:29

just over ?19,000, clearing their debt in full.

0:40:290:40:33

The people who hadn't been paid have now got the money they were owed.

0:40:330:40:37

Back in the West Midlands, Tommy and Craig are still at the car dealer's.

0:40:510:40:55

They've been there for four hours hoping to collect more than

0:40:550:40:58

?8,500 on behalf of a customer,

0:40:580:41:01

Louise Alderson, who was sold a dangerous second-hand car.

0:41:010:41:05

It's been a very tense day.

0:41:070:41:08

We've been pelted with eggs...

0:41:100:41:12

MEN LAUGH

0:41:120:41:13

..and rocks...

0:41:130:41:15

..by two young men whose connection to the garage is unclear.

0:41:170:41:20

Don't film me, mate!

0:41:200:41:22

Meanwhile, the boss finally agreed to pay, before his courier

0:41:220:41:26

turned up without the cash.

0:41:260:41:28

No money. No. No money at all?

0:41:280:41:31

So, the money hasn't arrived.

0:41:320:41:34

I spoke to my office, they're organising the transport now

0:41:340:41:36

and then we'll take it from there.

0:41:360:41:38

Tommy parks the van in the entrance to prevent anyone from trying to

0:41:400:41:44

shut the gates.

0:41:440:41:45

It's going to go to removal,

0:41:450:41:46

so we're looking to get the six cars gone.

0:41:460:41:48

The prospect of vehicles being imminently removed is definitely

0:41:500:41:53

making the company's attempts to raise the cash more urgent. Hello?

0:41:530:41:57

The problem is, now that six low loaders are on the way,

0:41:570:42:00

they'll have to pay for those, too.

0:42:000:42:02

250 plus the VAT times six. Six...

0:42:020:42:04

1,800 quid, isn't it? Yeah. Just gone up 1,800 quid.

0:42:040:42:08

How long has he got before... Done. The truck's on the way.

0:42:080:42:10

It's kind of too late, isn't it, now?

0:42:100:42:12

You had the chance over an hour ago.

0:42:120:42:13

What can you do?

0:42:150:42:17

They don't want to pay the extra fees,

0:42:210:42:24

and in an effort to get the removal called off,

0:42:240:42:26

again promise that someone's on the way with cash.

0:42:260:42:29

He's going to be back in 15 minutes maximum. Cancel it, yes?

0:42:310:42:33

I can't cancel it. No, no... You have to.

0:42:330:42:36

I can't. How long have we been here?

0:42:360:42:38

I know, I know, I know, I understand that. I ain't cancelling it.

0:42:380:42:41

I'm not cancelling it at all.

0:42:410:42:42

Craig is no longer interested in promises, only payment.

0:42:440:42:48

As far as he's concerned, it's just a case of waiting to see

0:42:480:42:51

which turns up first, the removal trucks or the money.

0:42:510:42:54

Here we go, he's back.

0:42:560:42:58

It's the staff member who was sent for the money the last time,

0:43:010:43:05

but came back empty-handed.

0:43:050:43:07

What's going to happen now?

0:43:070:43:08

Is it... Have you got the cash there now? How much have you got?

0:43:100:43:13

Got ?8,927. Let's have a look at it.

0:43:130:43:17

He says he's come back with ?300 more than the sheriffs asked for

0:43:180:43:22

at the beginning of the day.

0:43:220:43:23

But that's now not enough, because of the extra fees.

0:43:230:43:26

Craig calls his office.

0:43:280:43:30

Lawrence, there's a whole bundle of cash here now, which is 8,900 quid.

0:43:300:43:36

How much do we need to call this all to a halt?

0:43:360:43:39

According to Lawrence, so far only one removal truck has

0:43:390:43:43

actually set off, so they'll settle for just one cancellation fee.

0:43:430:43:47

Yeah, cheers, mate. Ta-ra, goodbye.

0:43:480:43:50

Which means, provided the cash adds up, this job might finally be over.

0:43:510:43:55

44 twenties...

0:43:550:43:57

5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13...

0:43:570:44:01

All looking good so far.

0:44:010:44:03

The gentleman has paid, at the moment, ?8,900.

0:44:060:44:09

And with the contents of the salesman's pocket...

0:44:090:44:12

I've got 70 as well. Thank you, my friend.

0:44:120:44:16

..they've come up with enough to satisfy the writ and the sheriffs.

0:44:160:44:20

It's taken all day, but with the job finally in the bag,

0:44:200:44:24

the sheriffs are all smiles.

0:44:240:44:26

So, a massive ordeal for us today, bit of drama with the police,

0:44:260:44:30

but finally we won the battle.

0:44:300:44:32

It ended up being exactly what we wanted in the end.

0:44:320:44:35

THEY LAUGH

0:44:350:44:37

The debtor company later appealed the judgment against them,

0:44:370:44:41

but a judge rejected their case

0:44:410:44:43

and Louise was finally given back her money.

0:44:430:44:46

If the sheriffs were here now, I'd give them all a big hug and a

0:44:460:44:49

kiss because they've done an amazing job.

0:44:490:44:52

I never thought anyone would be able to get the money,

0:44:520:44:54

it's just fantastic news.

0:44:540:44:56

And it didn't end there.

0:44:580:45:00

Trading Standards subsequently prosecuted the business for

0:45:000:45:03

misdescribing the Fiesta in their advert and for selling Louise

0:45:030:45:06

a dangerous and unroadworthy vehicle.

0:45:060:45:10

They were fined a total of ?7,500.

0:45:100:45:14

For Louise, it's the end of a long ordeal.

0:45:140:45:17

Now it's over, yeah,

0:45:170:45:18

maybe I can start to relax and look forward to

0:45:180:45:21

one day buying a new car when I feel more confident about doing so.

0:45:210:45:25

When debtors can't pay on the spot...

0:45:320:45:35

I'm assuming that you haven't got ?5,000.

0:45:350:45:38

Oh, dear.

0:45:380:45:39

..the sheriffs won't always remove assets to get your money.

0:45:390:45:42

Goods go for about a fifth of their true value at auction,

0:45:420:45:45

and it's often better to agree to a payment plan.

0:45:450:45:48

If you can come up with half of it today...

0:45:480:45:51

Do you reckon you can do 200 a week?

0:45:510:45:53

They'll make a list of assets...

0:45:530:45:55

They've got an ice machine, bar-chilling cabinets...

0:45:550:45:58

Television, PlayStation...

0:45:580:46:00

..and a controlled goods agreement is signed,

0:46:000:46:02

making it an offence for anyone else to remove them...

0:46:020:46:06

When you sign the form, it acts as security.

0:46:060:46:09

..and the sheriffs will only return to take the goods if the debtor

0:46:090:46:12

fails to make payments.

0:46:120:46:15

I've signed him up for ?1,000 a month.

0:46:150:46:17

Providing you stick to that, you won't hear from us again.

0:46:170:46:19

The sheriffs' cases come in all shapes and sizes.

0:46:230:46:27

Debts start at ?600, but can reach well into the millions.

0:46:270:46:31

The debtors can be anything from one man and his dog

0:46:310:46:35

to giant corporations.

0:46:350:46:36

For enforcement agent Ken Warby, his first job of the day

0:46:360:46:40

is against one of the big boys, a household name.

0:46:400:46:44

This morning, we are off to a company called Procter Gamble -

0:46:440:46:48

huge company, soaps and toothpastes and suchlike.

0:46:480:46:52

To be specific, Ken's writ is for a division of the corporation

0:46:530:46:57

called Procter Gamble Product Supply UK Limited,

0:46:570:47:00

which owes a man ?3,108 in legal costs.

0:47:000:47:04

I think this is an office premises we're going to visit,

0:47:100:47:12

so there should be some assets there.

0:47:120:47:15

I would imagine, a company of this size,

0:47:150:47:18

they will have a head office that would do any payments,

0:47:180:47:23

so I wouldn't imagine the payment would probably come from here.

0:47:230:47:27

But as Ken approaches his destination,

0:47:270:47:30

it becomes clear it's not what he was expecting.

0:47:300:47:33

"P London".

0:47:330:47:35

I think we're going in the right direction.

0:47:350:47:37

Instead of a small office with a car park,

0:47:370:47:39

his sat nav has led him to a sprawling industrial site.

0:47:390:47:42

Look at the size of these buildings! Look at the size of them!

0:47:420:47:45

They all seem to be Procter Gamble,

0:47:450:47:47

and Ken's got no idea where he's going.

0:47:470:47:50

There's no signs up or anything.

0:47:500:47:53

Where would the office be?

0:47:530:47:55

It's got to be around here somewhere.

0:47:550:47:57

I... I can smell soap.

0:47:570:47:59

Eventually, he's directed to a car park outside a chemical plant.

0:47:590:48:04

It looks like Cape Canaveral.

0:48:040:48:06

What kind of assets he could possibly remove from

0:48:060:48:09

a place like this isn't clear.

0:48:090:48:11

Still, he tracks down reception and heads in.

0:48:110:48:15

But before he can utter a word...

0:48:160:48:19

Erm... No, sir. Can you turn that off?

0:48:200:48:22

..our cameraman's asked to leave.

0:48:220:48:24

Inside, Ken begins the task of retrieving the claimant's money.

0:48:260:48:30

He knows all too well that turning up unannounced at the doors

0:48:300:48:33

of huge companies often causes confusion.

0:48:330:48:36

Half the battle is usually finding someone on site who knows

0:48:360:48:40

about the debt or has the authorisation to make a payment.

0:48:400:48:44

This time, Ken gets lucky, and the reception staff manage to

0:48:440:48:48

track someone down who knows about the case -

0:48:480:48:50

even better, they agree to pay it.

0:48:500:48:53

So far, so good -

0:48:530:48:55

only, it turns out not to be that simple.

0:48:550:48:58

Two hours after walking in, Ken comes back out empty-handed.

0:48:580:49:02

They've tried to make the payment by American Express.

0:49:020:49:05

Unfortunately, we don't take American Express,

0:49:050:49:08

and they are the only cards that they've got on the premises.

0:49:080:49:11

So we've had to wait around for the office to contact their head office,

0:49:110:49:17

that isn't here, to make a bank transfer or an alternative card.

0:49:170:49:22

Hopefully they'll do it.

0:49:220:49:24

Ken's hardly worried about the company's ability to pay.

0:49:240:49:28

Although the name on his writ is for one of its UK subsidiaries,

0:49:280:49:31

Procter Gamble is an American multinational giant,

0:49:310:49:35

with a turnover running into many billions of pounds.

0:49:350:49:38

But, after being here two hours, Ken would rather not have to wait

0:49:380:49:42

much longer for payment, and he doesn't have to.

0:49:420:49:45

The head office have been able to access another card,

0:49:450:49:49

not an Amex card, and the payment's gone through.

0:49:490:49:53

It all went smoothly, really. I didn't have to raise my voice.

0:49:530:49:56

They knew from the off that they owed the money.

0:49:560:49:59

And that means Ken never had to seriously consider removing

0:49:590:50:02

assets from the chemical plant, although he did threaten it.

0:50:020:50:06

I told them my intentions were to list items and have them removed.

0:50:060:50:09

It's not going to happen for a small debt

0:50:090:50:11

for a company of this size.

0:50:110:50:13

If it was, it would end up a right soap story. Excuse the pun.

0:50:130:50:17

Enforcement agent Tommy Coyle is in the East Midlands

0:50:220:50:26

with a potentially tough away fixture on his hands.

0:50:260:50:29

We're on our way to Corby today.

0:50:300:50:32

We're visiting Corby Town Football Club.

0:50:320:50:35

I think they're quite a small club.

0:50:350:50:36

There's previously been an agent visit the property.

0:50:360:50:39

I spoke to a Steve, who's the chairman, who promised payment.

0:50:390:50:43

The payments have not been forthcoming.

0:50:430:50:46

Corby Town FC has been taken to court for unpaid invoices

0:50:460:50:50

by a company which has done groundwork on the pitch.

0:50:500:50:54

The club didn't defend the case and judgment was issued by default.

0:50:540:50:58

It owes...

0:50:580:50:59

Tommy's not much of a football fan but today he's hoping to

0:51:030:51:06

kick off a successful enforcement for his client.

0:51:060:51:09

Hopefully they'll have some assets there.

0:51:090:51:11

Could be a small bar, could be some minivans.

0:51:110:51:15

Could be some trophies,

0:51:150:51:16

but I don't know how many trophies Corby Town have won recently.

0:51:160:51:21

Thankfully, it's not match day.

0:51:210:51:24

"Welcome to Corby Town FC".

0:51:240:51:25

Although Tommy has no trouble getting into the grounds,

0:51:260:51:29

finding anyone to talk to might be another matter.

0:51:290:51:33

But he soon navigates his way into some kind of clubhouse,

0:51:330:51:36

where a team talk appears to be underway.

0:51:360:51:40

HE KNOCKS

0:51:400:51:41

Hiya, you all right? Is the chairman about?

0:51:410:51:43

Could you give him a call for me? It's quite urgent.

0:51:470:51:49

I'm an enforcement agent.

0:51:490:51:50

Tommy's stumbled on the club's youth academy,

0:51:500:51:53

and the man in charge offers to get the chairman on the phone.

0:51:530:51:56

Is it?

0:51:590:52:00

I don't know what else I can do. Is there anyone else you can call?

0:52:000:52:03

Cos the problem I have, I'm literally here,

0:52:030:52:05

I'm going to start listing assets down straight away.

0:52:050:52:08

Once I've listed everything down, I literally could be getting

0:52:080:52:11

contractors here and start removing stuff.

0:52:110:52:12

News that an enforcement agent is planning to remove

0:52:140:52:17

the contents of the clubhouse soon gets through to the right person.

0:52:170:52:21

You all right? Chairman on the phone.

0:52:210:52:23

Is this Steve, is it? Steve, yeah.

0:52:230:52:25

Hello, sir.

0:52:260:52:27

But club chairman Steve Noble hasn't called up to make a payment,

0:52:290:52:33

he instead has a different take on events.

0:52:330:52:35

What you're saying is he's willing to pay all the cost...

0:52:370:52:40

He's talking about a deal he's come to with the claimant.

0:52:400:52:44

I appreciate what you're saying, but unless I'm instructed

0:52:440:52:46

by a court, I have to carry on in my actions today.

0:52:460:52:50

All right, speak to you in a bit.

0:52:500:52:51

Chairman seems to think that he's come to an agreement with

0:52:530:52:56

the claimant, the claimant was going to pay our cost directly to us

0:52:560:53:00

and then they were going to come to an agreement between theirselves.

0:53:000:53:03

I've got no notes of that.

0:53:030:53:06

And a quick call to Tommy's office suggests that

0:53:060:53:08

while the claimant may be willing to accept a payment schedule,

0:53:080:53:11

he wants any such deal to be arranged through the sheriffs.

0:53:110:53:15

Oh, right, OK, so it's not what he said, then.

0:53:150:53:18

In the meantime, Tommy's search for assets continues.

0:53:200:53:23

In the bar, there's some alcohol.

0:53:240:53:27

Limited wet stock.

0:53:270:53:28

And a modest collection of silverware.

0:53:280:53:31

Three cups up there. One large one there.

0:53:310:53:34

So I'll make a note of them.

0:53:340:53:36

Though the first aid room turns out to be of more interest.

0:53:370:53:41

Oh, here we go.

0:53:410:53:43

Resuscitating machine, electronic one.

0:53:430:53:45

You just put the paddles on, start her up,

0:53:450:53:47

and it saves your life, basically.

0:53:470:53:49

They're really good bits of kit.

0:53:490:53:51

Tommy knows how to use one from his days in the Marines.

0:53:510:53:55

I was FA2 trained.

0:53:550:53:57

So I could do a bit of first aid,

0:53:580:53:59

stop you bleeding out if you got shot.

0:53:590:54:01

Hopefully, that won't be necessary today.

0:54:030:54:05

Tommy takes the kit to the van and tries to reach the chairman again

0:54:060:54:10

to see if he's going to come up with the money.

0:54:100:54:13

Hello, Mr Noble, it's the enforcement agent.

0:54:130:54:15

But it's not the news he wanted.

0:54:150:54:18

The chairman still wants to come to an arrangement,

0:54:180:54:21

but without putting any money upfront.

0:54:210:54:23

Without making that payment now, we're not going to be able to

0:54:240:54:27

facilitate anything other than removing what we can.

0:54:270:54:30

We won't just come, leave a letter and then not return.

0:54:300:54:33

I'm sent back to enforce it

0:54:330:54:35

and I won't leave here today without payment or taking stuff with me.

0:54:350:54:40

If you're telling me it's impossible to make any kind of payment today,

0:54:400:54:44

then, kind of, our conversation's going to come to an end,

0:54:440:54:47

cos I'm just going to have to carry on what I'm going to do here.

0:54:470:54:51

It looks like removal is Tommy's only option,

0:54:510:54:54

and he takes his search for assets pitch-side.

0:54:540:54:57

Two goalposts.

0:54:570:54:59

Which, believe it or not, could be removed,

0:54:590:55:01

although they're not as useful as what's in the outbuildings.

0:55:010:55:04

Ah, that's the one. Exactly what I'm looking for.

0:55:060:55:09

Something with a bit of monetary value.

0:55:090:55:12

I'll have the keys as well.

0:55:120:55:13

But before he can get too carried away,

0:55:150:55:18

he's interrupted by a groundsman.

0:55:180:55:20

Ain't they?

0:55:230:55:24

Whose are they?

0:55:240:55:26

They're yours?

0:55:260:55:27

Have you got any evidence of that? Who are you?

0:55:300:55:33

In terms of assets,

0:55:360:55:37

the football club isn't proving to be rich pickings.

0:55:370:55:40

Tommy's running out of places to look

0:55:400:55:43

and thoughts wander to Sheriffs FC.

0:55:430:55:46

I'll be a forward, Kev on the wing.

0:55:460:55:48

We'll have Wild in defence with Ken,

0:55:480:55:51

Alan in goal.

0:55:510:55:53

Grixy will be our manager.

0:55:530:55:54

Tommy returns to the van to start organising the removal,

0:55:580:56:01

but is interrupted by another phone call.

0:56:010:56:04

Let's just get this right, then -

0:56:040:56:05

you hold the lease for the grounds here.

0:56:050:56:09

And the building, yeah.

0:56:090:56:10

There's been a late substitution and a new player is on the pitch.

0:56:110:56:15

It's the landlord, who's got wind that the club's goalposts,

0:56:150:56:19

among other things, might be about to be removed.

0:56:190:56:22

It sounds like he could be willing to make a payment.

0:56:220:56:25

OK, sir. All right, speak to you in a bit. Bye.

0:56:260:56:29

He's willing to pay on their behalf the 3,000,

0:56:300:56:33

and he'll have it paid by midday tomorrow.

0:56:330:56:35

With limited assets here and other multiple claims

0:56:360:56:38

over their ownership, it's a deal Tommy's prepared to agree to.

0:56:380:56:42

The landlord soon arrives at the club,

0:56:430:56:45

where he meets with Tommy off camera.

0:56:450:56:47

A controlled goods agreement is signed for the assets

0:56:490:56:51

listed down and Tommy leaves satisfied.

0:56:510:56:54

With the complexities we had then

0:56:560:56:58

and the amount of third-party claims,

0:56:580:56:59

and with the property being leased by somebody else,

0:56:590:57:02

I think it's a good result, getting the CGA, ?1,500 per month,

0:57:020:57:06

with the ?3,000 paid tomorrow.

0:57:060:57:08

The ?3,000 arrived as promised and the company which did

0:57:090:57:13

the work on the pitch has started to receive its money.

0:57:130:57:16

When I think of the world we inhabit, everyone will think,

0:57:570:58:00

"Oh, this was done digitally."

0:58:000:58:01

Yeah. And it wasn't, it was done by hand

0:58:010:58:03

over days and weeks and months and years.

0:58:030:58:06

It was always a very, very deep love affair

0:58:070:58:11

between this incredible, wonderful, glorious music

0:58:110:58:15

Sheriffs Tommy and Craig are pelted with eggs and rocks as they go in search of the money owed by a second-hand car dealer who sold a vehicle that turned out to be a death trap.

Lawrence and Kev are faced with the prospect of seizing some seriously heavy machinery in search of a large debt.

Sheriffs evict a large group of squatters from a heavily barricaded building in south London.