Can't pay? We'll take it away (Channel 5)

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jeffcv
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Can't pay? We'll take it away (Channel 5)

Post by jeffcv »

I'm curious about something. Occasionally some of the people in the sites visited by the High Court Enforcement agents have their faces blurred, but we get to see the debtors/evictees ranting and raving. Surely they would refuse permission for their faces to be shown, unless they receive a substantial payment from Channel 5 to make it worth their while appearing - maybe enough even to cover the debt or put down a deposit on a new rental. Surely they can't be shown without giving permission? Anyone know?

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Simon36
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Re: Can't pay? We'll take it away (Channel 5)

Post by Simon36 »

I wonder this about those docs where they follow the police around too. Do drunken people on the street being arrested actually sign a disclaimer?

u03drp
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Re: Can't pay? We'll take it away (Channel 5)

Post by u03drp »

Channel 5 tend to take a bullish approach to such things - essentially where the High Court Enforcement Agents / Police Officers are undertaking their duties against people who have done something wrong in some way (subject to a High Court order, drunk & disorderly) they take the line that there's a public interest justification for showing them. From time-to-time it gets passed to Ofcom, Channel 5 rehearse their arguments, and (from a totally unscientific estimate in my head) I reckon Ofcom find in their favour roughly 50% of the time. It's a breath of fresh air compared to other channels though, where you sometimes have nothing worth looking at in a shot which hasn't been fuzzed!

fatcat
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Re: Can't pay? We'll take it away (Channel 5)

Post by fatcat »

The other thing is the debtor is probably not aware (especially in the heat of the situation ) he/she is being filmed anyway on the agents' small bodycam cameras, as there are times when the real cameramen are around and the debtor asks them to leave the premises.
Also when these cameras were first issued to aid officers in their protection and pursuit of the law- none of us were aware that the footage could be used as entertainment ..Not good for a single mother who owes a grand from a struggle to live rather than buying expensive shoes and hope she gets a fee for the repeats, while someone who owes 50K and has it written off because they are crafty faces having his/her situation being replayed ad infinitum across the Freeview Network.

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Mickey
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Re: Can't pay? We'll take it away (Channel 5)

Post by Mickey »

Did Roger Cook used to seek permission?

jeffcv
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Re: Can't pay? We'll take it away (Channel 5)

Post by jeffcv »

For the past couple of weeks or so , although listed in Radio Times, the Sunday afternoon Five Star repeats haven't been broadcast - however, yesterday it was back but interestingly with the debtors' faces blurred out and their names erased from the soundtrack. Made it far less watchable.

JezR
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Re: Can't pay? We'll take it away (Channel 5)

Post by JezR »

Ofcom finally upheld a privacy complaint against "Can't Pay' at the end of October. Details in Bulletin 340. As can be seen this has been a long investigation.

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David Boothroyd
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Re: Can't pay? We'll take it away (Channel 5)

Post by David Boothroyd »

JezR wrote:Ofcom finally upheld a privacy complaint against "Can't Pay' at the end of October. Details in Bulletin 340. As can be seen this has been a long investigation.
Crucial element was accidentally supplied by the programme-makers (shooting themselves in the foot). Instead of the body-worn cameras being part of the HCEO's regular kit for their own protection, from which they incidentally obtained video which they gave to help the programme, instead they were owned by the production company and given to the HCEOs mainly to supply video for the programme and only incidentally for personal protection.

This is obviously a problem because while the 'customers' could order a film crew to leave, the HCEO have legal rights of entry and the invasion of privacy argument turns on its head.

JezR
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Re: Can't pay? We'll take it away (Channel 5)

Post by JezR »

Indeed the counterpart 'Sheriffs' programme on the BBC was greatly diminished when everyone realised that they could decline the camera crew entry and it became a report on what went on, sometimes with sound. The body-cameras were a wheeze designed to get round this - under previous cases the actual source of the cameras and their primary use had not been made obvious.

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Nick Cooper 625
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Re: Can't pay? We'll take it away (Channel 5)

Post by Nick Cooper 625 »

JezR wrote:Ofcom finally upheld a privacy complaint against "Can't Pay' at the end of October. Details in Bulletin 340. As can be seen this has been a long investigation.
One of those cases where I'd feel a bit more sympathy for the debtor if they hadn't already agreed to a payment plan, and then defaulted on it.
"Moral indignation is jealousy with a halo." [Wells]

JezR
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Re: Can't pay? We'll take it away (Channel 5)

Post by JezR »

Latest privacy case arising from the programme reaches the High Court, resulting in a £20k award by the judge.

Maybe there will be some Enforcement Agents sent round to C5 and its production company in due course.

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