East Devon District Council

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Policy Equality policy and Strategy 2017-20

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7. Principle 2: Respond to complaints and incidents in a positive and pro-active way

Everyone has the right to complain in good faith about discrimination without being victimized at any time. This means people should be able to raise concerns without feeling awkward, threatened or isolated.

Discrimination can include harassment, not being able to access a service or information, or being treated less favourably or unfavourably because of a protected characteristic. If someone complains about discrimination, handle the complaint properly and resolve matters positively.

Handle complaints properly:

  • Handle complaints sensitively, using the complaints procedure. Listen with care.
  • Those receiving a complaint about discrimination should accept the incident is discriminatory (for example racist or sexist) as perceived by the victim. This is unless, and until such time it is reasonably proved otherwise (following an investigation into the matter).
  • Provide or make arrangements for appropriate support for all those involved.

Resolve matters positively:

  • Resolve matters as quickly as possible. Where possible, matters should be resolved informally and at source, before they escalate
  • Explore the options to resolve issues. For example, mediation, advocacy, contacting appropriate personnel or agencies for advice on good practice or best course of action.
  • Where mistakes have happened, the organisation should admit to them (if justified, and learn from them).

Respond to incidents of hate crime:

  • Take appropriate and speedy action if an incident of hate crime occurs on council property or business (such as graffiti or assault). This may involve removing graffiti or supporting people affected by the incident including signposting to specialist, independent organisations.
  • Report the incident to the Anti Social Behaviour Officer immediately. Gerry Moore - Anti Social Behaviour & Community Safety Co-ordinator gmoore@eastdevon.gov.uk, tel 01395 273802.