If I report something with details, will the University launch an investigation, formal complaint or tell the police?

No. Submitting a report with details is a means of accessing your own HR advisor, and bespoke support. It is not a tool for triggering an automatic investigation under our procedures. 
However, there may be certain circumstances where we will need to disclose information that you have shared with us: 
  • If your life or the lives of others is at risk. Examples of this would be if a report states that someone has plans to complete suicide, has plans to self-harm to an extent that endangers their life or if a report contains threats to other people's lives. 
  • If the reporter is under 18. 
  • If we are required to do so by law (e.g. If a colleague imparts information relating to criminal activity or planned criminal activity; Where we are required to share information with UK Visas & Immigration in accordance with our duties as a licenced immigration sponsor; etc.). 
Should this be the case, the University might decide to take immediate action. In these circumstances we would look to obtain your consent first where possible and it will be explained to you in full why we believe there is a need to disclose information, and who will have access to this information.
If you do not provide us with consent to share this information or it is not practicable for us to try and obtain it, in very rare circumstances we reserve the right to break confidentiality. This would only happen if there were a serious risk to your own or others’ safety, or if we were compelled to break confidentiality by law.
Even in such circumstances we would do our utmost to discuss things with you before taking action. In the event of a serious and imminent risk of major harm, other members of the University may be informed or called upon to assist in managing the immediate situation. We may also contact external agencies if appropriate.
How much information do I need to submit in my report?
This is entirely up to you. However, there are a few key things to consider: 
  • If you are submitting an anonymous report then detail is key, particularly if you have requested for action to be taken, if possible. Due to the limiting nature of anonymous reports, it is vital that anonymous reports contain as much detail as possible to help support a potential investigation. 
  • If you are submitting a report with details then you do not need to submit as much detail, and you can in fact let us know that reliving your experience through the text-box is too much for you. As long as we know what type of harassment you are reporting, and you have provided the correct contact details, then the most relevant advisor can get in touch. 

What questions will the Report and Support form ask me?

You can see the questions in advance here.

Who will be told about the report and is it confidential?

Confidentiality is key to the Report and Support service. Unless there are circumstances where there is a need to share information to ensure safety or to fulfil the University’s duty of care under safeguarding, no other parties will be informed about your disclosure. However, anonymised information may need to be shared between teams initially within Human Resources and Student & Academic Services to enable them to carry out their work more efficiently, and enhance the service provided to you.

What can the Report and Support Team help me with?
If you report with details, an HR advisor from the HR Report and Support Team will be in contact within two University working days. The HR Report and Support Team can: 
  • Outline both your reporting and support options, in order to help empower you to make an informed decision on your next steps. An HR advisor will not force you to report anything, and your conversations remain confidential, unless there are circumstances where there is a need to share information to ensure safety or to fulfil the University’s duty of care under safeguarding.
  • Fully outline both the informal and formal resolution processes of the relevant policy, letting you know about anticipated timelines and potential outcomes;
  • Remain your single point of contact if you wish, between yourself and University staff. This is to help minimise repetition of disclosure;
  • Act as your advisory party in investigation interviews and formal hearing panels;
  • Help to arrange mediation or informal resolutions;
  • Signpost you to relevant support services, both internal and external depending on your needs;
  • Ensure that you are kept up to date with the progression of your potential case;
  • Answer any questions, big or small, about both your reporting and support options.
Can a student submit a report about a member of staff?

Can a staff member submit a report about a student?
Can I submit a report on behalf of someone else?
Yes. If you witnessed something that is unacceptable, you can report this via Report and Support and ask to speak with a HR advisor. However, before taking any formal action, we will always try and reach out to the person who directly experienced the unacceptable behaviour to provide support and check whether they would like to submit a formal complaint themselves.
You can also help someone complete the online form. If, for instance, someone discloses having experienced misconduct to you, you can sit down with them and assist whilst you complete the form. The Report and Support Team will confirm receipt of the disclosure and will reach out to the person who experienced misconduct directly.

I’ve heard the university doesn’t do anything about people who are reported. Is this true?
No. Contrary to popular belief, the University conducts investigations into allegations made in line with the relevant policy (please read our Bullying and Harassment Policy and Procedure and our Grievance Policy and Procedure). The investigation is a fact-finding exercise that is reviewed to assess next steps. 
Informal resolutions such as mediation are also available as a different form of resolution if the person reporting prefers these options.
I'm afraid of not having enough evidence and not being believed.
The Report and Support Team will not make a judgement about you or what you are disclosing but will support you, regardless of how much information you are willing to share. 
We appreciate that meeting a HR advisor for the first time could feel like a stressful experience, therefore we have written the online form to give reporters the opportunity to disclose any information that they would like to share before the initial meeting. Each reporter will feel differently about this. Some will want to provide lots of information, others will want to provide no information at all. Either way, your disclosure will be taken seriously.

I know someone who have made anonymous reports, and nothing has happened, why is this?
Throughout the anonymous disclosure form on the Report and Support platform, we try to make it clear that anonymous reports will not usually lead to direct formal action being taken. There may be certain circumstances where the University might decide to take direct formal action (e.g. If your life or the lives of others is at risk; or if multiple reports are made regarding the same incident or the same alleged perpetrator).

However, without a named reporting party, the alleged responding party may be unable to answer investigative questions if they do not know who the complaint is in relation to or who has reported them. It also limits investigations, as the investigating officer will only have one anonymous disclosure to base an entire investigation from and cannot gather potentially important further details from a reporter if they are required.
Nevertheless, indirect action can be taken on the back of anonymous reports. This can take the form of training sessions being delivered by the Report and Support Team to particular clubs, societies and departments that are displaying behaviours that breach the University’s regulations.
If you would like direct formal action to be taken by the University, please submit a Speak to an Advisor form, or else we are limited in our response.

What is the point of submitting an anonymous report if no formal action is taken?

Anonymous reporting, even with no action taken, is incredibly useful for identifying trends, and informing targeted proactive education and awareness raising. All information collected through anonymous reporting will inform our annual report.

If I know a few people who would all like to report the same person, are they able to do this together?

One person can submit a disclosure on behalf of a group of reporters and have a group confidential meeting with a HR advisor, if this would make everyone feel more comfortable.

However, the HR advisor will often arrange individual meetings with each reporting party following this group meeting. This is just to ensure that everyone feels like they are able to make their own independent choices and remain in control of their next steps.

Can I only report things that happened on campus or at university events?
No. Report and Support is available to all students, staff and visitors who have experienced Bullying and Harassment, Discrimination, Hate Incident/Crime, Sexual Misconduct.
The Report and Support Team understand that this could happen to students and staff beyond the University campus and even overseas. Support is available regardless of where the individual is based in the world or where it happened. The Report and Support Team will simply work to tailor the support and reporting options to the individual’s circumstances.
What if something has happened to someone in their personal life outside University or the perpetrator is a random member of the public?
It does not matter if the perpetrator is a member of the public, a partner or family member that has nothing to do with the University. What matters is whether a disclosing student or staff member would benefit from the support of a specially trained advisor.

The Report and Support Team will simply work to tailor the support and reporting options to the individual’s circumstances. Whilst the University will only be able to take action if the alleged perpetrator is a member of the University community, the Report and Support Team can provide information regarding external reporting options and services.

Is it true that survivors of sexual or domestic violence reporting someone they are/were close to will be interpreted as them consenting to what happened to them?
No. Over 50% of all sexual violence is committed by acquaintances, and the Report and Support Team are fully aware of this. University policies and the law make it clear that consent cannot be assumed on the basis of a previous sexual experience or previously given consent, and consent may be withdrawn at any time. The status of someone’s relationship with another person is therefore not important when it comes to sexual misconduct. If consent is not ongoing and the individual does not have the freedom and capacity to consent - then it is sexual misconduct.

Some people won’t disclose experiences through Report and Support because they don’t think they’re ‘bad enough’, particularly things like racialised microaggressions. Are their fears valid?
No. No incident needs to be physically violent in nature nor leave scars, marks or bruises on someone’s body to be classed as harassment. We understand that harassment can be subtle, can happen online and can sometimes even be invisible to the naked eye or ear. These understated actions would still constitute harassment and can be disclosed via Report and Support.
 If someone feels that their dignity has been violated, or that they would benefit from the support provided by the Report and Support Team to help them feel safer and more comfortable whilst at the University, then we would encourage disclosing via the Speak to an Advisor form. 


There are two ways you can tell us what happened