It can be a difficult decision to come forward and report an incident of harassment, bullying, discrimination, or misconduct. Such behaviours are unacceptable at St Mary’s, and if you feel that you have experienced or witnessed any form of harassment, bullying, discrimination or inappropriate behaviour, we encourage you to report it and to seek support and advice.
The decision about whether or not to make a report is entirely up to the individual and there are different reporting options designed to ensure that staff do not feel that there are barriers to them taking their desired action. This section gives you more information if you wish to report an incident involving a student or a member of staff, either to the University to pursue disciplinary action, or to the Police to pursue criminal proceedings.
⚠ is it an emergency?
- Is someone in immediate danger?
- Is a crime taking place or has one just happened?
- If so, call 999 now and ask for the police.
For incidences on campus you can also call Security on 0208 240 4060 (emergency) or 0208 240 4335 (non-emergency). St Mary’s Security Team provides 24 hour security to ensure the safety and security of students, staff and the campus environment.
Seek Guidance Confidentially from an HR Business Partner
Any member of staff who feels they have experienced or witnessed any form of harassment, bullying, discrimination, or misconduct under our Dignity at Work Statement are welcomed to have a confidential conversation with their HR Business Partner. This conversation may happen either via telephone or at a convenient time/place and provides an opportunity for the member of staff to share what they’ve experienced confidentially and to receive guidance as to the various courses of action available.
If you're unsure who your HR Business Partner is, please visit our HR Contacts page or contact email@example.com to be connected directly.
Where appropriate, members of staff are encouraged to raise any grievance relating to harassment, bullying, discrimination, or misconduct informally. An informal grievance does not have to be made in writing and will not normally be formally recorded. The university recognizes this is often not the best course for sensitive cases, and staff are encouraged to prioritise their mental health and wellbeing when choosing how they want to proceed.
The first step in raising an informal grievance is to request a meeting with one’s immediate line manager (or that person’s line manager if the complaint is against one’s immediate line manager). During that meeting, the member of staff will explain the nature of their complaint and their desired outcome(s). From that point, the member of staff and their line manager will explore how the issue could be resolved informally. Our Grievance Policy and Procedure outlines further next steps.
Make a formal complaint
Any member of staff wishing to make a complaint to the University about another staff member can do so through the Dignity at Work Statement by way of our Grievance Procedure. Any complaints in relation to a student can be done so through the Student Disciplinary Procedure.
The first step in the Grievance Procedure is to set out the grievance in writing and send it to one’s immediate line manager (or that person’s line manager if the complaint is against one’s immediate line manager). Our Grievance Policy and Procedure outlines further next steps, as well as a proposed template for submitting a grievance to one’s line manager. Any complaints in relation to a student can be done so through the Student Disciplinary Procedure.
When reporting an incident you will be taken seriously, your feelings and decisions will be respected, and the University will ensure that you have access to relevant support services. The Human Resources department are able to advise staff on the reporting process and policy details. The University’s free and confidential Employee Assistance Programme is also available to support any staff going through the reporting process.
Please note: The University does not have the power to investigate crimes but would investigate any incidences of misconduct under the relevant staff or student disciplinary procedures.
Reporting an incident to the police
Deciding whether or not to report an incident to the police can be a difficult decision. If you do wish to report an incident of sexual assault, harassment, stalking, or a hate crime to the police, there are a number of ways to do so, either by calling 101, online or in person at a local police station. You can report online or find your local police station using this website.
You do not have to decide whether or not to report the incident to the police immediately. It is quite normal for people (particularly those who have experienced sexual assault, harassment, or stalking) to not want to make a report initially, but to decide after a while that they want to.
For those who have experienced sexual assault, harassment, or stalking who do not want to make a police report yet, but would like to retain this option for future, you can go to a Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) such as the Havens. The Havens is a specialist centre in London for victims of serious sexual assault, they offer emotional support as well as medical help. They are also able to provide a forensic medical examination which may help with any investigation. Evidence collected by the Havens can stored while you decide what to do next.
Where there are criminal proceedings against another staff member or a student, the University may defer any disciplinary proceedings, and may also impose temporary measures such as suspension, until any police investigation has been concluded. In matters involving a criminal investigation, the University will liaise with the Police throughout the investigation.
Above all, staff wellbeing is paramount. No matter the reporting option you choose, we encourage you to seek free, confidential support from our Employee Assistance Programme or review our more detailed support pages that outline a variety of internal and external support options.