Section 4. Model Procedure

4.1 First Contact

The person who first receives the complaint should record basic details straight away (see Form RH1) and consider whether, based on the information provided, there is a need to flag the incident as potentially racially motivated (See Box One).

The complaint might come to the housing provider from the individual concerned, their representative or a community organisation. There might be a history to the incident which has not been reported before. Care should be taken when making first contact with victims of racial harassment, particularly when the initial report has been received from a third party source or witness. This is a complex area with much guidance available in the following sources:

At this stage it might be necessary to order emergency repairs or arrange temporary accommodation – especially where there has been any violence shown to the victim or his or her family – this should be carried out immediately. Similarly, if the incident involved racist graffiti, there should be a request made for immediate removal in line with the organisation's policy.

Once a report is recorded, it should be allocated to a named officer for investigation. This will provide a point of contact for the victim and any agency that might become involved. Internally, a named officer will also help focus the housing provider's response.

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