Section 4. Model Procedure
The action plan will help shape the outcome of the case. As the views of the complainer are central in defining this outcome, it is important that records are kept, action plans agreed and progress maintained and regularly reported on. These efforts should help maintain the client's confidence in the process. Care in these areas will also help to ensure that the conclusion, when it comes, holds few surprises and that the tenant is broadly content with the outcome.
If the conclusion for the housing provider means the case has become a criminal matter handed on to the police for further investigation, the investigating officer might want to maintain a supporting role as a known and trusted contact.
Believe the victim until and unless there is clear evidence to the contrary.
Seek agreement with the victim to involve the police/other agencies.
Explain the options and discuss measures to support the victim and possible action against alleged perpetrators. Do not proceed against the victim's wishes. Some organisations make an exception here if they feel the safety of others is at stake e.g. through the risk of an arson attack.
Back discussion up with written support pack and an agreed action plan.
Stay in touch and check if there have been further incidents (this still applies if a victim is subsequently transferred).
Protect the confidentiality of victims (except where they have agreed that details should be passed to other agencies).
Keep records in a secure place along with any physical evidence such as photographs as they might be needed as evidence.
Ensure that records of the investigation are kept up to date e.g. dates and notes of meetings, agreed actions and date by which to be completed, progress noted against actions, detailed statements typed up etc.
Order repairs and agreed security measures to a strict deadline.
Ensure that effective liaison is established quickly and regularly maintained with named contacts within relevant partner agencies