Vexatious and persistent behaviour policy

Face to face

The personal safety of the council officers is of paramount importance and if during face to face meetings the complainant’s behaviour becomes aggressive, abusive or displays high levels of distress the meeting should be brought to an end as quickly as possible.

The decision to end a meeting should (if possible) be explained clearly and politely, so that the complainant does not feel that they are being dismissed or their complaint ignored. Unless it is clearly inappropriate to do so, they should also be informed that it may be possible to continue the conversation at a future meeting when they are less distressed.

If an officer feels their personal safety is in immediate risk, an officer will end the meeting without explanation and if deemed necessary without warning, and the matter dealt with under the council’s Staff Protection Policy. Where a meeting is terminated because of the conduct of the complainant a file note of the incident will be made and the matter brought to the attention of the service manager in writing.

Officers in receipt of abusive or threatening correspondence need not reply to this other than to acknowledge its receipt. All such correspondence should be brought to the attention of the relevant service manager.

The relevant service manager will review the case and may decide to respond to the complainant explaining that the tone of their correspondence is unacceptable and that no further correspondence will be entered into unless the complainant amends their tone. (More detail is provided in Section 9 below).