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Our approach to managing unacceptable behaviour

1. Overview/Procedure Description

1.1. This guidance sets out the approach of Raven Housing Trust to the very few users whose actions or behaviour we consider unacceptable. The term user includes anyone who contacts our office/staff in connection with our service delivery, either in person, over the telephone or in written communications.

1.2. We do not view behaviour as unacceptable just because someone is assertive or determined. There may have been upsetting or distressing circumstances leading up to a someone approaching us and people may act out of character. However the actions of some customers who are angry or persistent may result in unreasonable demands on, or behaviour towards our staff and we will take appropriate action to manage such behaviour.

 

2. Procedure Details

We have grouped the behaviour under two broad headings:

Aggressive or abusive behaviour

Our staff understand the difference between anger and aggression. For example many complainants feel angry about the events that resulted in them contacting us. However, it is not acceptable when anger escalates into aggression towards our staff. Aggression is not restricted to acts that may result in physical harm. It also includes behaviour or language that may cause staff to feel afraid, threatened, or abused and this is not tolerated.

Examples of aggressive behaviour include:

  • threats
  • physical violence
  • personal abuse
  • derogatory or discriminatory remarks
  • rudeness

In the event that our staff experience the above, we withhold the right to refuse to deal with a complaint until the complainant’s behaviour is acceptable and staff feel safe to do so.

 

Unreasonable demands

Users may make what we consider unreasonable demands if they impact substantially on our work through the amount of information they seek or provide, the nature and scale of service they expect, or the regularity or number of approaches they make including within the complaints process.

Examples of this behaviour include:

  • asking for responses within an unreasonable timescale,
  • insisting on communicating with a particular member of staff,
  • continual phone calls, emails, or letters,
  • repeatedly changing the substance of the complaint or raising unrelated concerns.

 

We also consider that users who will not or cannot accept that the Raven is unable to assist them further or provide a level of service other than that provided are making unreasonable demands.

Examples of this behaviour include:

  • persistent refusal to accept a decision,
  • persistent refusal to accept explanations relating to what the Raven can or cannot do,
  • continuing to pursue a case without presenting any new information

 

The way in which these users approach us may be reasonable, but it is their persistent behaviour in continuing to do so that is not.

How we manage unacceptable behaviour will depend on the nature and extent of it.

 

Steps we may take include, separately or in combination:

  • restricting contact in person, by telephone, fax, letter or electronically or by any combination of these
  • restricting the frequency of contact
  • requesting that an advocate acts on their behalf
  • only visit your home in pairs

 

In some cases, where other attempts to moderate the behaviour or restrict contact have not worked, we will consider legal remedies such as injunction/possession proceedings.

In the first instance decisions can be appealed by using Raven Housing Complaint procedure.

 

3. Applicability

 3.1. This procedure applies to all service users and staff members of Raven Housing Trust. 

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