Equality and Diversity

Reporting Incidents of Discrimination

Have you been the target of a racist, homophobic or other identity based hate incident?  

Have you experienced discrimination?

Have you been upset by offensive stereotyping?

Everyone has the right to live and work in an environment free from harassment and discrimination. This can range from offensive language and stereotyping, verbal abuse and graffiti through to physical assault and damage to property.  If someone tells us that they have been the target of discrimination, we will treat the matter seriously and sensitively.

We want to know if you have been affected by, or witnessed, an incident of discrimination.

Knowing what happens can help us understand the issues that people are facing and develop strategies to stop them happening again.  

Here's what to do...

Discrimination by Devon County Council staff, Members or services:

If you experience discrimination by a Devon County Council service you can make a formal complaint (if you are a service user or member of the public) using the Council's complaints process, or use the Council's grievance procedure (if you are a member of staff).  This includes services that the County Council commissions or runs in partnership with other organisations.  Please make it clear that your complaint is about discrimination, and the type of discrimination (for example, racist, homophobic...).

Please complete a Discriminatory Incident Report Form (word version).  You can use this form to report incidents that have affected you or others.  You can do this anonymously if you wish.  Information is used for monitoring purposes and general recommendations for employment or service improvements may be made – for example, if there is a pattern of incidents.  Care is taken so that individuals will not be identified in any monitoring reports, therefore this process does not directly resolve incidents but provides individuals an opportunity to 'speak up'.  You can also use the form to seek further guidance and signposting to sources of support or complaints procedures.

You can post the form to the Corporate Equality Officer at the following address: County Hall, Topsham Road, Exeter EX2 4QU. You can also submit the online version of the leaflet below by emailing it to equality@devon.gov.uk.  Please note the Corporate Equality Officer:

  • Cannot help you make a complaint against Devon County Council (they need to remain impartial).
  • Does not investigate complaints, but may provide advice to officers managing the investigation process.
  • Can signpost you to our complaints procedure or other sources of support and information so that you can get the matter resolved.
  • Make general recommendations to services or the organisation as a whole.

Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS)

The EASS is a national helpline that advises and assists individuals on issues relating to equality and human rights.  Contact them if you have a complaint about a service or employer and need support.

www.equalityadvisoryservice.com

Schools and school pupils:

If your complaint is with a School, you will need to complain to the School directly, using their procedure.  A Bullying and Prejudice Related Incident reporting process is available for School Pupils.

Discrimination in the community

Through the Safer Devon Partnership, we are working with partners to tackle prejudice and hate crime across Devon.  

What is hate crime?

Hate crime is any offence committed against a person or property that is motivated by the offender's hatred of people because of their association with one or more of the equality strands. For example, you can be a victim of hate crime because of your race, religion, disability, age, sexuality or gender.

Why report a hate crime?

You can:

  • help the council and the police to understand patterns of behaviour
  • provide a true picture of what is happening within your community
  • help police investigate an incident which may contribute to an arrest and/or prosecution
  • help prevent these types of crimes happening to someone else

More information on hate crime.

If you have been a victim of prejudice/hate crime there are a number of ways you can report an incident and receive support. For example: