Overview

Challenging inappropriate behaviour by other participants is important, but not everyone is comfortable or confident to do that. We want all participants to be confident that they can make a report to us and that we will deal with them promptly, respectfully, and appropriately. This page outlines the process for participants to report a breach of our rules on conduct and explains how we respond and what actions we take.

In general we operate on a "single warning" policy; any participant whose behaviour clearly contravenes our rules will receives a single warning. Any further complaints risks permanent exclusion; if there is a complaint from a different source that the participant has repeated the behaviour they have already been warned for then it is standard practice to permanently exclude them from our event.

We aim to provide a space where participants can feel safe and able to talk to us in confidence. Any participant who asks to speak to a member of the conduct team at an event will be encouraged to use our participant welfare space which is a Profound Decisions tent located near the First Aid post.

Contact Us Early

  • Please report a problem as soon as possible
  • Anyone with a radio will be able to obtain a member of crew from the conduct team
  • You can also phone GOD or the security team during the event on 07817 133 793
  • You can report an incident by contacting Profound Decisions between events

The more time that elapses, the harder it becomes to confirm the details of what has happened, so the best time to report any inappropriate conduct is as soon as possible. If a problem is happening at an event, it is much easier to deal with the issue there and then.

Emma Woods is the head of conduct for Empire events in addition to being one of the head referees. Ideally she is the first point of contact for any participant who is experiencing a problem - but you can ask for anyone if you wish to speak to a specific member of the conduct team. If you bring the problem to the attention of a member of crew then they will attempt to get hold of Emma or the first member of the conduct team who is free for you.

During time-in there is usually at least one egregore equipped with a radio in every nation camp, in addition to members of our referee team who operate throughout the in-character area. If you cannot easily find a member of crew, then the best alternative is to go to GOD to get help there. You can also phone the PD mobile phone throughout the event on 07817 133 793. This will reach a member of GOD during the day or a member of the security team at night.

If you are reporting a problem after an event then you can contact our head office at any time. The best way to make a report is to email us but you can use any of the methods listed on our contact us page.

We have a dedicated email address - conduct@profounddecisions.co.uk - which goes directly to the conduct team. This is the best way to get the fastest possible response between events - but you can also email an individual member of the conduct team if you prefer to do that.

Investigation

We will strive to deal with any complaint in a timely fashion. If you report a problem at the event, we will address the issue there if that is practically possible. If you are contacting us by email then we will acknowledge receipt of your email as soon as we have read it.

Where possible, we will try to get as many eye-witness accounts as possible. We will ask you to give us as full a description of events as they are able. Unless you wish to make an anonymous complaint we will then approach the other party and ask them to provide us with their version of events. We will also try to get a statement from anyone else who was an eye-witness present at the time.

We will attempt to check that you are comfortable with any steps we take to investigate a situation before that happens. In general we try to be as flexible as possible in the way we deal with any issue so that we can take account of any concerns that you have. We are keen to investigate any breaches of conduct that take place in the Empire community, but only within the limits set by the person raising the complaint. We will try to ensure that we ask your permission before we take any step which might cause you any possible repercussions.

Once we have the best possible picture of what happened, we will make a decision and inform the complainant and the recipient of the complaint of the outcome.

Anonymity

If you wish to report an incident but prefer to remain anonymous - or you want do not want to make a formal complaint for any reason, then we adjust our process to reflect your wishes. We will ask you to provide us with as complete a description of events as possible but we not make any further investigation of the matter to avoid compromising your anonymity.

This will limit the actions that we can take as a result of the complaint, but as a minimum the incident will be logged on the accused's participants database records. If there are independent complaints in the future against the same party then we would use the history of previous incidents in determining the outcome of subsequent complaints.

Involving the Police

  • We will always support your decision on whether you wish to contact the police or not

A serious breach of our rules for conduct may constitute a criminal offense. Profound Decisions policy is that any decision to report a crime is a choice for the victim alone. We will treat any matter that you bring to our attention exactly the same regardless of whether you wish to report it or not. Any participant who wishes to report a matter to the police will have our full support and cooperation in doing that.

Response

  • Any decision will be made together by two members of the conduct team where possible

Once we have completed an investigation, a senior member of our team will issue a response. During the day, this decision is normally taken by Emma Woods, who is head of conduct in consultation with another member of the conduct team, either Matthew Pennington or Clare Evans. During the night, if a swift decision is required them it will be taken by Steve Tiernan who is our head of security, otherwise it will be dealt with the next morning.

When investigating an issue we will try to speak to the accused to get their version of events where we the nature of the complaint allows. Please note however that none of the following excuses will be considered acceptable justification for behaviour that breaches our rules on conduct.

  • "I was only joking"
  • "I was in-character"
  • "I was drunk"
  • "I'm his mate and he doesn't mind"
  • "I didn't know what the rules were"

We will take action from the following spectrum of responses based on the level of severity and the degree of repetition in the offending behaviour.

  • A reprimand indicating that the reported behaviour is not inline with our event rules
  • A formal warning for a clear violation of our rules
  • Permanent exclusion from Profound Decisions events
  • Removal from site

If the reported behaviour was an isolated incident that could be construed as acceptable by someone making an honest mistake - then our ref team will give the participant a reprimand and make a note on their record on our database. Any repetition or anything more substantial will result in a single formal warning. If someone has received a formal warning from us for their behaviour then any further complaints about any aspect of their behaviour risks permanent exclusion. If there is a second complaint from an independent source that the participant has repeated behaviour they have already received a formal warning for, then it is standard practice to permanently exclude them from our event.

Egregious or repeated cases of harassment or discrimination will result in a permanent ban from our events; we will write to that participant after the event to indicate that they may not return. In the worst cases the referee team will ask our security team to instruct the offender to leave site immediately.

Formal Warning

In general we operate on a "single warning" policy. This means that anyone whose behaviour contravenes our rules for conduct will receive a single formal warning. Further complaints about any aspect of their behaviour risk permanent exclusion. If there is a complaint from a different source that the participant has repeated the behaviour that they have already been warned for then it is standard practice to permanently exclude them from our event.

The nature of complaints in LRP is that there is usually only hearsay evidence. We are not a court of law and that means we do not require proof beyond reasonable doubt, but we do try to take an approach that is fair to all parties. Giving the accused a single warning gives a reasonable balance; giving them a chance to avoid making a similar mistake in future and avoiding the more onerous requirement to make a judgement beyond reasonable doubt. In cases where an incident is egregious and where the facts are beyond reasonable doubt, we reserve the right to issue an immediate ban for a first offence.

Must Avoid Policy

If requested, then we can apply a must avoid order between two or more participants. This must avoid policy is designed to help a participant who is having problems with the behaviour or presence of another event attendee. Asking for a must-avoid ruling to be put in place is always optional, it is never a solution imposed by us, it is only put in place when requested by a participant.

Confidentiality

  • All complaints are treated in confidence by us
  • We do not share details of complaints with other systems

All our crew are asked to treat issues raised with them with appropriate discretion. If you report a problem to a member of our conduct team then they will not share those details with anyone without your express permission. We will not take steps to investigate a report that could breach your right to anonymity without discussing that with you first.

We will ask you for permission to share the details of your situation with other members of the conduct team. Cases are shared between members of the team so that any of them can respond to any future incident appropriately. Our standard procedure is to log reports in such a way that they can only be accessed by members of the conduct team. If you are not comfortable with us sharing details of your experience with the members of our conduct team then we will discuss other options with you.

We do not share details of complaints with other members of the LRP community or other game systems. We always refuse to confirm or deny if individuals have been issued with a warning or banned from our events.

Further Reading