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Report and Support: Annual Report 2022-23

We pride ourselves on being a warm, inclusive and friendly place where people can truly be themselves. And for most of our community that is exactly what they experience day in day out.

But sadly, unacceptable behaviour does happen at Warwick and the impact it has on those targeted can be profound and deeply distressing.

We do not tolerate any form of discrimination, harassment or violence and will investigate and take action against anyone found to have broken our rules. This can include dismissal for staff and expulsion for students.

Our Report and Support platform was established so people could report incidents to us – anonymously if preferred – and receive any specialist support they needed. Crucially the process is reporter-led, which means they are empowered to decide whether they want incidents to be investigated or passed to the police or not.

For the third year, we are publishing our annual report, which provides a transparent overview on the number and types of incidents, and what is being done to address misconduct. Being open with our community about these disturbing issues is uncomfortable but also essential if we are to understand them better and address misconduct effectively.

The report shows the overall number of disclosures is increasing, with rises in reports of bullying and harassment. This is a cause for concern and something I take extremely seriously.

We believe the increase is – at least in part - due to a greater promotion and awareness across our community of the platform and increasing trust in it. Training hours are up almost 50% on last year, and we want people to use the platform, trust it and get the support they need.

In some cases, the rise also reflects wider societal and international issues and tensions, with those sometimes playing out on campus, just as they do in wider society. Once again, the number of people reporting and speaking to an advisor, rather than reporting anonymously, continues to rise. This appears to reflect a growing confidence in using the service.

We are working hard to tackle unacceptable behaviour not only through taking disciplinary action when cases are proven - but also through education to prevent these incidents in the first place through improved training and increased support for students and staff.

Progress has been made but we recognise that we need to do more to improve and strengthen our approach further. We are fully committed to working collectively with our students, staff, Students’ Union, partners and the police to continue to tackle misconduct, raise awareness of the support on offer and build confidence in reporting incidents.

Stuart Croft