How fair is our disciplinary system?

Discussion in 'Royal Naval Reserve (RNR)' started by broadside, Sep 30, 2009.

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  1. Another case of alleged bullying has raised questions over the fairness of the system including the impact on all persons involved.

    This particular incident allegedly took place some time ago but the investigation has apparently just been dropped when the complainant "amended the complaint"

    What is the role (and accountability) of the OIC in such a situation?
    What about the complainant - once the allegations have been made they surely cannot simply change their mind and walk away as if nothing had happened?
    What about closure for the person accused? In this instance it appears that the "verdict" has taken on the appearance of a Scottish style "Not Proven" which remains on the person's file as a "stain"

    It seems to me that the only victim of this incident is now the person against whom the allegations were made who has a black mark on their record but has been unable to lodge a proper defence.

    Is this representative of our disciplinary system and, if so, is it fair?
  2. On the face of it no it's not fair and bullying in whatever shape or form should be stamped upon with the upmost vigour.

    However without knowing the specifics it is difficult to judge..was the complaint amended because the complainant in hindsight exaggerated...did the unit put pressure on them not to take it further??.....was the alledged bullying more of a case of people trying to bring someone below standard up to standard in a direct fashion...It can be hard work trying to bring people that are totally inept up to standard no matter how hard you try and with different approaches, often could this not be misinterpreted as is difficult to say.

    If we are talking about the RNR to be honest do we have a disciplinary system???.

    I've seen examples of people that get mobilised and break all sorts of rules and generally conduct themselves in a disgraceful fashion and are subsequently sent home/or not...only to hear they are back carrying on thier merry lives as if nothing has happened and their crimes admonished????...Whilst the problem lies with the unit whilst they are mobilised where is the link when these people get returned to the RNR, and where is the backbone to say sorry ladies/gents your're services are no longer required!

    Is there a ploy of "not rocking the boat"...or is it due to the fact that "it takes too long and its too complicated trooping a reservist so why bother! ....FFS

    This sort of attitude sends a signal to people that are that way inclined that they can behave as they wish with impunity!

    Ultimately the root cause of a lot of the problem is the divisional system still leaves a lot to be desired in the RNR. Too many people are put in the position of having to deal with disciplinary issues without having had the back up or training to deal effectively with these.
  3. Can i respectfully and in good faith ask that the Moderators, lock this thread, this may well be an ongoing case and should not be open for public debate at this stage.

    I can give further info via PM or phone if required.

  4. Why lock the thread...fair enough lets not discuss the particular case but is not a discussion about failings in the divisional and disciplinary system in the RNR worthy of examination..!!
  6. Sounds like a cover-up. Discuss :?
  7. Ageing_Gracefully

    Ageing_Gracefully War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    To answer your question.............................No

    "March the guilty barsteward in!" :lol:
  8. Please note that I was especially careful to make no direct reference to anything that could remotely identify this specific case ... which is actually NOT ongoing - hence the issues being raised.

    Further to your point, however, the issues are very general and deserving (IMHO) of discussion as already noted by some of the responses.

    I would ask anyone adding to this thread to bear this fact in mind - this is not intended as an alternative court or tribunal wrt this particular case but more an opportunity to discuss the releavnt principles, issues, problems etc that impact on the RNR specifically in respect of disciplinary cases.
  9. WM - you have hit the nail on the head and the problem is that without a properly concluded investigation ... no-one knows and, probably more to the point, no-one cares.

    The issue is not to resolve this particular case but to highlight what the process should be for RNR complaints and ensure that everyone involved gets a fair shake.

    I don't believe that is happening at present but I am no longer in the loop so are my criticisms justified or am I just too far behind the curve now?
  10. I'm straying a little off topic here; do bear in mind that there is an inherent difficulty in how discipline can work in the RNR. Whilst admitting I have no solid understanding of the legal basis, you're on duty from time x to time y, and outside of those duty hours, you're a civilian and not subject to naval discipline.

    I am aware that the NDA has just been (or is about to be, I lose track) replaced with some kind of tri-service disciplinary regs.

    Much like the rest of being in the RNR (outside of being mobilised), discipline is almost voluntary. Given that someone is in for two hours every week, or every other week, there's really no practical way to enforce disciplinary measures without the cooperation of the disciplinee, who could at any time hand in their notice and walk away.
  11. I was under the distinct impression (having been told categorically), that we're all under the NDA at all times - not just whilst we're turned to. The example I was given was if I for example stole something from a shop and was caught and prosecuted I could then be punished by the mob according to the NDA. The same applies to the like of drink driving but not to the like of points for speeding.

    The only holes in this (especially for naughtiness outside of the service) are 1) your unit has to find out about it and if you don't volunteer the info... and 2) your DO then has to do something about it.

    I do know of (a) case where punishment has been meted out for being RTU'd on weekend training. However if it's nothing so public and doesn't happen in the service environment I refer back to point 1), what they don't know won't hurt 'em...

    I was about to say I would be disappointed if the aforementioned instances of bad behaviour, even being sent home early from a deployment, weren't actioned appropriately - certainly appearing on RORRS/SJARS reporting - however knowing how terribly tardy these can be I can understand if they're overlooked (even though they shouldn't be).
  12. A few slight errors in the last post.
    1. You are subject to the NDA whilst on duty (being paid) and whilst on the way to/from duty.
    If you are found guilty of a criminal offence by the police/courts, you are, as a condition of service, duty-bound to report this fact to your Divisional Officer. You CAN NOT be punished by the RN for an act that you have been punished for by the state, however, your unit (the Royal Navy) may decide to take an administrative action, such as "consequential Naval Penalties", much like any other employer might do.
    The classic example is drink driving.
    The key point here is that what the Navy will do to you will be an administrative action, not a punishment. Granted that admin action may be to discharge you from the service, much like the Police force would do if a Policeman is found guilty of a serious offence!
    Hope that clears up the last post a tad!
  13. You are also subject to the NDA if you decide to go on a week end's training with out the correct paper work and have been specifically but inappropriately ordered not to go by the RNSO even though the training is essential.
    Your subsequent fine will be based on a full regular rate of pay. Of course when you do finally apeal and get into a real "court martial" the financial penalty will be quashed as it will be deemed "Inappropriate". At least that is what happenend to some one up north.
  14. Going off subject a little but....

    Don't you just love how units post notices advertising weekends which offer invaluable training, only then to refuse to let you go because of the transport costs! :D

    3 2 1, you're back in the room.
  15. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    I think the title of this thread is misleading; from my own experience as a Service Policeman, allegations of bullying in the Services are often best investigated by the Equal Opportunities Investigation Team. Your Unit chain of command should be able to advise on this course of action...
  16. wet_blobby

    wet_blobby War Hero Moderator

    Try getting accused of rape, the whole company getting paraded because some slapper had regrets and guess who the first bootneck she's walked up to is, 100 blokes and I'm the right hand marker.....fcukin special, took my Captain to intervene and get me out the shit (a week later), never even seen the woman before. That stench hung around for a while, not very clever.
  17. This incident may have related to bullying but it is simply the catalyst for the wider discussion which is ... how are complaints (of any nature) handled and signed off?

    The title in my opinion is bang on because the issue is not "who does the investigation" but how the investigation is processed to a final conculsion. In this case the complainant changed the complaint or it was agreed that it would be dropped but the stain remains on the "accused's" record.

    Wet-Blobby makes the same observation with regard to an allegation of rape
  18. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    BS: I understand what you are saying, but my point was that if the matter is dealt with using the disciplinary system it is dealt with by the Service Police; the EOIT route is the alternative, administrative system, totally separate to how 'we' conduct an investigation...

    And I am also very aware of the case that WB refers to, and other similar ones. But is it not better to investigation an allegation of rape at the outset diligently and expeditiously, rather than dismiss it as a hoax claim (for both the victim and my own job security)? Despite my own personal feelings on a particular case, I am a professional, and will investigation the claim to the best of my abilities... after all, I am not "Judge Judy and executioner"! :lol:
  19. wet_blobby

    wet_blobby War Hero Moderator

    The sad thing is I knew who was responsible, but being a young sprog I was too scared to say anything. He's a copper now, Cnut.

    For what it's worth he didn't rape her, didn't even shag her. A bit of "partying" went wrong. She cried wolf the next morning when she was full of regrets and had a job to save. Neither of them gave a flying fcuk about my job day, oh one day the score will be settled.
  20. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    WB: She wasn't the first and, I don't doubt, will be the last either... :oops:

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