The first thing to do is not panic.
The Notice informing you that a complaint has been made is served for your protection. It gives you the opportunity to secure any evidence that may be necessary for your defence.
It also gives you early notice that a complaint has been made.
When you are served with a Notice you will be cautioned and invited to reply. It is advisable that if it is appropriate to deny the allegation at this early stage this can assist with the disposal of the complaint if the complainant subsequently fails to co-operate with the investigation.
However, it is not advisable to go into details of the allegation and your actions until you have sought further advice.
Following that advice it is usually the best course of action to co-operate with the enquiry and provide an explanation.
Therefore upon receipt of the Notice a simple response of, “I deny this allegation but wish to seek further advice before I make a formal response. I intend to co-operate fully with this enquiry” is the most appropriate answer at this stage.
Sometimes you cannot deny the allegation and wish to accept the behaviour.
In that case, simply stating that you wish to seek advice before formally responding will suffice.
If further questions are asked then respond by stating simply, “I wish to seek advice before I answer that question”.
Your next action should be to contact your Federation Representative as soon as possible.
Do not delay as this can cause problems with the availability of your chosen Representative.
In the event of a criminal investigation linked to your duty, the Federation will require a copy of the misconduct notice, summary of events and a completed C2 form, requesting legal representation as soon as possible from you.
The Federation Representative will want a copy of the Notice and will meet with you to discuss the complaint.
It is most likely at some stage that the Investigating Officer will wish to interview you. As stated it is usually the best course of action to fully co-operate with the enquiry and offer your explanation and version of events.
A Federation friend or legal representative will accompany you at this interview.
Being under investigation can be very stressful and the Federation can provide both welfare support and advice throughout the process.