Safety concerns

We have been contacted by a number of team members this week. Different teams, other ends of the country, but the same story. Tales of bullying, corruption, illegality and the same old faces doing the same old things. We have been asked not to publish two of the stories, but they wanted us to be aware of them, and of course we will respect that.

Although we don’t really want to become a counselling service for traumatised SAR volunteers, we are happy to listen and sympathise where we can. And if you want to just tell us about things without it being published, then we will always respect that.

Some behaviour we have been informed of is quite clearly a police matter, the same names have cropped up regarding inappropriate sexual conduct towards female team members. We would urge those of you who have raised concerns to contact your local police or report via Crimestoppers. Young female Lowland Rescue & Surrey SAR team members need to be aware that there is a risk to them when attending LRFR courses or on callouts/training sessions. “Banter” is not an excuse for inappropriate behaviour.

What we really want to do is act as a portal for getting information out of teams and into the public domain. We know that a lot of the culprits seem to show no shame, but here’s hoping that shining some light on their behaviour may make it uncomfortable for them

As always, the volunteers – the people that give up their time, time with families and mental health are not our target. This site merely provides an outlet for those who know that bad practice is occurring, but don’t want to be thrown out of their team for saying so.

2 replies on “Safety concerns”

What it the point of contacting you with two stories and the saying ‘don’t publish them’, this comes across as tittle-tattle and gossip.

I must say, you appear to be someone with a severe axe to grind and you obviously have an intense hatred of certain members of your team/ex-team. Why you would want to be a member of a team being run how you describe is beyond me.

Dear Buck,

There are genuine reasons why people contact us but don’t want their stories publishing and we respect their wishes.

This site needs to exist in order to get truth out, as teams won’t allow it themselves and people are regularly hounded out for raising issues and concerns. If the teams and Lowland Rescue dealt with concerns and had effective processes in place then this site would not need to exist. Silencing complainants is not an option.

Despite not publishing articles we are collating a considerable amount of information and have identified some concerning patterns in LR teams nationally and the same names are cropping up.

Surrey SAR regularly try and restrict members use of social media/internet. For example members are told not to comment on various posts or news articles unless they are positive articles in which case people are told to comment/like/share their posts for publicity and also for posts of companies who donate.

Of course, if you don’t like the content, you are free to not read it, and tell your friends not to read it. But as long as we are being contacted by team members who feel that there is corruption or failings in their teams, we will report it.

People need to be aware of what is happening in Surrey SAR with the abhorrent behaviour of the Trustees/Management team in various aspects of its operations. It is for people to decide if they want to join or remain in the organisation under the current conditions.

Thanks for engaging, keep up your work in SAR, stay safe and stay passionate. Remember were not out to get the people who work hard and give their time to help people in need.

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