Everybody is Welcome at Southwark Leisure. This is central to our community and our goal to create a safe and positive space for everyone, no matter who they are, so they can enjoy the many benefits of what our facilities have to offer.

Safety is the foundation of a positive experience in our facilities. Everyone therefore has the right to be, and to feel, safe. Harassment is unacceptable and will not be tolerated in any form, by any person, at any time at Southwark Leisure. Staff, members, and Personal Trainers are all expected to be respectful to each other, at all times. There are no circumstances where it is okay to intimidate or harass another person.

If any member, staff, Personal Trainer or visitor in our facilities feel they have been harassed they should speak to a member of the facilities management team or email SouthwarkLeisureInfo@southwark.gov.uk. Every person and every case will be reviewed in detail then dealt with sensitively and confidentially. Perpetrators will be excluded from our facilities.


This policy applies to all people who use the Southwark Leisure facilities, including Staff, Personal Trainers, Members, visitors and contractors. It outlines what Southwark Leisure defines as harassment and our approach to managing allegations or experience of this behaviour in our facilities.


  • Aggressive pressure or intimidation
  • Unwelcome attention based on a personal characteristic
  • Conduct which threatens, intimidates, alarms or puts a person at fear for their safety
  • Physical violence, or direct or inferred sexual threat
  • Threatening, offensive, unwelcome, abusive verbal language or behaviour


  • Direct – to you as an individual from an individual or group
  • Indirect – witnessed toward someone else, or a group you are not related or linked to. Harassment doesn’t have to be about you to affect you


There are many forms of Harassment, some examples of this are:

  • Negative, unwelcome, aggressive or detrimental comments about race, heritage or ethnicity
  • Comments, jokes or suggestive statements about someone’s sexual orientation, gender or identity
  • Derogatory comments or actions regarding a person’s ability or disability – physical or mental
  • Exclusive or negative comments, suggestions or behaviours towards a person because of their age
  • Unkind, negative comments that will offend or embarrass someone because of their size or fitness levels

The extent of harassment is not limited to the above examples and each case will be fully investigated on its own basis.


Harassment may take on many forms, but in a facilities environment all of the above can be seen through unwanted, unreasonable and unnecessary behaviours that have a negative impact on another person.


There are many forms of Sexual Harassment, some examples of this are:

  • Unwelcome physical contact – patting, pinching, stroking, kissing, hugging, fondling or inappropriate touching
  • Physical violence, including sexual assault (as defined by the Crown Prosecution Service/Sexual Offences Act)
  • Sexual comments jokes or stories that offend or humiliate a person or group
  • Unwanted comments on a person’s looks, dress, sexuality, age or gender in a derogatory or objectifying way
  • Repeated unwanted flirting or flirting at an inappropriate time which could be deemed to undermine or damage a person’s reputation
  • Lewd behaviour such as leering, whistling or gesturing

The extent of sexual harassment is not limited to the above examples only and each case will be fully investigated.


Harassment may take on many forms, but examples of this in a facilities environment are:

  • Uninvited correction of another facilities user’s form or technique when training
  • Taking unsolicited photographs of another person
  • Excessive watching or staring at another person – directly or via mirrors
  • Continuously exercising next to or near to another person or following them
  • Sending or sharing of unwelcome personal images to any other person
  • Unwanted flirtation or sexual advances
  • Commenting on other people’s body, looks or clothing


If you feel you have been the victim of harassment by a member, Personal Trainer or employee, where appropriate you should discuss this with them directly. If this is not possible or you are uncomfortable to do so, you should report it to the Management team immediately or alternatively, you can contact our confidential support team at SouthwarkLeisureSafety@southwark.gov.uk

We will then commence an investigation which will follow the council procedures and include:

  1. Report the allegation to an appropriate senior person and our dedicated team for cases like this
  1. Take a detailed statement from you about the incident
  1. Discuss allegations with the individual they are against. This will only be done with your consent and at an appropriate time
  1. Review the initial allegations with the senior manager to agree any immediate action
  1. If considered appropriate, the member, employee or PT may be suspended from the facilities while a full investigation is carried out
  1. A full investigation meeting will be arranged with you, with notes of the discussion taken
  1. CCTV video will be reviewed
  1. Statements will be taken from any witnesses
  1. Review any written or other submissible evidence (text, email, social media posts etc)
  1. If there is sufficient evidence to support the allegations a decision will be made to progress to a disciplinary hearing (employee), terminate licence agreement (PT), terminate membership (member) or close proceedings if there is insufficient evidence to support the allegations
  2. Summarise in writing the process findings to all parties.
  3. Offer mediation to enable and support both parties to move forwards
  1. If the incident is referred to the Police, Southwark Leisure will cooperate in full with all requests


If following an investigation of a minor incident, there is a belief that the member had acted with poor judgement or made an innocent error – a warning, apology and education may be the appropriate action to take

If however, the investigation provides evidence that there has been direct or indirect intentional harassment, a formal sanction will be issued. Sanctions will be in line with the following guidance:

  • A warning of potential exclusion for a second offence or a severe first offence
  • Immediate exclusion of the member or self-employed PT from all Southwark Leisure locations
  • Referral of the incident, with your consent, to the police

Internal processes remain confidential, however the lessons learned, and evidence may be redacted and used in further staff training and education to promote best practice in the future.


  1. If you are not happy with the process or the outcome, you can request for the case to be escalated to a more senior manager in the team who will review your case.
  1. We hope you will be comfortable to return to the facilities and will support you as much as we can. Just let the management team know when you will be there so we can plan to see you
  1. You will be offered an opportunity for a mediated conversation with the individual the allegation was against if they are remaining in the facilities, if they are agreeable to the session and if you feel this would be beneficial
  1. If you would prefer to train at another location, we would support the transfer to one of our other facilities


If you have any questions on this policy or the process, please contact us at SouthwarkLeisureSafety@southwark.gov.uk

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