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Responding to and reporting safeguarding incidents/concerns of abuse

Due to the very open, public nature of parkrun, the risk of abuse taking place in a parkrun context is low, as are the chances of someone disclosing abuse. However, despite the risk being low, concerns should never be ignored, and we should not assume that it is someone else’s responsibility.

Everyone involved in parkrun has a responsibility to raise concerns about abuse (potential or actual) or unacceptable behaviour, in order to prevent the problem increasing and to protect or reduce the risk to others.

It is important that confidentiality is maintained at all times, and disclosure should take place only on a ‘need to know’ basis, remembering to keep the information restricted to as small a circle as possible. Failure to keep the information confidential may lead to disciplinary action.

Event teams should never make a decision on whether someone is at risk of, or likely to suffer harm, or deal with concerns or safeguarding incidents on their own; if concerns are raised at all, it is essential that our Safeguarding Reporting Process is followed.

Responding to contact from your country’s law enforcement agency or other relevant services.

If you are contacted by your country’s law enforcement, such as the police, or other services, such as children’s social services, disclosing or requesting any information about anyone connected with parkrun, in any capacity, please do:

  • Take down the agency’s contact details (name, telephone number, email address) and pass these details on to
  • Direct them on to the parkrun safeguarding team
  • Keep any information you are given confidential

Please do not:

  • Let the rest of your team know
  • Contact the individual in question
  • Agree to taking any actions
  • Take any actions (for example, please don’t issue any bans, remove the individual from the volunteer roster etc.)

The safeguarding team will liaise directly with the body that is disclosing information and will come back to the event team to update them with anything appropriate that they need to know.

Reporting in a non-emergency situation

If you have any non-emergency/non-urgent concerns of a safeguarding nature, you must:

  • Record details of the incident, including names of those involved, parkrun IDs, times and dates
  • If a child reports abuse to you directly, please use the words the child has used and don’t reword it, or lead the wording
  • Report it to the Event Director or Run Director, who must then report it to parkrun HQ via webFMS or EMS, email or telephone
  • If either the Event Director or Run Director is the alleged perpetrator, or there are concerns that she or he won’t report it to HQ, you should contact the Safeguarding Team directly via

Records may be passed, by parkrun HQ, to relevant external agencies, such as local law enforcement agencies or social services. parkrun HQ stores safeguarding files online using a secure process.

Reporting in an emergency situation

Should you feel that anyone, child or adult, within a parkrun setting may be at immediate risk of harm, you should:

  • Call the police (or your local equivalent) and follow their advice
  • Take reasonable steps to ensure the individual at risk is safeguarded
  • Do not take actions that would put your own safety at risk

Once the incident is under control, ensure it is reported to parkrun HQ via the Critical Incident Line (country by country details for this can be found here) and create an incident report via webFMS or EMS, remembering to record as much information as possible