Imagine this... risk assessment of an applicant with racial abuse allegations | Nacro

Imagine this… risk assessment of an applicant with racial abuse allegations


You are an HR Adviser for a Local Authority and part of your role is to oversee recruitment for trainee teacher placements within a primary school.
Peter Foster is in his final year of his PGCE (post-graduate teaching qualification). He has successfully completed a number of placements at various primary schools during the course of his studies and has been a volunteer Youth Leader with a local children’s charity for the past three years.

Mr. Foster is due to start his placement next week, but the head teacher has contacted you because Mr. Foster has supplied his enhanced DBS certificate which provides the following information:

On 29/07/2013 a 25-year old male contacted police to report that he had be racially abused and assaulted following a road rage incident. The male alleged that Mr. Foster had racially abused him before hitting him in the face with a large metal torch. It was further alleged that Mr. Foster kicked the male in the face after he had lost consciousness and, as a result of the assault, the male sustained a suspected fractured cheekbone and also lost a tooth.

Mr. Foster was arrested at the scene and during police interview he denied the offences but admitted to an incident taking place. Mr. Foster was subsequently charged with one count of racially or religiously aggravated assault causing actual bodily harm and one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm. He appeared before Southwark Crown Court on 24/11/2013 where he was found not guilty on both offences and discharged.

Mr. Foster has provided his version of events:

Three years ago, I was out with my (male) partner at the cinema. On our way home, a car with two young Asian males drove into the side of our vehicle, apparently deliberately. I got out of the car to assess the damage and I was then subjected to verbal, homophobic remarks and physical abuse from the two occupants of the other car. I was only trying to defend myself when the driver of the other vehicle grabbed me by the throat over the bonnet of my car, so I pushed him back. At this point, I called the police.

When the police arrived, the two men in the other vehicle told the police that I had driven into their car, made racial remarks and attacked them.

I was charged with assault, but the courts later fully acquitted me and I was discharged with no further action.

Do you have any concerns? Would you feel confident about conducting a risk assessment? Would you know what sources of information you could use to inform your risk assessment?

At our Recruiting Safely and Fairly training, we discuss practical and reasonable solutions to real-life case studies such as the one described above. Our next training date is 05/10/16. To find out more, visit our website or email