Safety and flagging

the-smoke_logo_small

Safety

The physical and emotional safety of all participants at The Smoke is a key concern of ours, and we’ve put a number of measures in place to help secure it.

  • We operate a flagging system (see below for details) whereby prospective attenders can draw our attention to safety concerns that they have about other prospective attenders. We will not hesitate to exclude people on this basis.
  • We have a Safety Team, based at a table in the communal space and recognizable by their green sashes, who will be accessible at all times. Participants should not hesitate to come to them with any safety concerns.
  • We have a confidential email address safety@the-smoke.org which will be monitored before and after the festival. You can use this to report any non- urgent safety concern.
  • We have a confidential phone 07375 683261, or +44 7375 683261 if you’re on a non-UK phone, which will be carried by a member of the Safety Team at all times.

We do, though, recognize that safety policies are of no use without a safety culture – and that has to come from you, the participants. We ask you to wholeheartedly buy into and support the safety philosophy that we’ve outlined here.

Flagging

Sadly, our hobby has sometimes shown that it contains people who are not safe to be around. We as organizers need your help here – we don’t know the names of everyone who is a concern in this way.  We also want to make sure that you feel comfortable with the people who are around you during the event.

We will circulate the names of prospective attenders to you, and you can if you wish raise the following flags:

  • Yellow flag – I don’t want to be in any of the same larps as this person. This is for allocation purposes only, and won’t affect yours or the other person’s chance in the lottery. Chose this if you don’t believe that the person is unsafe, but for personal reasons you are unable to play closely with them.

  • Orange flag – You’re unable to attend if someone else gets a spot. Choose this if you don’t believe that that person is unsafe, but for personal reasons you are unable to attend an event that they’re at. In this case, whichever of your or their names is allocated a ticket first will be prioritized.

  • Red flag – choose this if you believe that the person is unsafe to larp with. Examples of this might be bullying, harassment, or abuse. You don’t have to give a reason for red-flagging a name. Someone who has been red-flagged will not be allowed to attend The Smoke. We will not tell them who red-flagged them, or why. 

We understand that saying you feel unsafe around someone can be difficult, and we want to make it as easy as possible for you. If you feel that you need to respond to this email with one or more flags, then you can do so confidentially, to either one or both of:

Laura and Mo will need, for administrative purposes, to share with each other the fact that someone has been flagged. But the name of the person giving a red flag (or a yellow or orange flag, where practically possible) will be kept confidential, as will any reasons for flagging that you choose to share with us.

If someone is red-flagged, then our default response is to tell them so, although not by who. However, if you are concerned that this could lead to any retaliation or impact on you, then we will not do so. We are happy to further discuss any individual concerns about flagging someone – please do get in touch if you have any questions.