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Welcome to High Court Enforcement Group LMS


Conflict Management

How to Recognise, Assess, Defuse, Resolve and Reduce Risk in Conflict Situations


The aspects of conflict management will be summarised in the following chapter by way of paragraph headings.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this chapter you will be able to:

describe how to recognise conflict situations

understand how communication can be used to solve problems and reduce the likely hood of conflict.

know the factors that influence human responses in conflict situations.

describe how to assess and reduce risk in conflict situations.

describe how to communicate effectively and de-escalate conflict in emotive situations.

know good practice to follow after conflict situations.

There is growing recognition that violence and aggression exist in the civil enforcement sector and is on the increase, but unfortunately violence and aggression often go unreported. Far too often aggression and violence are directed towards enforcement agents (EAs) who have elected to work in enforcement roles within our society. EAs are not the only victims of work related violence; it also extends to associated front line staff such as receptionists, administrators and call centre operatives who are generally trying to provide the best service they can. Debtors and defendants too readily vent their frustrations and vent  their anger on enforcement personnel when the root cause of the enforcement lies with the debtor or defendant who for various reasons  have failed to deal with their debts or fines and  ignoring their responsibilities despite the fact of having received prior demands and summonses giving them the opportunity to deal with their debt before it gets to the enforcement stage.


Assessment and Reduction of Risk.

There are three basic ways in which risk of violence can be assessed;

Generic violence risk assessment of role.

Risk assessment of pre-planned event.

Dynamic risk assessment.


Dynamic risk assessment – a process which helps an enforcement agent to effectively assess a situation from a personal safety perspective, as it is unfolding. The enforcement agent can continually assess the circumstances and adjust his or her response to meet the risk presented moment by moment.

Continuous assessment is done in three basic stages;


Stepping back from the situation momentarily and making a quick assessment of the situation and the threat presented.

Evaluating the options available to you in the light of this assessment.

Responding by using the most appropriate option – monitoring for changes.


Stepping back and assessing the threat.

When making the initial assessment of the threat it is useful to use the POP acronym.


Evaluating the option available.

There will be a variety of ways you could deal with the situation. An important rule is not to put yourself in a risk situation unless you have some help available or someone else knows that you are dealing with a difficult situation.

There are a variety of options available and the one you choose will depend on the situation itself, the availability of assistance, your experience and training as to which is the most appropriate.

If you are confident that you are able to deal with the situation safely then you should do so – but continue to monitor and  assess what is happening in case the situation changes.

If you need assistance then you should not deal with the situation until help arrives or someone has been made aware and is on route to you.

If the situation is potentially violent and there is a risk of physical assault, then you should exit it as soon as you can do so safely............................................................