‘Potential risks’ to council staff listed
According to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request, Buckinghamshire has reported 381 people on its cautionary contacts list, described as a system or register which lists potentially aggressive or abusive customers or members of the public, in an effort to protect council staff from potentially harmful situations, including physical assault and verbal abuse.
Out of the 381, 145 of those listed were over the age of 65.
Among those branded as a precautionary risk, two of the 381 recorded a risk of abduction or kidnap, while eight had an “environmental hazard” within the property.
Seven had a weapon on the premises, while four were known to carry weapons.
The majority of councils hold cautionary contacts lists (CCL) to protect council staff from potentially harmful situations, including physical assault and verbal abuse.
In response to these findings, a BCC spokesman said: “The county council, like all employers, is duty-bound by legislation to ensure the health, safety and welfare of its employees.
“This includes the need to carry out risk assessments of employees’ work duties and identify control measures to reduce any risks to an acceptable level. One of the control measures we use is a system whereby the electronic record of any potentially aggressive or abusive client is marked with a hazard flag.
“It’s important to note that this system records a variety of information including, for example, details of clients’ preferences for how they are contacted.
“This system is robustly monitored to ensure it is always used properly and appropriately. It plays a role in ensuring that our employees can carry out their work without fear or harassment.”
Despite the importance of such a list, it is not mandatory for a council to document one.