‘Po­ten­tial risks’ to coun­cil staff listed

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

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.

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