Legal requirement for frontline staff to report on violent service users rumoured

    Trade union Unison has responded angrily to reports that the Home Office is devising plans to place public and voluntary sector staff under a legal obligation to tell police about potentially violent service users.

    According to a document leaked to the Times, two new agencies — one for potential criminals, the other for potential victims — could be created to collate reports from the front line and carry out “full risk assessments”.

    Danger signs used to identify potential perpetrators might include a violent family background, heavy drinking or mental health problems.

    A Home Office spokesperson told the newspaper the proposals were still in development and no decision had been made.

    But Unison national secretary for local government Heather Wakefield said: “It should not be the job of health and council workers to be the eyes and ears of the police and they already work in close partnership anyway. There are also huge civil liberties concerns about these proposals which potentially build a barrier of suspicion between service users and service deliverers.”

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