THOUSANDS of people identified as a risk to council workers are currently on cautionary contact lists.

And around the country that risk has included threats with everything from samurai swords and guns to vehicles and a shopping trolley.

Cautionary contact lists (CCL) are where councils record the details of individuals who might allegedly harm staff - and can lead to workers teaming up to visit.

New data obtained by the Press Association via Freedom of Information laws shows that in more than 8,700 cases, out of some 25,000 on lists nationwide, the cause was weapons, violence, threatening behaviour and aggressive language.

Dorset County Council said it had only 12 entries on its list, one of which arose from a complaint about the council seizing possession of a burger van.

Another arose from a series of complaints made against the council including the social care of their children, alleged verbal abuse against a lollipop person and roadworks taking place nearby.

The council said the person had a long history of verbally abusing staff indiscriminately, including shouting, ranting, swearing and unfounded accusations, both over the telephone and in reception areas.

Another inclusion followed years of contact with the highways department, including Freedom of Information requests, regarding highway issues in their the area where they live.

A spokesman said: “We have a policy for managing unreasonable complainants, which we’re reviewing and looking to extend and apply more broadly (not just to individuals known to us through our complaints procedure).

“We do not expect our staff to tolerate abuse or unacceptable behaviour and have a duty to make sure they are supported to do their job and feel safe.”

In Bournemouth, there were 323 people on the list. On average, individuals were listed for some three-and-a-half years.

Borough health and safety manager Margareta Flicos said: “The CCL exists to warn employees and councillors about people who have previously threatened or been actually aggressive/violent towards people working on behalf of the council.

“Authorised staff, e.g. staff who contact members of the public as part of their job role, can search the database before contacting members of the public or undertaking home visits to safeguard employees when working away from council premises. Violence to employees can cause pain, stress, anxiety, depression and even disability or death.”

Hampshire’s adult health and care department had 2,267 on the list. Listed hazards included “potentially aggressive”, “verbally aggressive” and “potentially violent”.

Borough of Poole said it responded to an FOI request from PA with details of two of the individuals on its list. The council was asked by the Echo to provide more details but failed to do so before publication.

Borough of Poole has now provided a response.

Jeff Morley, environmental services team manager, said: "The council takes very seriously all forms of verbal abuse, harassment, threats of and actual physical violence from individuals towards its employees.

"The Cautionary Contacts Register is used to protect council staff from individuals who may pose a threat of serious abuse or violence.

"Only details of those individuals who have been formally assessed as posing a significant risk of violence, persistently aggressive abuse or who make threats of violence to the council’s employees are added the register.

"It is subject to regular review and individuals assessed as no longer being a potential risk are removed from the register.

"This information is only used within the council and is not a public document."