But civil liberty campaigners and union bosses warned that such intrusive measures by the Home Office would destroy the relationship of trust between GPs and their patients or social workers and clients.
They would also put professionals at risk of reprisals if they are seen as police informers.
Opposition MPs said recent fiascos involving huge quantities of personal data lost or leaked by the Government raised grave doubts over plans for sharing and swapping private data.
The scheme, outlined in the Government’s latest Tackling Violence Action Plan, will mean redrafting the NHS’s strict privacy protection rules to encourage health staff to share patients’ confidential data as part of “public interest disclosures”.
The document sets out plans for identifying individuals who may not have committed any offences but are judged to be at risk of involvement in violence”.
Tell-tale signs of those ‘whose behaviour may be identified as risky’ include drug addicts or alcoholics, mental health patients and youngsters who join gangs or who have been the victims of violence either in the home or on the street.
In the Steven Spielberg film Minority Report crimes were prevented before they had even ocurred