I wrote in an earlier blog that when Hillingdon authorised the first Deprivation of Liberty order, they cancelled all of Steven's outside activities until they had done risk assessments of all the places he goes to. He only goes to five places regularly, one of them is a council run centre, but it took them three months before they completed all the assessments.
The first one they did was for our local Mencap Pool and this story shows the arrogance that they felt.
Steven had been going to the Mencap Pool for 10 years. The group he belongs to is primarily for the learning disabled. It can get a bit hairy at times but there is a love and empathy and lack of judgement there that is very rare. Anyway, one Friday night the manager of the Unit turned up to do his risk assessment. He didn't announce himself to the people who run the pool, he didn't explain why he was there - he just wandered round the pool making notes. The organisers of the group were thrown by this attitude as it is unheard of for a stranger to wander into the pool and not talk to anyone. It also shows a disregard for the users of the pool.
The risk assessment was duly completed - 10 pages of dos and donts. It was an incredible document. Everything was broken down into a scale ranging from "intolerable risk" to "minimal risk". I showed it to a friend who does risk assessments at Heathrow and he said they had slimmer documents to cover attacks on aeroplanes.
Of course, it was just an exercise in arrogance and job justification but it angered me that Steven wsa being used like an object to achieve that justification.