Assaulted North Sea Camp worker’s award for ‘makes prison safer’ after turning incident into inspiration

Annette Duckham is given her award by Princess Anne
Annette Duckham is given her award by Princess Anne

An administrator at North Sea Camp who was the victim of a ‘serious and violent assault at work’ has turned the incident into her inspiration to make the open prison a safer place.

Annette Duckham, safer custody business administrator at the Freiston Shore facility, has been presented with a Butler Trust Award by Princess Anne after a panel was ‘impressed by the inspirational way she responded to being assaulted at work... transforming the culture of the establishment, and the safety and security of both prisoners and staff’.

Nominator Marcus Riley, head of residence and safety at North Sea Camp, said that when Annette returned to duty: “She set about going on to champion safer prisons for both prisoners and staff, [having] decided that she would use her negative experience in a positive way.

“She has championed a zero tolerance to violence and anti-social behaviour and driven home this message to both prisoners and staff alike.”

Annette has introduced ‘numerous systems’ which enable the prison to track and identify those prisoners at increased risk, and has employed key prisoners as ‘peer mentors’, training a group to get the message out and challenge anti-social behaviour in the facility - including some who have been convicted of violent offences or been perpetrators of violence during their sentence.

Mr Riley said the work was ‘instrumental in reducing actual acts of self harm at HMP North Sea Camp by 400 per cent during the last year compared to the previous year.’

Annette has also been praised by fellow staff members, the governing body and prisoners at North Sea Camp.

Annette said: “I do not feel that I have done anything more or have worked any harder than anyone else.

“The only difference is that I maybe have a unique understanding of the kind of lasting effects being the victim of violence has on a person, and as a result it is my steadfast desire to do what I can to stop it happening again to 
anyone else.”