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Home   Sheerness   News   Article

Sheppey prison officer launches Know the Danger Facebook campaign to highlight dangers

08 June 2013
by Emma Grove
Michael Rolfe who has set up a website called Know the Danger for prison officers and for people to be aware of the dangers they face

Michael Rolfe who has set up a website called Know the Danger for prison officers and for people to be aware of the dangers they face

Michael Rolfe, who works at HMP Elmley in Eastchurch, decided to take the action after a worker was taken hostage and attacked at HMP Full Sutton in East Yorkshire last month.

The 35-year-old got more than 1,500 “likes” within two days of starting Know The Danger last week and says the audience is still growing rapidly.

Minster resident Mr Rolfe says the idea of the page is to draw attention to the increasing dangers prison officers face and to make the general public aware of their plight.

He says he hopes it will also give a factual, non-biased reflection of current issues and allow for topical debate.

There are also plans to launch a website soon.

There is no political angle to the campaign, but he said there will inevitably be disgruntled employees complaining about treatment.

The dad-of-two, who has worked at Elmley for 10 years, said: “There are lots of difficulties with prisoners on a daily basis.

“I’ve seen some extremely violent incidents and been covered in excrement and blood on many occasions.

“Staff suffer daily abuse and the threat of violence.

“Following the incident at Full Sutton I decided it was time prison staff in the UK had a campaign to follow for their safety.

“I want the public to be aware of our continual struggle to be recognised as a frontline service for the difficult and dangerous job we do.”

Although Mr Rolfe can’t talk about specific cases, during his time as an officer he has been involved in many life-threatening incidents, either through inmates self-harming or violence aimed at others.

He says the kinds of risks they face include assault, verbal and physical abuse, religious extremists as well as the unpredictable risk of mentally ill prisoners.

“I’m very shocked but couldn’t be more happy with how quickly the page has taken off,” he added.

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