In the week between trips to Brighton, something in her mind told Rochelle to store the information she had written down on her mobile phone. She had the feeling she might need it when she went back there the following week. Sure enough, she was glad she had because when she finished the delivery, the same gang was across the road. The loud swearing by some of them emphasising their presence.
Right on cue, the vulnerable young man came along. However, this time he was accompanied by another young man. Rochelle hoped that this other man would be a carer. However, as she watched the events unfold, it was evident that the other young man was just as vulnerable as the first one.
She watched as two of the boys in the gang began shoving the newcomer back and forth. Meanwhile, the alpha male approached the original victim with a menacing stance. It looked to Rochelle that the aggressor might actually punch his vulnerable target. Without further confrontation, the vulnerable young man followed protocol and reached into his pocket to give the alpha male his leave me alone fee. However, handing over the protection money did not completely free the pair from further torment. As they tried to leave, they were forced to endure more shoves and what sounded like some unsavoury comments from the gang. Before the victims were ten feet past where their ordeal had taken place, Rochelle’s mobile was out and she was speed dialling the number the police had given her the previous week.
“Police, help line,” a male voice this time responded.
“Yes,” Rochelle began, fighting to quell her building anxiety. “Last week, I reported a group of youths by the sea front harassing and exploiting a vulnerable young man. Well, it just happened again but this time there were two victims.”
“You say this happened at the sea front, just now?” the voice probed.
“About how many youths were involved would you say?”
“I’d say about fifteen.”
“When you say there were harassing these two people, what do you mean exactly?”
“These kids shout, push, hit, kick and threatened these two young men who can’t defend themselves. Then they got them to hand over money so they could be left alone.”
“Okay” was the only response. Then the voice added, “We’ll send a car to the area to see what is happening.” After the phone conversation ended, Rochelle hung around to see if a police car would turn up, none did. After an hour, Rochelle realised she needed to go to her next delivery so she left. She had given up hope that any police would come.