Memories begin to fade over time but it was not long enough for Rochelle’s memory of the incident in Brighton. It was still in the forefront of her mind when she returned to the city to make her delivery the following week. She was hoping that what happened the previous week was a one-off but after she had made her delivery, she looked across the road and sure enough, the same gang of kids were hanging around. A few minutes later, she spied the same vulnerable young man from the previous week making his way towards the group. She continued to observe, curious to see what would happen next.
Almost immediately, a girl from the group went over to the young man, waving her hands in front of his face, making out she was going to slap him. Instinctively, the victim stepped back but the tormenting female stepped nearer, continuing her taunt. Her hands got too close to him so the young man pushed them away.
“He slapped my hand!” the young girl squealed.
Needing no further self-justification, the alpha male leader came to the girl’s rescue. He gave the young man a forceful shove, nearly causing him to lose his balance. “So, you like slapping girls!” the alpha male bellowed. He gave another shove and this time his target fell back onto his bottom. Rochelle could not make out what was being said by the alpha male who was standing over the young man while he tried to get back on his feet but she could tell that it was intimidating and the vulnerable man looked frightened. Once he managed to get to his feet, the victim reached into his pocket and handed something over to the aggressor. Obviously money in Rochelle’s mind. It was only after that the young man was allowed to pass but not before the girl who had instigated it all gave one last kick up the bottom.
In Rochelle’s mind, this was too much. Incensed, she pulled out her mobile phone and immediately dialled 999 and asked to speak to the police.
“Brighton Police, what is your emergency,” inquired a female voice on the end of the line.
“I have just witnessed a group of youths intimidate and rob a vulnerable young man,” Rochelle reported, her combined anger and eagerness to the right thing making her huff and puff between words.
“Where did this happen?”
“On the sea front, across the road from Fish n Pie’s Chip Shop.”
“And how long ago did the incident occur?”
“Literally, just a minute ago.”
The voice on the other end of the line pressed for more details, such as numbers and descriptions which Rochelle provided with a fair amount of confidence. When she concluded her report, the voice assured her that the matter would be looked into. Rochelle briefly had to scramble for a pen and paper so she could take down the phone number given to her in the event that she could provide more information. When it was all over, Rochelle hoped that it would be dealt with, at least for the young man’s sake.