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winston davis, restorative justice, watford england

A CCTV camera in England.

An inspiring story first reported by the Watford Observer in England shows that when we stop making knee-jerk reactions about people involved in crime, we have the opportunity to change their lives.

Back in July, heating engineer and social activist Winston Davis learned that his 12-year-old nephew was mugged by a 16-year-old boy at knifepoint. For six weeks, Davis studied the security camera footage in an attempt to find the teen.

After he located the teen and contacted him on his phone, he told him he’d be paying him a visit to get the bag back. When the two met face to face, Davis was impressed by his honesty.

“You could have easily turned your phone off, you could have easily allowed it and bury your head in the sand,” Davis said in a video he posted to TikTok. “In life sometimes we do things that we regret and then we want to try make something change after that and what you’re doing, bringing this back, is a big moment.”


@winstondavis1

#knifecrime #streetrobberboy #mugging #streetcrime #youthviolence #reconciliation #conflict the young man needs help…any #computerengineering links out thete that can offer him a a chance?

​When Davis looked at the teen he thought he looked “frightened” and learned about his past.

“That’s when he told me he’s been in and out of detention centers and had no education and has literally been living in supported living,” Davis told the Watford Observer.

Instead of calling the police on the teen, Davis decided to try to get him some help, so he posted a video of their interaction on TikTok asking for assistance. “He’s 16 years old, been in and out of detention centers, lives in a supported living place and has no qualifications,” he wrote on TikTok. “Despite this, he wants to work in computer engineering.”


The post received more than 900,000 views on TikTok and was shared far and wide. A few days after the post, Davis said that a lot of people had reached out, offering to help get the teen's life on track. "Offers of support for this guy have been mad. So, gonna get back to people soon as I can, thank you,” he wrote in a follow-up video where he also summed up the message of the story.

"There's people that say, 'If you can't do the time, don't do the crime.' But actually, do you know what, a lot of the time there's people that don't really want to do the crime."

@winstondavis1

#crime #rehabilitation #hmp #restorativejustice #povertytoprison

Davis had a soft spot in his heart for the teen because he had been there himself. Years back he went to prison on a drug charge and after he got out, vowed to change his life. Since then, he has opened his own heating business and has been an activist for social change.

He saw that the teen could use a break and hoped that the opportunity presented by this moment would change the direction of his life.

“He’s got an opportunity to really, if he takes the opportunities that are presented to him, to really change his life," Davis said according to Ladbible. "It’s just, can he see far enough into the future? To be able to take advantage of the good nature and goodwill of so many people?”

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