A Dudley teenager has made amends to his victim for his bullying behaviour, after hearing how it made her feel.
In September 2017, a 15-year-old boy from Wrens Nest in Dudley was on a bus, trying to impress his friends by tormenting a 15-year-old girl. He sat behind her, flicking and tapping her on the head. He then threw an unknown substance on her hair and made her think it was lighter fluid.
The boy was referred to the Safer Travel anti-social behaviour team. They put him on their successful Restorative Justice scheme.
Restorative Justice cuts reoffending by identifying youngsters who engage in low-level anti-social behaviour. They are brought face-to-face with the victims and put right some of the damage they’ve caused.
So, as part of a victim awareness session, the boy heard a statement from the girl, explaining how what happened affected her confidence.
After hearing this, the boy wrote a letter apologising to the traumatised victim, and a Safer Travel officer delivered the letter to her.
As part of his Restorative Justice programme, the teenager also spent his weekends at National Express West Midlands’ Pensnett garage in Dudley, cleaning buses and litter-picking in car parks.
This teen has seen the error of his ways – he admits he was just trying to fit in with his so-called mates. He has since changed schools.
The girl who was bullied was satisfied with the letter – she believed he was truly sorry for how he’d treated her. Safer Travel officers have offered her victim support and reassurance to encourage her to use the buses in future and not lose her independence.
Passengers can use the See Something Say Something service to anonymously report any anti-social behaviour on the bus network. Text ‘bus’ followed by a space and then details of the incident including time, date, location and route number to 83010.