Good People Doing Good Things — Winston Davis

I have only one ‘good people’ today, but I think he will be enough to remind you that there really ARE good people out there, doing good things for others.

What would you do if an older teen accosted and robbed your 12-year-old nephew at knifepoint?  Would you go looking for the teen, and if you found him … what would you do?  That was the dilemma Winston Davis found himself faced with back in July.  His 12-year-old nephew had been on his way to buy a chocolate bar when the teen stopped him and, using his knife as a threat, took the young boy’s bag containing his money in the village of London Colney, north of London, UK.

When Winston Davis, a heating engineer and social activist, found out and sensed that the police had bigger fish to fry than a stolen bag with only a few pounds in it, he decided to go in search of the boy.  He scoured the CCTV and doorbell camera footage from businesses in the area, had a pretty good idea what the teen looked like, and a few days later he bumped into the lad.  Davis confronted him, told him he knew what he had done, and asked the boy to return the next day with the bag.

“I said to him look, I’ll help you if you return the bag. We made the agreement that he would go get the bag and come back the next – and fair play to him that’s exactly what he did. He agreed to come back to give us the bag.  The fact that he came back to give us the bag, I was like wow. Yeah, you’ve done something really bad to the family I love, but that fact that you brought it back says a lot about you.”

Some people might have taken the boy straight to the nearest police station, some might have given him a stern lecture, some might even have taken the law into their own hands and hurt the boy.  But Winston Davis wasn’t those people.  Instead, he listened with his heart when the boy told him he was broke and needed the money.  Says Davis …

“He’s 16 years old, been in and out of detention centres, lives in a supported living place and has no qualifications…Despite this he wants to work in computer engineering…”

Davis recorded a video of the interaction and posted it on TikTok and encouraged anyone who might be able to offer information about career routes or training programs for the boy to get in touch, and as the video went viral Davis found himself inundated with offers. 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. In a moment of compassion and understanding, Davis said …

“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.”

Winston Davis has 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. 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?”

38 thoughts on “Good People Doing Good Things — Winston Davis

  1. What really worries me about this whole incident is the fact this guy used a knife to threaten the 12 year old. That is a serious offence and it takes a certain type of personality to do that, if he had snatched the bag or simply bullied the kid I would be convinced this teenager can turn over a new leaf, but a knife? Will this teenager use it again? a good chance he will and the local police should at least be informed. The 12 year old was likely to be traumatised and he was the real victim in all of this.

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    • I am as much a cynic as any, but I think Mr. Davis may have made a very positive change in this young man’s life, one that he will remember for all his life and perhaps do the same for others along the way. I like to think that people can change, and this kid had not had many positive influences in his life until this.


  2. Proof positive that the social sites can prove to be useful when proved right. And that given an opportunity, people can be caring and helpful. Winston is a very different human being, prepared to help instead of exacting revenge for the original crime., a salutary lesson for us all.

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    • You’re right! Social media has the potential to do vast good … but it is up to us to use it in such a way that it helps people rather than hurting them. I asked myself if I would have been as compassionate and taken the time to listen to the lad’s story if I had been in Winston’s shoes. The answer is … sigh … I doubt it. But, this story will stick in my mind, and perhaps remind me to give people the benefit of the doubt, for we just don’t know what somebody else is going through.

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  3. A powerful story about second chances. Teens like the 16-year-old in this story often fall through the cracks and are failed by the system at an early age. Good for this man for showing Mercy and grace. It could’ve been a potentially dangerous move tracking him down but he made a huge difference in this kids life!

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    • You are so right, Ab! Our system doesn’t do a very good job at protecting and providing for kids such as this one. And sadly, if it had been another man whose path he crossed, he might have ended up in jail instead of getting help. A reminder to us all to be more understanding and compassionate, for we never know what someone else is going through.

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  4. This man, by, asking the boy who took the money from his nephew had, taught the teen a very important lesson, one he wouldn’t have learned, had the man just, dragged him down to the station and turned him in to the police for stealing.

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