The shocking circumstances surrounding the death of Elgin bus driver Keith Rollinson last week have shaken not just the immediate community, but people all across Scotland.
During this extremely upsetting time, our thoughts are with the family, friends and colleagues of Mr Rollinson, who was 58 and had been working at his Stagecoach job for less than two years.
Many people did everything within their power to help Mr Rollinson when he was in need, from the members of the public who attempted life-saving first aid to the emergency service workers who attended the scene and rushed him to hospital.
The compassion and bravery of these individuals was a shining light amid the traumatic darkness of events, as described by eyewitnesses.
A 15-year-old boy has appeared in court charged with murder, and onlookers reported that a group of around 20 teenagers shouted abuse, laughed and joked while they watched Mr Rollinson fight for his life. Hearing of such conduct anywhere is enough to turn stomachs, but seeing it unfold on your doorstep is hugely disturbing.
Staff at the Elgin bus depot where Mr Rollinson worked have previously made dozens of reports of anti-social behaviour from young people on public transport and, sadly, this is mirrored in other locations in the north and north-east.
Anti-social behaviour is becoming a big issue
Just two weeks ago, Stagecoach Bluebird announced that all services to the Northfield area of Aberdeen would be temporarily suspended due to increased vandalism on buses. Numerous reports of anti-social behaviour involving youths in Fort William have been reported to police in recent weeks.
There is no easy solution or quick fix for this serious issue. Scrapping problematic service routes or revoking free bus travel for under-22s would run the risk of unfairly punishing whole communities, as well as the youngsters who use public transport responsibly and rely on it.
Nonetheless, should certain sites in our towns and cities remain hotspots for irresponsible, threatening or even violent behaviour, residents will understandably live in fear of visiting them.
Ultimately, parents and guardians are responsible for their children, but teenagers are not far from being adults and should independently grasp how their actions affect others.
Mindless aggression and violence have devastating consequences, and they must not be tolerated
If police, schools and local councils can help the younger generation to deal with peer pressure, boredom or frustration that could be prompting a hostile mindset, it would be in the best interests of the entire community, but young people must first show willing.
Mindless aggression and violence have devastating consequences, and they must not be tolerated.
The Voice of the North is The Press & Journal’s editorial stance on what we think are the most important issues of the week