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In the commercial ports the number of prostitutes in proportion to the population continues, as hitherto, the highest. The proportion of the criminal classes at large, as shown in the returns for 1860, was 1 in 136.8 of the total population; the proportion of prostitutes 1 in 549.6. The corresponding returns for 1861 (allowance having been made for the increase of population), are 1 to 163.0, and 1 to 636.8. We are therefore advancing, though it be slowly, in the scale of civilization, as tested by its two opposites, vice and crime.

The number of prisoners in custody on the 29th September, 1861, was, in local prisons (exclusive of debtors and military prisoners), 15,601 ; in the convict prisons 7,123 ; and in reformatories 3,199. A total of criminal classes is thus produced amounting to 148,982, or 1 in 134. The total for 1860 was 1 in 115, as based upon the census of 1851. There is, therefore, as calculated according to the late census, one of the police force to every 966 of the population; one of the criminal classes to every 134; and, consequently, one of the police to every 6.9 of the criminal classes. The total number of houses of bad character of every description was 23,916.

The tables of which we have given the foregoing account relate to the prevention of crime, the succeeding ones relate to its prosecution. These tables detail the number of indictable offences, and the disposal of the charges founded on them in each district, in periods of three months.

In the total number of crimes returned for the twelvemonth precedent to the 29th of September, 1861, there was an increase of 404, or 0.8 per cent. as compared with the preceding year, which was less prolific in this item by 3:1 per cent than the year 1859. The number of apprehensions in 1861 exceeded the returns for 1860 by 2,312, or 9.3 per cent. An improvement in the apparent, but not necessarily in the real, efficiency or veracity of the police is shown by the fact that the apprehensions were 53.5 per cent. on the number of crimes, which was a higher proportion than that of either of the preceding

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years. It appears that the greater proportion of crimes is committed in the winter quarters, owing probably to the season, and the scarcity of employment that then exists, while, on the other hand, as might naturally be expected, the proportionate number of apprehensions is greater in the summer months. The total number of indictable offences committed in 1861, amounted to 50,809, and of apprehensions 27,174.

The number of murders reported for the year was 106, being seven more than the number for 1860. Of these, ten were in the metropolitan police district; but no case occurred in the City of London. Connected with these cases there were 128 apprehensions, in which 90 persons were committed for trial.

The cases of concealing the birth of infants were 151, of which 97 were reported by the county constabulary ; 34 took place in boroughs, and 20 in the metropolitan police district. The numbers for the same districts for the year 1861, were respectively 103, 24, and 20. The number of burglaries for 1860 was 2,221; for 1861, the number was 2,791; of these 48.9 per cent. were reported from the counties, and 51.1 per cent. from boroughs. The proportion to the whole population of persons charged with indictable offences, varies very much according to the district. In the metropolis this proportion is as 1 to 263; in Birmingham as 1 to 354; in Leeds as 1 to 330; in Liverpool, as 1 to 112; and in Manchester as 1 to 58. The more serious offences are, as already noticed by us, most prevalent in Manchester.

Upon being brought before the magistrate, 32-4 per cent. of the persons apprehended were discharged without further proceedings ; 0:6 per cent. were admitted to bail for further appearance if required; 5.1 per cent. were admitted to bail until trial; 61:7 per cent. were committed to prison to await trial at assizes or sessions; and 0.2 per cent. were committed to prison for want of sureties. Of the cases, it thus appears that 67-7

. per cent. were proved to the satisfaction of the magistrates. In the preceding year, the corresponding proportion was 65-3 per cent. The proportion of persons committed to trial for the same year was 59-6 per cent. Of the total number of the persons charged with offences in the twelvemonth precedent to the 29th September, 1861, there were 20,354 males and 6,820 females.

There are about 500 descriptions of offences which must receive at least preliminary investigation by magistrates at petty sessions. Magistrates are, in fact, the only judicial authorities with whom the great bulk of the people are ever brought into contact. Many will be of opinion that some preliminary test besides the possession of property should be used in the appointment of persons invested with such important and extensive functions, and it is not improbable that the stipendiary system will be ultimately extended over the country; but there can be no question that the unpaid magistracy do their work on the whole with remarkable zeal and efficiency.

As the statistics contain a summary of the crimes of each description committed in each quarter of the year, of the number of persons apprehended, charged with each description of offence, and of the manner in which the persons apprehended were disposed of, a test is thus readily presented of the degree of success obtained by the police in the pursuit of criminals. In the class of offences against the person, the number of persons apprehended considerably exceeds the number of crimes committed. The report attributes this to the fact that more persons than one are generally concerned in the same offence, and that this class of cases admits of greater facility than most others of identifying the parties. Personal animosity, and the desire to exclude evidence, have also, we think, some part in producing this result. Of these cases, 81•1 per cent. were successfully pursued by the police, if we assume (as the statistics do) that one person only was sent for trial in each case. But this is a very rough estimate. This proportion was 77.4 per cent. in 1860, and 73.9 per cent. in 1859.

The total of all other offences recorded by the police for the year 1861 (including 209 cases of attempts to commit suicide), amounted to 42,686, being 951 less than the corresponding returns of the preceding year. For these offences 21,552 persons were apprehended, of whom 7,401 were discharged by the magistrates. There thus remains 14,151, or 33•1 per cent., as the number of cases successfully pursued, the proportion under this category having been 29.4 per cent. for 1860.

The proportion which the total number of cases successfully pursued bore to the total number of alleged crimes, was 36·1 per cent. for 1861, 32•1 per cent. for 1860, and 32.5 per cent. for 1859.

In the number of summary charges for the year 1861, there has been an increase of 2,092, or 1:6 per cent. over the corresponding returns for 1860, in which year there was a decrease of 2.0 per cent. from the corresponding returns for 1859. Of the persons charged summarily before magistrates, in 1861, there were 315,256 males, and 79,461 females proceeded against; 219,875 males, and 43,635 females were convicted; and 95,381 males, and 35,826 females were discharged. The convictions bore a somewhat higher proportion to the total number of persons charged in 1861, than they did to the number of persons charged in the preceding year. Amongst the females, the proportion of convictions to the number of females proceeded against, has been, as was the case in preceding years, about 14 per cent. smaller than the like proportion in the case of the males. This difference may, perhaps, be accounted for partly through the gallantry of the accusers, and partly through the greater difficulty of identifying females.

The proportion of the number committed to prison, to the total of the convicted, was somewhat higher in 1861 than in the preceding year, having been 23•4 per cent. in 1861, for 20.8 per cent in 1860. Of offences of larceny by offenders under sixteen years of age, there has been an increase of 462, or 7.6 per cent., in the present returns, as compared with those for 1860. In the total number of offences of stealing dogs, birds, vegetable productions, &c., or what we may term fancy

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larcenies, there is an increase in the present returns of 6,337, or 17.1 per cent., as compared with those of 1860. In the class of malicious offences---of damage and trespass-there is likewise an increase in the present returns of 247 cases, or 6.6 per cent. over the corresponding returns of the preceding year. There were committed, in the year 1861, 2,935 aggravated assaults on women and children, 11,248 assaults on, or resistance to, peace officers when discharging their duties, and 62,498 cases of common assault. There is the small decrease of 0.7 per cent, in these returns as compared with the like returns for 1860, which again exhibited a like small decrease from the like statistics for 1859. The total number of offences against the game laws in the past year was 8,483. Under the item of night poaching, there is a decrease of 230 cases, or 21.8 per cent., as compared with the like returns for 1860. Justices, however, still appear sufficiently inclined to consider that the laws and statutes relating to game call for the most comprehensive construction. Under the head of drunkenness, we find a decrease of 7.0 per cent. in 1861, as compared with the like returns for 1860, in which year likewise there was a slight decrease from the like returns for 1859.

The total number proceeded against in each year, from 1857 down to 1861 inclusive, were as follows:

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Total proceeded against 394,717 384,918 392,810 404,034 369,233 Convicted

263,513 255,803 | 257,810 260,290 233,474 Discharged

131,207 129,115 | 135,000 143,744 135,759

The proportion which the convictions bear to the total number proceeded against shows a progressive increase in the foregoing tables. In 1857 it was 63.2; in 1858 it was 64:4; in 1859 it was 65:6; in 1860 it was 66.4; and in 1861 it was 667. In the total number proceeded against by indictment and summarily there is an increase of 12,111, or 2.9 per cent, over the like returns for 1860. Comparing the numbers

VOL. XV.-NO. XXIX.

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