HC Deb 22 November 1888 vol 330 cc1818-9
MR. HOWELL (Bethnal Green, N.E.)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether his attention has been called to the remarks of a Metropolitan magistrate, Mr. Montagu Williams, at Worship Street Police Court, on Monday last—namely, That the whole crime of the district is due to registered lodging-houses, … which are made the homes of the men who perpetrate robberies, and of the words of the policeman, whom he quotes, who said, They were the resorts of notorious characters; and, whether he will cause an inquiry to be instituted into the common lodging-houses of the Metropolis, with a view to further legislation and inspection?


I have not yet been able to ascertain whether the learned magistrate made use of the words quoted; but I am informed by the Police Authorities that they know of no case in which a constable told a magistrate that common lodging-houses were the resort of notorious characters. In the opinion of the police it cannot be said that crime is due to common lodging-houses. There is no doubt that a certain number of the criminal class do live in common lodging-houses; but the owners of those houses are ready, as a rule, to assist the police with information, and the inmates are under police supervision to a greater extent than they would be if they were driven to live elsewhere. I have been for some time in communication with the Local Government Board and the police on the question whether the registration of common lodging-houses can be improved.