HC Deb 04 February 1908 vol 183 cc724-5
MR. MOONEY (Newry)

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland if his attention has been called to the fact that in the Judicial Statistics (Ireland), 1906 (Part I., Criminal Statistics), a new classification has been adopted and a new table inserted, under the heading Quasi-Criminal Offences, such offences being described as frequently leading up to more serious crimes; is he aware that the offences described under this head are of a non-indictable character, comprising such cases as offences against sanitary laws, maintenance orders, orders under The Employers' and Workmen Act, 1875, unsound meat, Infectious Disease Act, dog licences, dangerous and neglected structures, amounting in all to 21,979 applications, and that in the English and Scottish statistics such cases as these are not described as quasi-criminal, but are collected in the civil statistics; and, whether, in view of the fact that the insertion of these offences in the Criminal Statistics (Ireland) may give rise to a false estimate of the amount of crime in Ireland, he will take steps to ensure that in the next volume of statistics issued the ordinary practice will be adhered to, and offences such as described above be placed in the volume of civil statistics, as is the practice in England and Scotland.


The hon. Member's Question is founded upon a misapprehension of the facts. About the year 1892, the then Home Secretary appointed a Committee to revise the criminal portion of the Judicial Statistics of England and Wales, and, in accordance with the recommendations of this Committee, a new table was inserted in the statistics showing proceedings in quasi-criminal matters in courts of summary jurisdiction. In the year 1895 a precisely similar table was embodied in the Irish statistics. The same plan has since been followed in both countries. If the hon. Member will refer to the Judicial statistics, England and Wales, 1905 (Part I. Criminal Statistics), he will find in Table XIV. the precise counterpart of the Irish table referred to in the Question.

In reply to Mr. ARNOLD-FOSTER (Croydon)—


said the table referred to quasi-criminal matters dealt with in courts of summary jurisdiction.


was understood to ask if the non-taking out of a dog licence was treated in the table as a criminal offence.


I will look into that.