HC Deb 22 April 1937 vol 322 cc1897-8
21. Commander Locker-Lampson

asked the Home Secretary how many burglaries have taken place in the Metropolitan police area since 1932, each year inclusive; and how many of these have resulted in the conviction of the criminals?

Sir J. Simon

Last week my hon. and gallant Friend asked for figures for London and the Home Counties. He now asks for figures for the Metropolitan Police District. Figures for the Metropolitan Police District, however, would be liable to be misleading because persons arrested for offences which were committed in the Metropolitan Police District may have been tried and convicted at courts outside that district, while offences committed outside that district may have been dealt with at the Central Criminal Court. I have, therefore, had a statement prepared giving the figures for which he asked last week, and, with his permission, I will circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT. It must be remembered that the difference between the number of crimes known to the police and the number of convictions obtained does not represent the volume of undetected crime, since a convicted prisoner frequently admits numerous other offences, and a single conviction may therefore dispose of a number of crimes.

Commander Locker-Lampson

Does not the reply indicate that it would serve the public service to withdraw a great many policemen who are arresting motorists and to let them concentrate on finding burglars?

Sir J. Simon

I think my hon. and gallant Friend had better look at the figures, which are not very unsatisfactory.

Following is the statement:

Number of offences of burglary, housebreaking and breakings into shops, warehouses, etc., known by the police to have taken place in the Metropolitan Police District, the City of London, and the counties of Berkshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent and Surrey, and the number of persons found guilty at courts in that area during each of the years 1931–35.

Offence and Year. (1) Crimes known to police. (2) Persons found guilty. (3)
1931 500 141
1932 854 179
1933 715 144
1934 604 168
1935 376 149
1931 5,215 335
1932 7,809 397
1933 6,969 330
1934 6,591 362
1935 5,708 409
Breaking into Shops, Warehouses, etc.:
1931 4,712 861
1932 7,213 1,008
1933 6,563 859
1934 5,708 1,045
1935 5,231 1,380

As pointed out in the last volume of Criminal Statistics about a third of the persons found guilty of "breaking and entering" are under the age of 14 and over half are under the age of 17.

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