HC Deb 27 November 1947 vol 444 c2114
56. Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many murders known to the police in England and Wales during the last 20 years were committed by persons previously convicted of crime; and what proportion this bears to the total number of murders known to have been committed in that area during that period.

Mr. Ede

The available figures relate to persons of .18 years or over convicted of murder during the years 1926–46 inclusive. There were 452 such persons of whom 173 had previous convictions.

Mr. Hughes

Would the Minister say whether these statistics show that, in the main, the habitual criminal seldom commits murder, and that, in the main, murders are committed by the inexperienced in life or by the deliberately depraved?

Mr. Ede

I am unable to say whether a person who has not been previously convicted is in that position because of his skill and experience.