§ 1. Mr. Hobson
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how the figures for offences of murder of persons aged one year and over, attempt to murder, threats or conspiracy to murder, and manslaughter, other than those concerned with the use of motor cars, for the year 1959 compare with similar figures for the years 1955 to 1958, inclusive.
§ The Joint Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. Dennis Vosper)
I will, with permission, circulate a detailed table in the OFFICIAL REPORT.
The total figures for the four categories of offence—including motor manslaughter, which cannot be separated from other manslaughter—in the years 1955–59 were respectively, 460, 509, 518, 477 and 462. The 1959 total is provisional. The figures relate to the number of offences recorded by the police under the category in question at the end of the calendar year, without regard to changes resulting from court proceedings in the following year.
§ Mr. Hobson
While thanking my right hon. Friend for the promise of further statistical detail, may I ask him if he can say whether, in his view, these figures show if there has been any increase or not in the number of deaths due to criminal violence since the passing of the Homicide Act in 1957?
§ Mr. Vosper
The figures for the five years in question are, of course, all remarkably stable. As far as the offence of murder is concerned, involving victims aged one year and over, there was an increase in 1959, but the figure is still below that for 1956 and 1957. Therefore, the answer must be in the negative.
§ Following are the detailed figures:
|NUMBER OF OFFENCES KNOWN TO THE POLICE OF (i) MURDER OF PERSONS AGED ONE YEAR AND OVER, (ii) ATTEMPT TO MURDER, THREAT OR CONSPIRACY TO MURDER AND MANSLAUGHTER OF VICTIMS OF ALL AGES.|
|Murder (victims aged one year and over)||…||125||148||151||124||142|
|Attempt to murder (victims of all ages)||…||169||162||158||190||167|
|Threats or conspiracy to murder (victims of all ages)||…||44||57||62||55||61|
|Manslaughter* (victims of all ages)||…||122||142||147||108||92|
|*The statistics of offences known to the police do not distinguish between manslaughter by the use of a motor vehicle and other manslaughter. The numbers of prosecutions for manslaughter by the use of a motor vehicle in the years 1955 and 1959 were, however, as follows:|