HC Deb 29 June 1961 vol 643 cc663-4
49. Mr. Gurden

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is aware of the rise in figures of indictable offences committed in 1960 in Birmingham and the Midlands; and if he will give comparable figures for the various categories of such offences for the past five years.

Mr. R. A. Butler

The number of indictable offences known to the police in the Midlands generally increased in 1960 to a greater extent than in England and

Offence Group 1956 1957 1958 1959 1960
Violence against the person 189 189 228 264 378
Sexual Offences 588 478 466 589 537
Breaking and Entering 2,043 2,586 3,317 3,543 4,843
Robbery 17 16 25 44 40
Larceny 9,587 10,533 12,129 13,114 16,190
Receiving 155 167 186 195 234
Frauds and False Pretences 402 349 497 408 376
Other Offences 377 364 285 367 363
TOTAL 13,358 14,682 17,133 18,524 22,961
Increase 1957–56: Increase 1958–57: Increase 1960–59: Increase 1959–58:
9.9 16.7 8.1 24.0
per cent. per cent. per cent. per cent.

Wales as a whole. In Birmingham there was a 24 per cent. increase over 1959. I will, with permission, circulate in the OFFICIAL REPORT the detailed figures for the last five years. The corresponding increase for seven other large Midland police districts—Coventry, Derbyshire, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire—was 14 per cent., and for England and Wales as a whole 10.1 per cent.

Mr. Gurden

Will my right hon. Friend consider tackling this problem on a very much wider front than detection and detention? Could not we have a national campaign for cleaning up places of entertainment and attack this matter on a national front?

Mr. Butler

I have already had one conference with representatives of the teachers, the Churches, and as far as I can, with societies in the social field which are concerned with this matter, and I hope to follow up this initiative. If I can have the help of my hon. Friend I will gladly consult him.

Mr. Paget

Are not we to draw the lesson that the policy of longer sentences is not only overcrowding the gaols but is proving singularly unsuccessful in preventing crime?

Mr. Butler

I should not like to give a full answer to that question today. I am contemplating a further statement on the subject.

Following is the information: