HC Deb 29 September 1909 vol 11 c1399W

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware that four prisoners, committed to the London Sessions on the 7th instant, had previously been convicted in all 43 times, and had received sentences aggregating more than 55 years of imprisonment; and that the chairman of the sessions stated, in again sentencing the prisoners, that he was satisfied they all lived entirely by crime and that he was astonished no indictment had been preferred against them under the Prevention of Crimes Act, 1908; and that he had, therefore, not the power to order them long terms of preventive detention; and whether he will say why in these cases no indictment under the Act was preferred?


The Prevention of Climes Act only came into force on the 1st ultimo, and it was not possible to put it immediately into force against all the prisoners to whom it might be applied. The arrangements are now complete for taking advantage of it—so far at all events as the Metropolitan Police are concerned, and I believe also with regard to other forces—in the case of such habitual criminals as properly come within its scope.