HC Deb 14 December 1939 vol 355 cc1286-7W
Sir G. Mitcheson

asked the Home Secretary whether he will state the number of cases of bag snatching during the blackout hours in each of the last three months in the Metropolitan area and in the rest of the country, respectively; and what special steps he proposes to take to deal with this form of crime?

Sir J. Anderson

Figures for the whole of the country are not available. The following are the figures for the Metropolitan Police district.

Numbers of Larcenies from the Person (snatching bag or other property only) recorded by the Police in September, October and November, 1939, and in the corresponding months of 1938:

Month. Number of crimes recorded in
1939. 1938.
September 22 14
October 31 52
November 46 24
Total 99 90

Numbers of Burglaries and Housebreakings in September, October and November, 1939, and in the corresponding months of 1938.
Burglary and Housebreaking.
Crime. 1939. 1938.
September. October. November. Total. September. October. November. Total.
Burglary 4 10 6 20 24 29 19 72
Housebreaking 308 385 440 1,133 415 491 483 1,389
Total-Burglary and Housebreaking. 312 395 446 1,153 439 520 502 1,461

All burglaries are committed at night, since to constitute the crime of "burglary" the breaking into and entering a dwelling house with felonious intent must be between the hours of 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. As regards "housebreakings" it is not possible to state the numbers of cases which occurred during "black-out" hours, because in a large number of cases the crime is only discovered on the return of the occupier to his house, and no precise time of entry can therefore be determined.