HC Deb 14 February 1956 vol 548 cc248-9W
80 Mr. Atkins

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department the number of murders known to the police to have been committed in each of the last five years; and the number of these cases in which charges of murder have been preferred.

1951 1952 1953 1954 1955
Number of murders known to the police* 124 141 141 145 135†
Number of offenders known or believed to have been concerned‡ 116 120 116 121 116
Number of murderers or suspects who committed suicide, or died otherwise, before arrest 41 36 39 39 32
Number of persons proceeded against for murder 65 76 67§ 72 74
* This is the number of victims of murder. It is adjusted in respect of any cases reduced to manslaughter or infanticide after court proceedings.
† The 1955 figures are subject to revision. In particular several cases are still before the courts and some may result in manslaughter verdicts.
‡ Counting one murderer for each undetected murder.
§ Including two persons dealt with by the U.S.A. military authorities.

Mr. Biggs-Davison

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department in how many cases, for which statistics are available, persons sentenced in England and Wales to imprisonment for murder have on release committed another murder.

Major Lloyd-George

I assume that my hon. Friend has in mind persons in respect of whom the capital sentence was commuted to one of life imprisonment. Between 1st January, 1900, and 31st December, 1955, four hundred and sixty-one such persons were released on licence from prison. Of these, one has since been convicted of murder. I could not answer with certainty for any earlier period.