HC Deb 31 October 1957 vol 575 cc89-90W
Mr. K. Robinson

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many murders known to the police in England and Wales took place in the months of July, August, and September 1957.

Mr. R. A. Butler

The numbers of murders which became known to the police in July, August and September, 1957, were respectively 15, 20 and 11.

Mr. Usborne

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department to give information to show how the number of sexually motivated child murders has varied since capital punishment was abolished for this crime.

Mr. R. A. Butler

Murders of children between the ages of 1 and 14 during the period 21st March to 30th September, 1957, have been compared with those during the corresponding period in 1955. In the 1955 period 34 children were murdered; in 1957 32. In both periods the large majority were murdered by parents. In each period there were three murders the motive of which appears to have been sexual. In 1957 there was, in addition, a case in which two children were killed for motives which have not been established. No conclusions as to the effect of the Homicide Act can be based on so short a period.