Sunday, 21 March 2021

Crime and Punishment (part two)

More Victorian newspaper fun.

Visiting Justices’ Report.— The visiting justices reported that during the post quarter the repairs required had been of the usual character. The buildings appear in good order, with the exception of part of the coping of the outer wall, which is being attended to. The general health of the prisoners has been very good; no epidemic hospital case had been reported by the surgeon. The prisoners had been fully employed at the various descriptions of labour, and their conduct had been generally satisfactory. There had been a considerable increase in the daily average number of prisoners this quarter compared with the corresponding quarter last year. This year the numbers were 79, and in the corresponding quarter of 1866, 58. The increase has principally been in the vagrant class. The conduct of the officers had been such as to merit the continued approbation of the visiting justices."
Bridlington Free Press - Saturday 06 July 1867, page 3.

From the way "no epidemic hospital case" is reported, it sounds like they often did have epidemics in the prison.

The Chief Constable mentioned a rather odd crime wave in his report:

"The Chief Constable's Report. —The Chief Constable reported the number of persons summoned, apprehended, or otherwise brought before the Justices of the Riding by the Constabulary during the past quarter. Number of persons summoned, apprehended, &c., males 666, females 43; committed for trial, 15 men, 1 woman; summarily convicted, 523 males, 29 females; discharged, males 128, females 3 ; total 709. On comparing the number of cases with those of the previous quarter, the Chief Constable found an increase of 141 cases; 31 which were informations under the cattle plague orders. With respect to the cases committed for trial there was an increase 4; but out of the total number of 16, no fewer than 6 were for prize fighting. In the corresponding quarter of last year he found there was increase of 26 cases, including three more committed, accounted for by the number of prize fights. Thirty persons had been summoned for breaches the Privy Council orders, seventeen of which were fined £4 19s., in addition to the expenses which were incurred of £8 1s. 11d., and thirteen cases were dismissed."
Bridlington Free Press - Saturday 06 July 1867, page 3.

Who would have guessed prize fighting would account for so much of the crime? 

The next bit is particularly weird:

"The Chief Constable also reported that he had found parties from distance (not only for charitable purposes, but for their own direct benefit also) were attempting to use the police force of the Riding an agency for the sale of lottery tickets. On a former occasion he had reported the subject to the Quarter Sessions, and also to the Home Office, but no action was taken in the matter. He had made point of returning all those tickets the parties who had sent them, post not paid, as the most efficacious mode of checking the proceeding, which was in every respect objectionable. The police earnings amounted £151 13s 0.5d, and the extra expenses £87 19s. 5.5d. These included all sums paid to the treasurer by the clerks to the justices of the general petty sessional divisions, as shown the return received from his office, together with the amounts due from Middle and South Holderness divisions for the previous, but not for this quarter."
Bridlington Free Press - Saturday 06 July 1867, page 3.

Why on earth were the police selling lottery tickets? Didn't they have anything better to do?

1 comment:

J-W Maessen said...

My money's on some sort of protection racket. That, at least, is why this sort of thing gets banned in the first place.