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WARRANT APPOINTING THE COMMITTEE.
WHEREAS representations have from time to time been made to me by influential bodies, to the effect that there is a large and increasing number of Habitual Offenders, Vagrants, Beggars, and Inebriates in Scotland, and that the existing powers of dealing with such persons, especially with a view to a permanent remedy, are inadequate; and whereas I consider that it is desirable, in the public interest, that a full inquiry into this subject should be instituted,-I accordingly hereby appoint a Committee consisting of:
Sir Charles Cameron, Bart., M.D., M.P. (Chairman);
Lieut.-Col. A. B. M'Hardy, R.E., Prison Commissioner for Scotland ;
Col. Sir Colin Scott Moncrieff, R. E., Under-Secretary for Scotland;
Miss Flora C. Stevenson, Hon. F.E.I.S., Member of the Edinburgh School
to inquire whether the number of such persons is increasing, and into the cause of such increase; and further, to suggest such remedies as may, while deterrent, be likely to bring about their reformation and to prevent further additions to their numbers, due regard being had to the cost of any remedies which may be suggested, and to the practicability of their being carried into effect. And I appoint Dr Sutherland to be Secretary to the Committee.
SCOTTISH OFFICE, WHITEHALL,
19th June 1894.
GEORGE OTTO TREVELYAN,
To the above remit was subsequently added by the Secretary for Scotland, on 23rd November 1894, the following:
And also to inquire into the number of male and female Juvenile Offenders sent to prison in Scotland, the offences for which they are committed, and the extent to which such committals could be lessened, and to report generally on the subject.
HABITUAL OFFENDERS, &c. (SCOTLAND).
Your remits to the Committee call our attention to habitual offenders, vagrants, beggars, and inebriates in Scotland, and direct us to enquire whether the
number of such persons is increasing and into the causes of such increase, and to suggest
such remedies as may, while deterrent, be likely to bring about their reformation and to
TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE
SIR GEORGE OTTO TREVELYAN, BART., M.P.,
H.M. Secretary for Scotland.
prevent further additions to their numbers, due regard being had to the cost of any
remedies which may be suggested, and to the practicability of their being carried into
effect; and also to enquire into the number of male and female juvenile offenders
sent to prison in Scotland, the offences for which they are committed, and the extent to
which such committals could be lessened, and to report generally on the subject.'
Besides this your Committee have obtained a large number of statistical returns Statistics, and memoranda,' and they have availed themselves of published official reports of re- Departmental sponsible committees and departments on the various branches of their enquiry.2
Committees, &c., &c.
PART I.--HABITUAL OFFENDERS.
Cases of drunkenness, breach of the peace, assault, vagrancy, begging and A importuning, account for seventy-one per cent. of the total apprehensions and Sutherland, citations in Scotland.1 A large portion of the balance is accounted for by offences against local police regulations, and the remainder consists of indictable offences for which the sentences are so long as to prevent any rapid increase in the number of re-convictions. The average duration of confinement of criminal prisoners in Scotland, excluding convicts
* Donaldson, at Peterhead, during the five years ending 1893 was under 14 days; and when we
Petty-offender Statistics.-In Scotland the number of arrests and convictions,- B
the police returns furnished to us it appears that the number of arrests and convictions
The same returns show, however, that this increase occurs in the case of counties C only, and that in the burghs, although there is an increase in 1893 as compared with 1885, there is practically no increase in numbers as compared with 1875. As divided between counties and burghs the figures are
Pushing the analysis further we find in the smaller burghs that the percentage of D convictions to population since 1875 has been practically stationary, while in the larger,
* The division between counties and burghs, which is made in the Judicial Statistics, has necessarily been followed in this Report, though it is in some respects unsuitable for the purpose. The division which these statistics make does not correspond with the division of the population into rural and urban, or with the division between the territory of the county common law and that of the burghal statute law on the subject of petty offences. What are classed as burghs in the statistics are only those burghs which have entirely separate police establishments, and make separate statistical returns. All the larger burghs are in this position, but the small burghs returned as such in the statistics, are only a comparatively small proportion of those actually existing. It thus happens that a large number of burghs, which hold courts and administer law special burghs, but which are policed by the counties in which they are situated, are massed in the county statistics, so as to make it impossible to distinguish what number of the offences, which are recorded as belonging to the counties, belong properly to them, or belong to burghs massed with them. A return has been made of the burghs which are thus included in slump with counties, and will be found in Appendix XCIII. It will be observed that it includes burghs, such as Wishaw, which are much larger than some of the burghs making separate returns.
A although, as before, 1893 shows a slightly increased percentage of convictions to popula-
(Including Ayr, Partick, Perth, Hamilton, Kilmarnock, Kirkcaldy, Inverness, Dumbarton,
(Including Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee, Aberdeen, Leith, Greenock, Govan, Paisley).
Population as estimated by Registrar-General.
Population as estimated by Registrar-General.
of Convictions, &c.,!
of Convictions, &c.,
Increase in Drunkenness and Offences arising therefrom.-A carefully prepared diagram, to be found in the Appendix to this Report,' showing the number of Sutherland, apprehensions and citations for breach of the peace, drunk and incapable, and dis- Appendix IV. orderly conduct, and in another colour the growth of the population since 1880, proves that the main factor in this increase is an augmentation of drunkenness and offences arising therefrom. Reference to this diagram shows that the number of apprehensions and citations for these offences increased from 80,855 in 1880, when the population was 3,637,000, to 98,427 in 1893, when the population was 4,050,000. Not only do these figures show an absolute increase of 17,572, or 21 per cent., in thirteen years, but an increase beyond that proportionate to the increase of population (10 per cent. between 1881 and 1893) to the number of 9,487 a year. The arrests for the offences specified reached their maximum in 1890, between which year and 1893 they have declined by nearly 8,000, which is so far encouraging; but still the serious significance of the net increase of the percentage of arrests from this cause to the population of Scotland in 1893 as compared with 1881, is shown by the fact that it amounts to more than one-fifth of the total arrests for similar offences in the London Metropolitan district at the present time.
Commitments to Prison.-On analysing the number of commitments to prison in Scotland we find (a) that the number of commitments to prison in Scotland for 2 Appendix petty offences has steadily increased from 26,000 in 1875 to 32,000 in 1885 and 35,000 in 1893, and (b) that the number of commitments to prison for other offences has decreased since 1875, being in that year over 17,200, against 14,000 in 1885 and 15,600 in 1893.
It thus appears that the number of commitments for drunkenness, breach of the