Oral Answers to Questions — Criminal Statistics, London

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 3rd November 1949.

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Photo of Mr John Maude Mr John Maude , Exeter 12:00 am, 3rd November 1949

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many persons were prosecuted and how many convicted in the Metropolitan Police area in the years 1938, 1948 and during the first nine months of 1949, of offences concerning brothels and other places used for the purpose of habitual prostitution; and how many of such persons received sentences of imprisonment or were fined.

Photo of Mr James Ede Mr James Ede , South Shields

In 1948, 90 persons were charged in the Metropolitan Police district with offences concerning brothels and 84 were found guilty. In the first nine months of this year, 62 persons were charged and 55 were found guilty. I regret that the other information asked for is not available.

Photo of Mr John Maude Mr John Maude , Exeter

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many male persons were prosecuted and how many convicted in the Metropolitan Police area in the years 1938, 1948 and during the first nine months of 1949, of persistently importuning male persons for immoral purposes and for offences involving gross indecency; and how many of such persons received sentences of imprisonment or were fined.

Photo of Mr James Ede Mr James Ede , South Shields

In 1948, 476 persons were charged in the Metropolitan Police district with importuning male persons for immoral purposes and 444 were found guilty. In the first nine months of 1949, 415 persons were charged and 392 were found guilty. In 1948, 486 persons were arrested for gross indecency between males and 211 were arrested in the first nine months of 1949. Of the 89 committed for trial in 1948, 82 were convicted, and of the 94 committed for trial in the first nine months of 1949, 77 were convicted. I regret that the other information asked for is not available.

Photo of Mr John Maude Mr John Maude , Exeter

Can the right hon. Gentleman tell us how it comes about that it is not available? Is it not a matter of records?

Photo of Mr James Ede Mr James Ede , South Shields

No, Sir. I understand that the records for 1938 are not in fact available.

Photo of Sir Frank Medlicott Sir Frank Medlicott , Norfolk Eastern

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there is a feeling that the amount of homosexuality in this country is on the increase and that the state of the law needs to be looked into; but, more important still, is the Home Secretary considering the setting up of a Committee to examine the social, medical and moral aspects of this very grave problem?

Photo of Mr James Ede Mr James Ede , South Shields

It is a problem which has been present in my mind for some time, and I am considering whether it is necessary to make any formal inquiries into the possible growth of these practices.

Photo of Mr John Maude Mr John Maude , Exeter

I am afraid that I did not make myself clear. Will the right hon. Gentleman tell me how it comes about that there are no figures available as to whether these persons were imprisoned or fined? Is that not a matter of records?

Photo of Mr James Ede Mr James Ede , South Shields

I will try to ascertain that information for the hon. and learned Gentleman.

Photo of Mr John Maude Mr John Maude , Exeter

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many persons were prosecuted and how many convicted in the years 1938, 1948 and during the first nine months of 1949 of offences involving allegations of indecency in Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens; and how many of such persons as were so convicted were sentenced to terms of imprisonment or fined.

Photo of Mr James Ede Mr James Ede , South Shields

It has not been possible to obtain this information in the time available but I will let the hon. and learned Member have it as soon as I can.