This volume, as its title indicates, is occupied with an examination of some of the principal causes of crime, and is designed as an introduction to the study of criminal questions in general. In spite of all the attention these questions have hitherto received and are now receiving, crime still remains one of the most perplexing and obstinate of social problems. It is much more formidable than pauperism, and almost as costly. A social system which has to try hundreds of thousands of offenders annually before the criminal courts is in a very imperfect condition; the causes which lead to this state of things deserve careful consideration from all who take an interest in social welfare.
ime. A proof of this fact may be seen in the Report of the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis, for the year 1888. In the year 1886, the number of persons convicted in the Metropolis of "Annoying male persons for the purpose of prostitution" was 3,233; in 1888, the number was only 1,475. This enormous decrease in the course of two years is not due to a diminution of the offence, but to a change in the attitude of the police. Again, in the year 1887, the Metropolitan police arrested 4,556 persons under the provisions of the Vagrant and Poor Law Acts; but in the year 1888, the number arrested by the same body under the same acts amounted to 7,052. It is perfectly obvious that this vast increase of apprehensions was not owing to a corresponding increase in the number of rogues, beggars, and vagrants; it was principally owing to the increased stringency with which the Metropolitan police carried out the provisions of the Vagrant and Poor Law Acts. An absolute proof of the correctness of this statement is the
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