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trates ; but the magistrates cannot have an effectual authority over them unless they have the power to select them, and if negligent to discharge them. At present these appointments are in the gift of the Secretary of State. Great interest is made to obtain them. They are chiefly valued for the sums which the men are suffered to demand of individuals who have occasion for the assistance of the police. This is very wrong; the public pay largely for the maintenance of the police. Individuals of that public, who suffer outrage owing to the insufficiency of police protection, ought not to be called on to pay police-men again to repair the defect; but it is said the pay of the men (1 guinea per week) is not enough for them, and that they must mend their incomes by levies on individuals who have the misfortune to stand in need of police aid. I question both positions : more intelligence, courage, and good behaviour, are not required of these men than is required of non-commissioned officers in service; the pay of the latter is still less; and when it is considered that the employment of the police-men is constant (so long as they do their duty); that their pay, or part of it, will go on while under sickness or infirmity; that a provision is made for them when superannuated; and in addition, that they have opportunities of mending their incomes, if vigilant, by a portion of the penalties arising out of informations, and a probability of becoming inspectors, (who it is proposed should have double pay,) there is no doubt that an abundance of fit men would be found ready and willing to perform the duties of policemen, for the regular pay alone. But if their regular pay be insufficient, sufferers from, and witnesses of misdoing, ought not to be saddled with the expense of supplying the deficiency. Whether their wages be high or low, however, It is only by good rules, good looking after, and off hand discharge, if found wanting, that police-men will be kept pure and steady to their daily work.
HUE AND CRY. Generally, when a crime is committed, it is expedient that the public should be informed of the particulars of it, as widely and quickly as possible. Thieves are by such means exposed to detection in getting rid of their plunder, and delinquents of every class to discovery. There are some cases in which privacy is for a time useful, but such cases are rare. At
esent, our HUE AND CRY” is most defective. If information be lodged at a police office, instead of pro claiming the offence and the offender in the most public form, as required by law, or of “pursuing the offender with horn and 'voice from town to town to the sea side,” according to the custom of our ancestors, it is the known practice, for the officer who gets the information to keep it to himself, that he may have the credit of taking the felon if he can, and not one offence in twenty reaches the public ear. But if the complainant be determined on publicly proclaiming a robbery, he is told that he must get some bills printed and posted, and that he must advertise in the newspapers, and in the “ Hue and Cry.” A person unused to these operations encounters much difficulty and delay in getting through them. He is besides put to a considerable expense, and in that way is frequently deterred from proceeding; for as there is no particular daily newspaper indicated for police intelligence, he has to advertise in every paper, to give a general notice even to persons connected with the police of the country. It is true that there is a police newspaper called the “ Hue and Cry,” but it is only published once in three weeks, and now that the communication all over the kingdom is so rapid, no one would think of giving three weeks start to a criminal before a hue and cry were raised. That paper is of no use excepting for giving information of deserters, and for that purpose it is a very tardy vehicle.
To produce a really effective “Hue and Cry,” it is therefore proposed for all informations of robberies, frauds, and other great offences in and about the metropolis, to be taken on oath at the police offices, free of expense to the informants, and together with discoveries made of property found on suspected persons, to be abstracted and transmitted every day at noon to a central office, say the Bow Street office. The informations it is proposed to divide into three classes.
The first and principal class to be immediately inserted in a Police Gazette, published every afternoon and sent to every police office, and to gaolers, and the principal postmasters throughout England, to be by them filed.
The second class to consist of informations withheld from their uncertainty, grossness, or unimportance to the public. These it is proposed to enter in a book, open at all times for the inspection of magistrates and police officers.
The third class it is proposed should comprise informa
tions of a secret nature, and discoveries which for a while it may be conducive to the ends of justice not to publish. These it is proposed to enter in a book accessible only to the Secretaries of State, and the police magistrates.
It is proposed that accounts of offences of magnitude, in other parts of the country, should be sent up to the central police office and be arranged in a similar manner.
Upon this plan, a complete history of all the depredations committed in and about the metropolis, and the principal ones in the country, would be brought to a focus daily, and with similar facility (as far as might be deemed expedient) be made known throughout the kingdom. Information being given any morning at a police office, of the commission of a murder, forgery, theft, cheat, escape from prison, breach of trust, desertion from the army, or other offence, and on the discovery of property supposed to be stolen; within a few hours afterward, that is, in the afternoon of the same day, an account of the fact, together with a description of the delinquent's person, if he be ascertained and not in custody, would be circulated at every police office, and in a great number of public and private houses in the metropolis, and be on its way by the post to every town of note in the kingdom. It is proposed, that as well as the notifications above alluded to, each police office should send for insertion a brief epitome of the examinations of the preceding day, particularly marking such as as are likely to be useful to the public, as for instance, the description and acts of apprehended cheats and robbers, detained for further examination. Information of this kind is doubly useful, by bringing forward witnesses against the culprits, and putting the unwary on their guard.
An authentic and comprehensive registry of offences, upon the above plan, would be very interesting and generally read. On account of this attraction, it is conceived that the proprietor of a newspaper would find his account in contracting to publish the police reports without any charge, and the registry of informations at prime cost only; then supposing that Government would forego or allow a drawback on the stamp duty, on the issue of such papers as were sent to the accredited agents of Government, and that they amounted to 400, such a number of newspapers, at threepence each, issued daily (Sundays excepted) for a year, would amount to 1565/.; and supposing that the informations in the whole averaged 200 lines daily, the printing at 2d. a line, would not exceed 2627. a year. The whole expen
ses of this system of publication, therefore, need not much exceed 18001. a year, or 20001. including the salary of a clerk for keeping the registry.
Upon this plan it is submitted, that a really “effective Hue and Cry” may be raised, and that such an instrument of detection, together with a regular and vigilant Day, as well as Night patrole, summary powers for checking the beginnings of crimes, a simplified code and prompt administration of laws, and an abolition of agreeable punishments and prison associations, would soon render the trade of dishonesty so precarious, disagreeable, and dangerous, as to be deemed no longer worth following.