A deduction from the statistics of crime for the last twelve years
Citation:Walsh, Richard Hussey. 'A deduction from the statistics of crime for the last twelve years'. - Dublin: Dublin Statistical Society,Vol.1, Part VII, 1856, pp385-393
Both in ancient and modern times it has been generally believed that want is unfavorable to virtue, and privation (malesuada fames) an incentive to crime. But a counter-theory is now growing up, and becoming, in fact, "rather a favourite one with chaplains, magistrates, and police officials. "According to this, the belief that want is the parent of crime must be numbered among popular fallacies; and statistics are relied on to prove that prosperous years are more prolific in vice than years of distress. The Rev. Mr. John Clay, for example, chaplain of Preston gaol, countenances this view in his "Reports on Crime and its Causes" and Mr. Waddington, Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, cites, with apparent concurrence, an opinion to the same effect, in his evidence before last session's Parliamentary Committee on Transportation. The evidence upon which this doctrine is based is of a most inconclusive and unsatisfactory nature. The statistics employed relate to very limited districts, and hence it is hardly safe or fair to apply to the entire population of the country the inference they seem to lead to.
Publisher:Dublin Statistical Society
Series/Report no:Journal of the Dublin Statistical Society
Vol.1, Part VII, 1856
Description:Read before the Statistical Section of the British Association, Cheltenham, August 11th, 1856