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see an imperious duty for them to perform, in increasing the duties on gin and other distilled liquors; then having in these and other respects cleared their own path, there would at once be most consistency and most prospect of success in attacking the very germ of crime, and adopting a system of payment to those employed to suppress, precisely in inverse ratio to the number, amount, and malignancy of crime committed. On this head permit the digression of asking-wouldany.onein his sober senses begrudge to the primary conservators of the peace of society, the same sum for keeping us clear of crime as is now spent in detection, support while in confinement, prosecution, and punishment, with all their auxiliaries? Nay,so impressed is the writer with the importance of this feature of jurisprudence, much as it may be sneered at for its novelty, that, as an Englishman, he would even be willing to give a contract to judicious honourable men, as police officers, to pay them what these things had previously cost annually, and increasing in proportion to the increase in population, deducting, not the expenses
that still occurred, but a per centage upon
the amount stolen, never for one penny of this by any means to be paid to the sufferer, lest some should be so base as to complain where they had not suffered, for sake of the return; but this per centage, deducted from the salary or amount of contract, should operate in the relief of the contract fund, and a specific scale of reduction also for every other offence committed in the district—as murder, rape, assault, &c. the heinous offences to be provided against by a far higher ratio of reduction in the amount of salary, than the smaller offences; this would make it the interest of every police-officer to look after every irregularity that was accustomed to lead to crime, and to be most vigilant in the most fertile sources of crime, and those that led to the most mischievous sorts of crime. It would be their interest to look vigilantly after the public excitements to prostitution, to public drunkenness, to receivers of stolen goodsit would encourage them to a watchful and judicious care over those persons who had no obvious means of procuring a livelihood (no
novel practice), and particularly juvenile offenders. Now it is impossible to deny that this system would make it the interest of police officers to hunt out offenders with all their powers; and it is notorious, that with the present system the number and heinousness of offences committed in a district, do, from various causes, increase the income of the officers of that district; and if this plan be adopted, and it so turn out from increased vigilance, rational and tangible laws, and the spread of religion, justice and benevolence, that in any district the offences were reduced to little or nothing, it should be considered a point of honour not to reduce the terms of the police; for, if they could keep their district in order, who would be better deserving of their salary? and what honest and rational creature could for a moment doubt of the obvious fact, that it must needs be better to pay any given sum for the prevention of crime, than the punishment of crime; nay indeed we may go further, for as the laws of England declare that the sole motive, for punishment is to deter from subsequent crime, it would
be obviously better to pay the money for actual prevention, than to get all the present committals, trials, sentences, and punishments performed for nothing; for crimes do increase in a greater ratio than population:--and whatever may reasonably be urged in favour of the present system, must apply with more force to any more innocent yet more efficient
If this feature be adopted, the duties of police-officers must be committed to them with very clearly defined bounds; for, as they will become a party in the case, and every disorder is committed against them also, and impoverishes them, they may sometimes exhibit more zeal than prudence, both in the prevention and apprehension departments; however, they will have sense enough to discover that the prevention department will be the nail for them to drive with the most effect; and they must be placed under the surveillance of a superior power, not however allowing that to possess vexatious hindrances. If the per centage on all crimes be the medium of reduction, it should be rather low; but if a maximum of amount of stolen property be taken at, say one-fourth of the present amount in that district, and the offences against the person on the same standard, it is clear the per centage they should be liable to on the excess beyond the said rate, should be a high per centage.
The whole country should be divided into districts, containing about fifty to one hundred thousand inhabitants each, and adhering to parish boundaries as much as possible, so that it should rarely happen that any parish formed parts of two districts, except where caprice had picked out distant spots from the bulk of the parish, disregarding even wide rivers, and other natural, obvious, good boundaries.
In each district there should be an office of record, all complaints should as speedily as possible be lodged there, and copies of all the statements forwarded to the nearest police-office immediately: where the office of record was not near any police office, the inconvenience, though great many ways, would be partly obviated by the post-office, and each police officershould be allowed to communicate