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One very important section of the denizens of Darkest England are the criminals and the semi-criminals. They are more or less predatory, and are at present shepherded by the police and punished by the gaoler. Their numbers cannot be ascertained with very great precision, but the following figures are taken from the prison returns of 1889:-

The criminal classes of Great Britain, in round figures, sum up a total of no less than 90,000 persons, made up as follows:-

Convict Prisons contain 11,660 persons
Local Prisons contain 20,883 persons
Reformatories for children convicted of crime 1,270 persons
Industrial Schools for vagrant and refractory children 21,413 persons
Criminal Lunatics under restraint 910 persons
Known thieves at large 14,747 persons
Known receivers of stolen goods 1,121 persons
Suspected persons 17,042 persons
Total 89,046 persons

The above does not include the great army of known prostitutes, nor the keepers and owners of brothels and disorderly houses, as to whose numbers Government is rigidly silent.

In Darkest England and the Way Out, General Booth, October 1890.

Page updated March 12, 2008

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