News of the Time: Dangerous Classes more prone to doing evil at certain periods

… the ‘dangerous classes’ are found more prone at certain periods to one phase of evil doing than another. Whether it be the imitative propensities of our species will of themselves furnish a solution, or that the phenomena are attributable to laws, hitherto occult, regulating crime like the atmospheric agencies which influence plague and pestilence. The fact remains indubitable that we find now quite a glut of secret poisonings, now of burglaries, now of forgeries, now of incendiaries, and so forth. By this rule, garrotting is assuredly to be considered the type-offence of these days, for to this mode of assault, murderous as it is dastardly, our scoundrels most especially devote their energies. The whole press, with the Thunderer of Printing House Square at its head, has been no less loud and energetic in denouncing a state of things so dangerous to the public safety, than industrious in seeking for causes and remedies alike.

O’Neill, Gilda. The Good Old Days: Poverty, Crime and Terror in Victorian London (p. 41). Endeavour Press. Kindle Edition.

Related Entries