26 JANUARY 1878, Page 3

Some criminal statistics recently published in the Times greatly discredit

the popular idea that habitual criminals are mainly the product of great cities. In Manchester, no doubt, 16 out of every 10,000 belong to that class, and in Liverpool 11; but in London there are only 4, and in Taunton, sleepiest of little towns, they rise to 17. Of course, the last figure may be accidental, but the proportion of crime, though not, of course, the aggregate mass of crime, in London has always been low, partly from the vigilance of the police, partly from the number of careers open to the inhabitants, and partly from the quicker intelligence which is only generated in great cities. We wish one of our abler statist* would give the world a careful paper on the comparative morality of great capitals and rural districts. It would, we believe; materially alter public opinion upon the subject. Crimea of malignity, in particular, such as fire-raising, flourish chiefly in rural districts and petty towns, as do also rapes and all crimes of violence not dictated by a wish to obtain property.