'The darker side': a speculative survey of Scottish crime during the first half of the nineteenth century

Donnachie, Ian (1995). 'The darker side': a speculative survey of Scottish crime during the first half of the nineteenth century. Scottish Economic and Social History, 15(1) pp. 5–24.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3366/sesh.1995.15.15.5

Abstract

The findings of this paper suggest some parallels with Rude's conclusion for England that acquisitive crime tended to respond to short-term economic factors, such as falls in wages or higher prices, whereas more serious or violent crimes were not so closely linked to economic factors. As in England and some parts of Europe there was a general decline in offences against the person. There was a great deal more anti-authoritarian crime than previously supposed (riot, combinatiion, deforcemnt and game offences. There proved to be a consistent relation between population density, degree of urbanisation, relative poverty and criminality. More than half the crimes occurred in the five most populous counties - Glasgow and Edinburgh the most crime-prone. The typical offender was working class, young and poor, men outnumbering women three to one.

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