# 19215

COLQUHOUN, Patrick (1745-1820)

[TRANSPORTATION] Traité sur la police de Londres

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contenant le détail des crimes et délits qui se commettent dans cette capitale, et indiquant les moyens de les prévenir….Traduit de l’Anglais sur la sixième édition. Paris : Léopold Collin, 1807. Two volumes octavo, contemporary red half calf over red boards (rubbed), spines with gilt numbers, decoration and stamped title labels, pastedowns and free endpapers with three late nineteenth to early twentieth century bookplates, pp 424, 466 (clean and fresh), tables (2 folding).

The Scottish lawyer, statistician and public reformer Patrick Colquhoun (1745-1820) was appointed as Magistrate in the East End of London in 1785. In 1796 he published his major work on criminology, A treatise on the police of the Metropolis, which used rigorous statistical analysis of crime and social conditions as the basis for propounding practical solutions to the causes and effects of crime in the capital. Colquhoun’s examination of the penal system provided a sufficiently theoretical model for it to create interest in America and France. The set we offer here is the first French edition of this work, based on the sixth (corrected and enlarged) English edition. Colquhoun put forward radical new ideas such as productive convict labour, the appointment of paid magistrates and the creation of a preventive police force. (In 1798, after intellectual collaboration with the utilitarian philosopher Jeremy Bentham, Colquhoun succeeded in making this last proposal a reality when he founded the Thames River Police, the first preventive police force in Britain, funded by the West India Planters Committees and the West India Merchants to combat crime in the Pool of London). In his discussion of criminal punishment, Colquhoun criticises both the use of prison hulks and transportation to overseas penal colonies. His analysis of the system of transportation to New South Wales concludes that it is much too expensive for the public purse, and suggests improvements which might minimise costs involved. He also argues strongly in favour of utilising the skills or basic manpower of convicts in productive labour, a concept which he not only regards as beneficial to the community but also potentially effective in reducing the incidence of recidivistic behaviour.

Scarce. One example of this edition recorded in Australian collections (SLNSW).