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CHESHIRE STANDING JOINT COMMITTEE.…

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CHESHIRE STANDING JOINT COMMITTEE. » A. quarterly meeting was held on Satur. ,day at Chester Castle, Colonel France- Say hurst presiding. CHIEF CONSTABLE'S REPORT. The Chief Constable submitted a return of crime for the quarter ended 31st August. 1900. The total number of persons apprehended and Summoned was 3,115, of which number 30 were committed for trial, 2,528 summarily convicted, Bad 557 discharged. Of the number summarily convicted 2,211 were fined, and of this number 223 were allowed time to pay. One hundred and sixty-nine persons were sent to prison in default of payment of fine, six of such after having been allowed time to pay. In comparison with the corresponding quarter of 1899, there was an increase of 29 apprehended and a decrease of 242 summoned, the former ftused by offences of begging and immorality, and the latter by fewer cases under the High- way Act, drunkenness, county bye-laws, &c. When compared with the same period of 1895 there was an increase of 120 apprehended and a decrease of 212 summoned, the increase arising from drunkenness, larceny simple, begging, &c., and the decrease from fewer offences under the Rabies (Muzzling of Dogs) Order. Twenty licensed houses were proceeded against, 12 being convicted (no licences endorsed), and 8 dismissed, as against 26 proceeded against, 15 convicted (one conviction removed on appeal), 3 licenses endorsed, and 11 dismissed in August quarter last year, and 13 proceeded against, eight convicted (no licences endorsed), and five dismissed during the same period of 1895. During the year ended 29th September, 1900, 57 licensed houses were proceeded against, 38 convicted, one licence endorsed, and 19 cases dismissed (one of the convictions was quashed on appeal), being a decrease of seven proceeded against when compared with 1899, and an in- crease of 14 when compared with 1895. There Was a decrease of 104 persons proceeded against for drunkenness during the year 1900 when compared with 1899, and a decrease of 28 when compared with 1895. The Brewster Sessions recently held throughout the county resulted in an increase of six wines and spirit licences to existing beerhouses, &c.; eight wine and spirit licences to grocers, chemists, &c.; and a de- crease of one full licence and two beerhouses "on." AN UNSATISFACTORY FEATURE. The Chairman said he noticed there was one unsatisfactory feature about the Chief Constable's report. There was an increase of drunkenness in females as compared with last year. He did not know whether there was any reason for it. Alderman James Smith regretted to notice that in North Wirral there appeared to be a larger percentage of drunkenness than in any other district. It had been said previously that that was partly due to the number of excursionists who came in the summer months, and that it was not entirely due to the residents. He should like to know if the Chief Constable could give any reason for it. The Chief Constable admitted that it did seem rather an excessive number as compared with the population of other districts. He could not give any particular reason. Alderman Smith said it was a district which was visited largely by excursionists. Possibly the police were more zealous. The Chief Constable pointed out that of the 120 proceeded against in North Wirral during the quarter, 110 were convicted by the magi- strates, which shewed that the police had only been doing their duty. TRAGIC DEATH OF A CONSTABLE. Alderman John Thompson referred to the death of a constable who, it was stated, had died at Liscard from the effects of eating bad meat supplied to him while on duty at Altrincham election. The Chief Constable said dinners were pro- vided for the men, and one of the constables afterwards died. The inquest had been opened, and it was stated by the doctor who attended the constable that death was due to the eating of bad meat. The inquest was adjourned, and what the result would be he could not tell. Mr. Killick asked who was responsible for the catering. The Chief Constable said the catering was put into the hands of a local man, and he provided a meat meal in the middle of the day and tea in the afternoon, and the money for that came from a special duty allowance to constables. It was a very sad thing. There was no complaint made of it at the time; all the men seemed to have eaten the meat. He remembered that young constable when he (the Chief Constable) was there in the afternoon. The deceased came off duty and said his stomach ached. That was the last time he was on duty, and it must have been then two or three hoars after eating the food.. Alderman John Thompson: Was there not another constable ill ? The Chief Constable: Tes, there was another constable ill. Alderman John Thompson: Were there not other complaints made ? The Chief Constable: Not to my know- ledge. Captain Congreve: How many partook of this meat ? The Chief Constable said about 50 men were on duty and the superintendent in charge partook of the meat. Captain Congreve: It is an extraordinary thing. The Chairman said as the coroner's jury had not yet decided upon their verdict, it was hardly time to discuss the matter. Alderman John Thompson said they were only asking for information. A PAINFUL AFFAIR. The Rev. C. Wolley-Dod wished to call attention to a matter connected with the police of the Broxton division. The matter was referred to at the Malpas District Council meeting, and in a report of the proceedings one of the Chester news- papers had used the sensational head- line "Alleged Police Scandal." He found on enquiry there was no ground whatever for any such allegation, and he wished to make a brief statement of the facts. On the 11th of September, during very hot weather, a man died suddenly. The duty of the constable in such cases was to give notice by letter by the next post to the coroner. It was too late to send the facts by that night's post, but they were forwarded on the Wednesday, and the coroner would receive it on Thursday morning. The Coroner fixed Friday afternoon for the inquest, and there was no doubt that the body by that time was in an offensive condition. Indignation was expressed, but the constable was not to blame. The late coroner preferred that the police-constable should visit him in person, but this proved inconvenient in many ways. The late Dr. Churton was very likely not in at the time, and the constable was kept waiting several hours. The new Coroner asked that the information should be sent in by post, and this was the arrangement at present. His (the speaker's) own suggestion was that the policeman might have sent notice by telegraph. That he believed might have been done if there had been anything urgent in the case, but there was no reason to suppose that there was anything urgent. It was unfor- tunate that the weather was so hot, but there was no doubt that the body was in an offensive condition. He had thought it right to make that statement to shew there was no blame whatever attachable to the police con- stable, who acted according to the coroner's orders. The Chairman thought the constable might have telegraphed on the Wednesday morning. Then a whole day would not have been wasted. Alderman Tomkinson, M.P., thought the quickest means should always be taken to com- municate with the coroner. The matter then dropped. IMPROVEMENTS AT CHESTER CASTLE. At a meeting of the Chester Castle Courts and County Buildings sub-Committee, Mr. H. Beswick (county architect) had submitted the following report upon the progress of the works being carried out to the parade ground behind the courts at Chester Castle. The works now being carried out on the site of the old prisons are well advanced. The terrace wall is almost completed, and the new parade ground is ready to receive the macadam. The roadway from Shipgate-street to the parade ground has been formed in the position, and to the incline required by the artillery corps, and the new entrance gates to Shipgate street are being built. The ground below the terrace and inside the City Walls has been filled up by the Chester Corporation and is nearly at the proper level. The openings have been made in the City Walls and the old prison wall is nearly all removed. The new road has been set out and will now be proceeded with." He had also laid before the committee plans and sections of the new road now being con- structed by the Town Council. The committee resolved that the fencing of the land belonging to the county, from the new road, be approved, and the county architect be authorised to carry out the same at an estimated cost of 2300, and the Town Council be requested to construct a fence 'of a similar character upon their side, being the opposite side of the new highway. It was also resolved, That the county architect be authorized to have planted at the proper time, the county land abutting upon the proposed new highway, and on the same level thereof, and also the portion of the county land near Shipgate-street, and which first-mentioned land the committee has agreed to plant and maintain as an ornamental ground, at a cost of approximately the sum of X75." The Clerk had laid before the committee a letter from Colonel Wilford Lloyd thanking the committee for the use of the cells as offices, and for improvements to the entrance gate and roadway. Sir Horatio Lloyd moved the adoption of the report, and a suggestion was thrown out that the land might be sown with grass. Sir Horatio explained that as there was no further use for the old gateway in the City Walls after the construction of the new highway, it was pro- posed to build it up. Mr. H. Lyle Smyth explained that if a kerb had not been necessary, the cost would certainly have been very much reduced. He seconded the motion. The Rev. C. Wolley-Dod said he should be very sorry to see the estimates cut down to effect an improvement which would not be becoming the old city. The motion was carried. It was decided to connect the public water supply with the police-stations at Neston and Ellesmere Port, to allow the widow of ex-con- stable John William Lodge a sum of X.54 16s. 6d. he having died within a year from the date on which his pension was granted; and to allow Constable Samuel Lowndes an annual pension of R52 16s. on his retirement, after a service of over 25 years.

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