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Nor has the extensive Commerce in Timber and Grain been less benefited, by the collateral cheeks to the pillage to which these branches have been exposed. The detections and the punishments which have taken place, operated powerfully in diminishing the great losses which were annually sustained.

In the importation of Fruits, Wines, Dye Stuffs, Brandies, Gin, and other Liquors, considerable benefits have been derived from the security which the Police established, in overawing Delinquents, who turned their attention to this species of plunder; and particularly those, who, by means of Jiggers, Tin Tubes, Skins, and Bladders with nozles, were accustomed to draw off and purloin large quantities of Liquors.

The Coasting Trade has also shared in the general advantages which have arisen by the dissolution of these numerous Criminal Confederacies, whose depredations extended to this, as well as all other Commercial Property.

But the Coal Trade, in particular, has obtained advantages which only require to be understood, in order to demonstrate that the benefits extend not only to original Owners and Coal Merchants, but also to every consumer of this species of Fuel, whose supplies depend on the importation into the River Thames. The important reform of the excessive abuses which prevailed in this Trade, is rendered manifest by a candid and fair comparison of the state it was in, before and since the existence of the Police

lice System. The prevention of the excessive Pillage in the Colliers, and the consequent abolition of public Markets, for the sale of plundered Coals, and the check given to the daily and nightly depredations which were committed in the Coal Barges, will be best explained by the following public testimony:


At a general Meeting of the Buyers and Factors of Coals, in the Port of London, held this Day, at the Gun Tavern, Billingsgate-Dated the 9th January, 1799.

It was resolved, that it is the opinion of this Meeting, that the Pillage of Coals, in the River Thames, has been considerably prevented by the exertions of the Marine Police Office, which exertions, it is hoped, will be continued in future. It is likewise determined, that a copy of the above resolution shall be sent to the Office, signed by the Chairman.

(Signed,) J. R. WOOD, Chairman.

To the firmness, temper, and humanity, which, from the first moment, have been displayed in resorting more generally to scasonable admonitions, than to the example of punishment, is to be attributed the very general sense which an unpolished race of men entertains of the former turpitude of their conduct; and the important change which has been brought about, with respect to offences of this nature.

Such has been the effect of this very limited experiment, with respect to the various articles imported into the River Thames.

It has been supposed, that the extensive robberies



committed on outward-bound Cargoes, have arisen in part, or at least have considerably increased, in consequence of the numerous gangs of thieves being cut off from the other resources of pillage, which they formerly possessed in so eminent a degree, and almost without check or control; but it is known from recent evidence, that offences of this nature have long existed, and been carried on to a great extent; and that the detection and discovery of this species of plunder is, in a peculiar manner, to be attributed to the general influence of the system of River Police.

It is not however unlikely, that certain classes of Delinquents, who had been long accustomed to profit by the privilege they assumed of plundering homeward-bound Cargoes, and who perhaps, trusted to this as a means of enabling them to indulge in luxuries and extravagance above their station, (and not within the compass of their fair earnings,) may have availed themselves of the very unprotected state of outward-bound Cargoes, in committing acts of depredation, which would not have taken place had not other resources failed.

Be this as it may, the records of the Institution shew, that the detection of Offenders in this line of Plunder has been more numerous, during the short period since the Marine Police was established, than for many years before and if that vigilance which has produced these discoveries, and the examples which followed, can have any influence in overawing Delinquents,

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Delinquents, and in preventing a repetition of the same mischief, the Export Trade in common with the Imports, has derived benefit from the security which has been thus afforded.

It must be admitted, that these benefits and this security can only at present be considered as partial, since the effective part of the System as yet applies only to one branch of Trade, to the protection of which the Civil Force is chiefly directed. This however, admits of an easy remedy; namely, an extension of the Design to the whole Commerce of the Port. The propriety of a measure so salutary, even without the various lights which this Treatise throws upon the subject, has already engaged the attention, and excited the exertions of many of the most respectable characters, in whom the Commercial Body place their chief confidence; but the details and explanations which relate to the various remedies which ought to be applied for the purpose of eradicating the evil, and rendering the security permanent and complete, will be reserved for another Chapter.



Considerations on the National advantages of the Marine Police Institution:The benefits which would arise from an extension of the same design, to every Commercial Port where extensive Trade is carried on:-Exemplified in the instance of Liverpool, and the River Severn.-The benefits to the State demonstrated, in the preservation of the duties on Stolen Property; in the check given to illicit Trade; and in the protection afforded to Naval, Victualing, and Military Stores.-The sense entertained by the Commissioners of the Navy, of the deficiency of the Laws, and of the want of a proper Police, with respect to this species of Property.Specific detections of the pillage and embezzlement of Public Property.-Reasons for estimating the saving to the Revenue under the establishment of the Marine Police, at not less than £.150,000 à year:-The security it also affords against conflagration by Incendiaries.-Concluding Observations.


In all instances where internal regulations operate beneficially to bodies of men or individuals, an essential advantage results to the Nation at large.

In this point of view, the Marine Police Institution


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