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The results of the investigations into the morality of Hull arising out of the inquires ordered by the Hull Watch Committee were issued this day in the minutes of the Hull Watch Committee, and will be placed before the City Council meeting on Thursday. At the last meeting of the watch committee the Myor, Alderman Crook, (chairman of te Committee), Councillor Robins (deputy Chairman) Councillor Dawson, and the Chief Constable reported that they had considered letters received in reply to the letter written by Councillor Dawson to ladies and gentlemen in the City, and suggestions contained in such letters have been printed and circulated amongst the members of the committee.

The following is part of the letter written by Councillor Dawson.

“You may be a way that, arising out of the disclosures in the Police Court into certain recent cases, is special meeting of the watch committee is being held at my request to consider whether any more effective steps can be adopted for the purpose of checking and preventing the spread of immorality amongst the young people of the city. I am satisfied that the Chief Constable and our police force as a whole are desirous of doing all they can to suppress this evil, and the chairman and members of the watch committee are equally determined to do their best, whilst the teachers in our schools are devotedly day by day trying to in still write ideals of character and conduct, but, of course, we are not infalable and if you have any information which you think would be helpful to the committee or have any criticism to offer, or suggestions to make on the matters above referred to, I shall be obliged if you will let me have the benefit of your fumes at your earliest convenience.”


Among the many suggestions made are the following: -

  1. Teachers in day schools to incubate high ideals of conduct.
  2. The distribution of judicious literature amongst boys and girls.
  3. The supervision of open spaces and the cooperation of the county police with regard to roads and lanes just outside the city boundary.
  4. The keeping of a keen eye on bad literature.
  5. The awakening in parents of the responsibility, and warnings by the police in the case of girls who are known loiterers and offenders.
  6. Drastic steps with known seducers and persons who frequent the streets in the company of young girls for unlawful purposes.
  7. The arrest of persons caught committing acts of indecency in the open roads.
  8. Steps to prevent loitering for improper purposes in the principal streets.
  9. The immediate and strong suppression of brothels and houses of ill fame.
  10. A severe censorship over current literature and especially illustrated papers and postcards.
  11. Constant watchfulness of suspected persons in the streets and the noting of procures movements.
  12. Members of the Vigilance Committee to occasionally visit theatres, music halls, dancing rooms and picture palaces, and report.
  13. Attempts to secure the cessation of parading the streets late in the evening.
  14. The formation of a vigilance committee in each district.
  15. More attention to the housing question, more particularly to the separation of the sexes, and the Housing and Public Health Acts to be more strictly enforced.
  16. The raising of the age of consent to 18 years.
  17. Bands not playing parks after dark, and the parks to be closed on band nights at the same time as other nights.
  18. The establishment of Care Committees and one composed of voluntary workers to help girls by giving definite advice, and by a judicious distribution of literature.
  19. The proprietors of newspapers to be approached with a view to the suppression of accounts and details of objectionable cases.
  20. The sending of a carefully prepared private letter to the parents of every child leaving the elementary schools at the age of 14.
  21. Warnings to be given privately to the parents of those behaving suspiciously, or of young girls keeping company with known prostitutes.
  22. Parents to be induced to keep their children indoors after dark.
  23. Watching the conduct of boys and girls who secretly use the Poste Restante.
  24. Great care in making inquiries before allowing girls to accept situations.
  25. The education through schoolchildren of boys and girls in the fifth standard in the physiology of sex.
  26. The suppression of hooliganism.
  27. Talks to girls in factories in the nature of warnings.
  28. The formation of a “Civic League” as at Bristol and elsewhere, to link up all charitable and moral work.
  29. Specially selected officers to be placed and paying close duty in streets where girls congregate to gain information about their homes, family status of their parents, etc., and to warn girls of danger, visiting of parents, and attendance before the Chief Constable.
  30. The formation of the Voluntary Committee of well-known ladies and gentlemen, to assist in the work.


The following resolutions were passed: -

"That the Chief Constable be requested to consider the question of more police supervision over the lanes and open spaces, and wanting cooperation of the East Riding so far as lanes and open spaces immediately outside the boundaries are concerned."

"That the parks and burial committee be also requested to remove the gates at the end of the avenues leading from the main road into the Pearson Park proper to positions in the line with the fencing so as to exclude persons from such avenues when the Park is closed."

"That the town clerk writes to the Secretary of State suggesting an amendment of the existing law so far as regards carnal knowledge of a girl, by increasing the age from 16 to 18 years, and by repealing the first proviso in section five of the criminal Law Amendment act, 1885 (which makes reasonable cause to believe a girl is 16 or over the defendants)."

"That the education committee be requested to consider the advisability of giving instructions to their teachers to warn children under their care of the moral dangers which they run by being in the streets after dark."

The Hull Times August to 1913

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