Criminals of Bombay
Notes on criminal classes in the Bombay Presidency.
With appendices regarding some foreign criminals who occasionally visit the Presidency. Including hints on the detection of counterfeit coin. Bombay printed at the Government Central Press 1908
First edition. Small 4to (25 x 18 cm), pp.xii, 340, , 19 plates. A very good copy in original cloth, title gilt to upper board and spine. Bookplate, ownership inscription, dated 22 April 1910, and notes to endpapers, of Robert A. Scott Macfie.
Michael Kennedy was the Deputy-Inspector General of Police, Railways and Criminal Investigation in the Bombay Presidency, and compiled these notes as a practical aid for police officers in India. Each criminal group is described in great detail. Kennedy identifies their areas of operation and travel, type of criminal activity, tools and methodologies used, distinctive aspects of speech and dialect, as well as any slang or written signs employed, and the means by which they dispose of stolen property. Among the groups identified are Banjaras, Berads, Bhamptas and Rajput Bhamptas, Bhils, Chapparbands, also known as fakir coiners, Katkaris, Kolis from Mahadeo and Gujerat, Mangs, Mianas, Pathans, and Berias. The plates are largely photographic illustrations of the different criminal groups and their usual appearance and disguises. A section of plates at the end depict tools and weapons associated with particular groups. Macfie's notes are largely concerned with the similarities between Indian criminal groups and European Roma.