A practical aid for policing the "criminal" groups 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 including frontis. A very good copy in original cloth, gilt. Professionally re-backed with original spine preserved. Corners and spine lightly bumped. Bookplate, ownership inscription, dated 22 April 1910, and notes to endpapers, of Robert A. Scott Macfie.
Michael Kennedy (1859-1932) was the Deputy-Inspector General of Police, Railways and Criminal Investigation in the Bombay Presidency at the time he wrote this publication, and later became the Inspector-General of Police. He joined his brothers as a Companion of the Order of the Star of India in 1911, and retired in 1915 after thirty-two years service and earning three medals including the King's Police Medal. He compiled these notes as a practical aid for identification by police officers in India. Each criminal group is described in great detail, encompassing those within Bombay and those outside that infiltrate into Bombay. Kennedy identifies their areas of operation, type of criminal activity etc., but also more cultural aspects such as the distinctive aspects of speech, clothing, and subtle variations in customs. 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, including examples of fake coin moulds. Robert Andrew Scott Macfie (1868-1935) was one of Britain's leading Roma/Gypsy experts who revived the Gypsy Lore Society and was the key man behind its Journal until his death. Macfie's notes in this work are largely concerned with the similarities between Indian criminal groups and European Roma.