Forbrytelse og straff
crime and punishment
With so many new people in the town, unsure necessarily of the laws of the land, it was inevitable that there were instances of wrong-doing. Remarkably, however, there were no serious offences committed during the war in the town. In the early months of the war, after the initial influx of Danes and Norwegians, there were are steady stream of appearance before the Burgh's Police Court for breaking the curfew on aliens which was set at 10.30pm.
On 20 June 1940, Kristian Magnus Rore, Peter Kristiansen, Karl Larsen (c/o of Mrs Legge, 36 Low Street) and Kaarlo Thiim (belonging to MB Masen) all appeared for breach of the curfew and were fined ten shillings. Kristian Magnus Rore appears not to have learned his lesson because he was back before the Police Court on 4 July alongside Halder Pettersen and Paul Brendal for another breach of curfew. Einar Leofred Holm was similarly fined on 22 August 1940.
There were a number of instances of drunken brawls and breach of the peace, and public nuisance. Most of them fairly trivial.
Some names appear only once, others appear slightly more frequently. Most of the matters that Police Judge Macdonald or Bailie Scott dealt with were low-level. Although they did once express annoyance with one particular Danish fisherman who appeared before him rather too frequently for drunk and disorder.
Very occasionally the drunken brawls were of a more serious nature requiring a charge of assault to be brought which usually resulted in a fine in the region of £4 or twenty days in prison as an alternative. Most choice the fine.
Occasionally, the court reports sounded somewhat surreal.
Bailie Hendry was on the bench at Buckie Police Court on Tuesday when Alf Martin Waage, seaman, 24 Bruce Avenue, Buckie and Konrad Johan Halleraker, soldier, were charged that on Monday, 14th July, at the Townhouse they did wilfully and maliciously kick and damage the front door and forcibly remove the brass key-hole cover, bawl and shout and commit a breach of the peace. Waage was also charged with committing a nuisance and resisting apprehension. Both pled not guilty and the case was adjourned till the next day.
Sadly their sentencing was not reported.
Generally, as the war progressed things settled down and in 1944 and 1945 there were noticeably fewer appearances before the Police Court. This was in line with a general reduction in recorded crime in the town during the second half of the war.
The vast majority of misdemeanours which did find their way before the bench were minor and often the result of the "consumption of too much intoxicating liquor".
Being out beyond the curfew was one thing, if found to be heading home to the registered address. Staying out all night was a different matter as Oscar Magnusson, one of the Swedes found. A night away from his registered abode led to £2 fine. Two Danes were similarly fine at the same sitting of the Police Court. However, the regulations for the Norwegians had been relaxed in this respect, doubtless to the annoyance of the Danes and Swedes.
The accused was charged with throwing down a glass bottle in Cluny Square on 10th July. Accused pled guilty by letter although the Fiscal said at first the accused had state that the bottle was accidentally dropped on the pavement. Accused, however, was seen throwing the bottle on the pavement, and they knew what that might mean to passing buses where there was a shortage of rubber.