In the immediate post-war period, the only courts that operated in Hong Kong were the military courts, presided over by a barrister or solicitor attached to the Legal Branch of the administration. The ‘crime problem’ was seen locally as having much to do with Hong Kong’s ‘peculiar geographical position and its land and sea frontier with turbulent and unsettled China. According to Strickland, Acting Attorney General, ‘these immigrants commit crimes very shortly after they have entered the colony’. The crowded urban areas experienced the major problems of housing, unemployment, poverty and crime. The sense that many of the less serious crimes of the era were committed out of economic necessity is evident in official reports of the time. The Hong Kong Yearbook for 1955 stated quite plainly that the government saw over-population and economic distress as the main causes of what it saw as the high crime figures for the year.