Scotland Yard: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

New Scotland Yard, London

New Scotland Yard (NSY) is the headquarters of the Metropolitan Police, responsible for law enforcement within Greater London, excluding the City district, which is covered by the City of London Police and the London Underground, the responsibility of the British Transport Police.

The current New Scotland Yard building is located within Westminster. Administrative functions are based at the Empress State Building, and communication handling at the three Metcall complexes, rather than Scotland Yard.



The name of the headquarters is derived from its original location on Great Scotland Yard, a street within Whitehall. The origin of the name is unknown. It has been suggested that the site was once used as a diplomatic mission owned by the kings of Scotland, prior to the 1707 Union of England and Scotland; or that the street was owned by a man called Scott during the Middle Ages; or that stagecoaches bound for Scotland once departed from the street.[1]

By the 17th century the street had become a site of government buildings, with the architects Inigo Jones and Christopher Wren living there. From 1649–1651, the poet John Milton lived there during the Commonwealth of England under Oliver Cromwell's rule.

The Metropolitan Police was formed by Home Secretary Sir Robert Peel with the implementation of the Metropolitan Police Act, passed by Parliament in 1829.[1] Sir Robert Peel selected the original Scotland Yard for the new police headquarters, with the help of Eugène-François Vidocq. By 1829 the building was occupied by police, housing the first two Commissioners, Sir Charles Rowan and Sir Richard Mayne.[1] The two Commissioners, along with various police officers and staff, occupied 4 Whitehall Place with one entrance being used as a police station, leading to the headquarters being known as "Scotland Yard" after its address.[1]

The original New Scotland Yard, now called the Norman Shaw Buildings

Over time the service outgrew its headquarters site, and new headquarters were built on the Victoria Embankment, overlooking the River Thames, south of what is now known as the Ministry of Defence HQ. In 1888, during construction, workers discovered the dismembered torso of a female, believed to have been a victim of the Whitechapel murders perpetrated by "Jack the Ripper"; the case has never been solved. In 1890 construction police headquarters moved to the new location, which was named New Scotland Yard. By this time, the Metropolitan Police had grown from its initial 1,000 officers to about 13,000 and needed more administrative staff and a bigger headquarters. Further increases in the size and responsibilities of the force required even more administrators, and in 1907 and 1940, New Scotland Yard was extended further. This complex is now a grade I listed building.

By the 1960s the requirements of modern technology and further increases in the size of the force meant that it had outgrown its Victoria Embankment headquarters. In 1967 New Scotland Yard moved to the present building at 10 Broadway, which was an existing office block acquired under a long-term lease; the first New Scotland Yard is now called the Norman Shaw (North) building, part of which is used as the headquarters for the Metropolitan Police's Territorial Policing department.

Scotland Yard's telephone number was originally Whitehall 1212, which became famous. Most London area police stations and Scotland Yard itself still have 1212 as their last four digits.

The original building at Scotland Yard was taken over by the British Army after the Metropolitan Police moved out. Rebuilt, it became an Army recruitment office and Royal Military Police headquarters, complete with cells in the basement. It was bombed by the Provisional IRA in 1973, killing one person. It subsequently became the Ministry of Defence Library until 2004. The only surviving element of the original Scotland Yard is the Metropolitan Police stables next door, at 7 Great Scotland Yard.

The Metropolitan Police's crime database is housed at New Scotland Yard. This uses a national IT system developed for major crime enquiries by all UK forces, called Home Office Large Major Enquiry System, more commonly referred to by its acronym, HOLMES (which recognises the great fictional detective Sherlock Holmes). The training program is called "Elementary", after Holmes's well-known phrase "elementary, my dear Watson".

A number of security measures were added to the exterior of New Scotland Yard during the 2000s, including concrete barriers in front of ground-level windows as a countermeasure against car bombing, a concrete wall around the entrance to the building, and a covered walkway from the street to the entrance into the building. Armed officers from the Diplomatic Protection Group patrol the exterior of the building along with security staff.

The Metropolitan Police senior management team, who oversee the service, is based at New Scotland Yard.

On 30 May 1884, during the Fenian bombing campaign of 1883 to 1885, an anonymous letter was sent threatening to bomb Scotland Yard and all other government buildings in Central London. On the night of 30 May an explosive device was placed on a urinal outside Scotland Yard, and later detonated causing severe damage to the CID and Special Irish Branch offices. Later the same night another bomb exploded outside a club in what used to be Sir Watkin Wynn's house, and another was found placed at Nelson's Column.

Popular culture

Scotland Yard Detective Stories magazine, issue 12, 1930

In popular usage the term Scotland Yard (sometimes New Scotland Yard) is often used as a metonym for the Metropolitan Police, occasionally for the entire UK police-force.

Scotland Yard has become internationally famous as a symbol of policing, and detectives from Scotland Yard feature in many works of crime fiction. They were frequent allies — and sometimes antagonists — of Sherlock Holmes in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's famous stories (see, for instance, Inspector Lestrade). It is also referred to in Around the World in Eighty Days.

Many novelists have adopted fictional Scotland Yard detectives as the heroes or heroines of their stories. John Creasey's stories featuring George Gideon are amongst the earliest police procedurals. Commander Adam Dalgliesh, created by P. D. James, and Inspector Richard Jury, created by Martha Grimes are notable recent examples. A somewhat more improbable example is Baroness Orczy's aristocratic female Scotland Yard detective Molly Robertson-Kirk, known as Lady Molly of Scotland Yard. Agatha Christie's numerous mystery novels often referenced Scotland Yard, most notably in her Poirot series.

During the 1930s, there was a short-lived pulp magazine called variously Scotland Yard, Scotland Yard Detective Stories or Scotland Yard International Detective, which, despite the name, concentrated more on lurid crime stories set in the United States than anything to do with the Metropolitan Police.

Scotland Yard was the name of a series of cinema second features made between 1953 and 1961. Introduced by Edgar Lustgarten, each episode featured a dramatised reconstruction of a 'true crime' story. Filmed at Merton Park Studios, many of the episodes featured Russell Napier as Inspector Duggan. The series was succeeded by The Scales of Justice, which dealt with a similar theme. In the comedy series Batman, the caped crusaders in England meet members of "Ireland Yard"- clearly a spoof of Scotland Yard. Scotland Yard is briefly mentioned in the opening of the second act of Broadway musical Jekyll & Hyde in the song entitled "Murder, Murder", about the catching of a murderer.

Fabian of the Yard was a television series filmed and transmitted by the BBC between 1954 and 1956, based upon the career of the by then retired Detective Inspector Robert Fabian. It focused on the subject of forensic science, which at the time was in its infancy. Fabian usually appeared in a cameo shot towards the end of each episode.

A long running gag to end skits in Monty Python's Flying Circus is a policeman in a tan raincoat and a fedora bursting in, and announcing themselves as "so-and-so of the Yard."

See also


External links

Coordinates: 51°29′55″N 0°07′59″W / 51.49861°N 0.13306°W / 51.49861; -0.13306


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary



Wikipedia has an article on:



From the address, originally at Great Scotland Yard off Whitehall, then at New Scotland Yard on the Embankment, and (currently) at New Scotland Yard in Westminster.

Proper noun

Scotland Yard


Scotland Yard (uncountable)

  1. The headquarters of the Criminal Investigation Department of the London Metropolitan Police Force.


Simple English

File:New scotland
New Scotland Yard, London

Scotland Yard is a police force in the United Kingdom. This organisation is also called the Metropolitan Police. They are responsible for the security in Greater London. With over 31'000 officers Scotland Yard is the largest task force in the United Kingdom. A particularity is that some policemen are on a horse. New Scotland Yard is in a 20-story office block on Broadway and Victoria Street in Westminster, about 450 metres away from the Houses of Parliament. The famous rotating sign, which is seen on television and in films, is outside the main doors on Broadway.

Founded on 29 September 1829, on a street off Whitehall, Scotland Yard was called "New Scotland Yard" when moved, in November 1890,[1] to the Victoria Embankment, beside the Ministry of Defence. In 1967, New Scotland Yard moved to the present 20-story building at 10 Broadway.

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