Useful Notes: Scotland Yard
— Current official motto
The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), the police force of most
of Greater London
(the tiny City of London has its own, separate police force despite being only a Square Mile). Metropolitan is from Metropolis, meaning "Capital City".
The HQ of the Met is at New Scotland Yard, just opposite St. James' Park tube station. This is actually the second New
Scotland Yard. (The name comes from the fact that the original HQ had a public entrance opening onto Great Scotland Yard, a street which got its name for housing the diplomatic mission of the Kingdom of Scotland in Tudor times
.) The force is divided into borough commands, each having a two letter code seen on officer's shoulder numbers.
The Met Police is one of the two UK forces led by a Commissioner as opposed to a Chief Constable. This is currently Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe.
In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when few police forces outside London had trained detectives, they would often call on Scotland Yard to send one to investigate any serious crime whose perpetrator wasn't obvious or where a suspect was socially important enough to make arresting them embarassing for a local cop (the real-world source of the Smith of the Yard
trope). This is very rare now in Real Life
unless you were dealing with a wandering Serial Killer
and even then, real-life local forces would object
. However, it often appears in works with contemporary settings by American authors whose knowledge of British police procedure still comes mostly from Agatha Christie
or Dorothy L. Sayers
Rules for inclusion here:
- They must be the stars.
- The force must be identified as the MPS on screen or in dialogue.
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- The Gideon novels by "J J Marric" (actually a pseudonym of the hyper-prolific John Creasey), which are often viewed as the first British Police Procedurals.
- John Devil by Paul Féval
- The Alleyn novels of Ngaio Marsh.
- The Daisy Dalrymple novels by Carola Dunn. Daisy persists in tripping over bodies and almost invariably ends up calling in Cheif Inspector Fletcher of the Yard. This is made easier later in the series after they marry.
- The Detective Joe Sandilands, by Barbara Cleverly, stars Detective Sandilands of the Metropolitan Police, although he's seconded to the Bengal Police when first introduced.
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