England: Scotland Yard Versus New Scotland Yard (and Other History)

So, it seems that, in very recent times (e.g. 2000’s), you hear “Scotland Yard” (London’s policing agency) being referred to as “New Scotland Yard”. I am also going to clarify a few things for the sake of us confused Americans.

Scotland Yard (any variation of this title) is actually a metonym for the Metropolitan Police Service (also called the “Met”), which polices “most” of London. A “metonym”, which is an awesome word in itself, is a figurative label for something else, like when Americans refer to “Washington” but mean the US Government or, at least, those who management it.

Scotland Yard has jurisdiction within London but not outside of it. The name “Scotland Yard” comes from the name of the street (“Great Scotland Yard”) on which the rear entrance was located at the original address (4 Whitehall Place) before moving in 1890.

When it moved, it changed its name to “New Scotland Yard”. So, it has actually been named that for about one-hundred-and-twenty years. As of 2013, they are going to be moving back to their original location. That property is, and has always been, owned by the Met. Now, they will be taking-back the original name “Scotland Yard”.

After all of that time, they will be returning to the location and name of their birthright. I am not English, but I am a history buff and that is pretty cool.

I believe this is the Great Scotland Yard street, now:


Other Interesting Things

  • When the main organization originally moved out of their Whitehall building, they found a dismembered female body and this case was never solved.
  • The Met senior management team uses a crime system called HOLMES (“Home Office Large Major Enquiry System”) and a training system (for HOLMES) called “Elementary”. Both are, obviously, homages to Sherlock Holmes.
  • Both the “Diplomatic Protection Group” (a special operations branch of the Met; also referred to as “Ranger”) and security personnel patrol the exterior.


Scotland Yard

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s