Scotland Yard (officially New Scotland Yard) is a metonym for the headquarters of the Metropolitan Police Service, the territorial police force responsible for policing most of London.
The name derives from the location of the original Metropolitan Police headquarters at 4 Whitehall Place, which had a rear entrance on a street called Great Scotland Yard. The Scotland Yard entrance became the public entrance to the police station, and over time the street and the Metropolitan Police became synonymous. ''The New York Times'' wrote in 1964 that just as Wall Street gave its name to New York's financial district, Scotland Yard became the name for police activity in London.〔Farnsworth, Clyde H. "Move is planned by Scotland Yard," ''The New York Times'', 15 May 1964.〕
The force moved away from Great Scotland Yard in 1890, and the name New Scotland Yard was adopted for subsequent headquarters. The current New Scotland Yard is located on Broadway () in Victoria and has been the Metropolitan Police's headquarters since 1967. In 2013, it was announced that the force will move back to the Curtis Green Building, the former site of Scotland Yard, which is located on the Victoria Embankment in 2015, and will be renamed Scotland Yard.
Commonly known as ''the Met'', the Metropolitan Police Service is responsible for law enforcement within Greater London, excluding the square mile of the City of London, which is covered by the City of London Police. Additionally, the London Underground and National Rail networks are the responsibility of the British Transport Police. The Metropolitan Police was formed by Robert Peel with the implementation of the Metropolitan Police Act, passed by Parliament in 1829.〔 Peel, with the help of Eugène-François Vidocq, selected the original site on Whitehall Place for the new police headquarters. The first two commissioners, Charles Rowan and Richard Mayne, along with various police officers and staff, occupied the building. Previously a private house, 4 Whitehall Place () backed onto a street called Great Scotland Yard.
By 1887, the Met headquarters had expanded from 4 Whitehall Place into several neighbouring addresses, including 3, 5, 21 and 22 Whitehall Place; 8 and 9 Great Scotland Yard, and several stables.〔 Eventually, the service outgrew its original site, and new headquarters were built () on the Victoria Embankment, overlooking the River Thames, south of what is now the Ministry of Defence's headquarters. In 1888, during the construction of the new building, workers discovered the dismembered torso of a female; the case, known as the 'Whitehall Mystery', was never solved. In 1890, police headquarters moved to the new location, which was named New Scotland Yard. By this time, the Met 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 structure known as the Norman Shaw Buildings.
The original building at 4 Whitehall Place still has a rear entrance on Great Scotland Yard. Stables for some of the mounted branch are still located at 7 Great Scotland Yard, across the street from the first headquarters.
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