Things You Didn’t Know About Scotland Yard

3 min readSep 26

They weren’t always an easy outfit to work for.

Creative Commons: Leonard Bentley

For many of us, what little bit of knowledge we have about Scotland Yard comes from watching British crime dramas. Generally speaking, it seemed like Scotland Yard needed help from some brilliant outside source to solve a crime. Often that brilliant outside source was Sherlock Holmes.

The other image of Scotland Yard we might have is their inability to solve the Jack the Ripper murders. Despite that, they really were and are able to solve crimes. So, here are some things you might not have known about Scotland Yard.

1: Even though Scotland Yard’s jurisdiction is limited to London, law enforcement agencies throughout England stay in touch with them to get assistance.

Mostly they call to get Sherlock Holmes phone number. Wait, being told that’s not true or funny.

2: Charles Dickens occasionally accompanied patrolmen on their rounds.

Well, actually he ate at the same doughnut shops. What? Being told that’s too cliche.

3: In 1877, the “Trial of the Detectives,” proved an embarrassment to The Yard.

During the trial, it was revealed that The Yard had some dirty officers. Thankfully, Frank Serpico was able to expose the corruption. Huh, oh that was the NYPD. Never mind.

4: In the early 1900s, The Yard instituted the Metropolitan Police Fingerprint Bureau.

It made it easier to finger criminals.

5: No patrol officers from The Yard carried guns until 1994.

Barney Fife would have been considered a SWAT guy. Even now, 90% of patrol officers don’t carry guns. That’s due, in large part because criminals don’t generally have guns.

6: The Yard has an elite group known as ‘Super Recognizers.”


You probably don't know my name, but have likely seen my work. I'va written for numerous syndicated cartoon strips and my gags have appeared in national pubs.