Scotland Yard

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The Metropolitan Police senior management team, who oversee the service, is based at New Scotland Yard, along with the Met's crime database. 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, yet apocryphal, phrase "elementary, my dear Watson". Administrative functions are based at the Empress State Building, and communication handling at the three Metcall complexes, rather than at Scotland Yard.

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.

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 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 Hercule Poirot series.

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