Tuesday, August 02, 2005


Sorry for the lapse in contributions to this site. For a very long time I was trying to make two postings a week; that was reduced to approx one per week, which was reduced even less these past few months. Trying to keep the quality, at the expense of quantity � but what can I expect for a one-man operation? If you have any interesting stories, insights, investigative bookmarks or interesting sites � pass them along! I could use the help!



These past several weeks � unfortunately � we have seen a lot in the news regarding policing in the city of London. For all the wrong reasons, for sure.

I�d like to help add a little policing history for readers. We are all bound together in this brotherhood, throughout the world, regardless of the country or the language you may speak � policing is policing.


The original headquarters of the Metropolitan Police was a house at 4 Whitehall Place, not far from Trafalgar Square, but the rear entrance, which the public used, was in Scotland Yard.

Great Scotland Yard still exists as a street today, and the building is used as stables for some of the Metropolitan Police Mounted Branch.

When the Metropolitan Police were being established in 1829, one of the first tasks was to find a building to act as the new headquarters. The building was at 4 Whitehall Place.

The new building was adjacent to the Public Carriage Office where a Commissioner was already responsible for the licensing of taxi cabs. When the public went to see the new Commissioners, they used the back entrance of 4 Whitehall Place the rear of which was converted into a police station. The reception area soon became known as "Back Hall", an expression still used today in the headquarters of the Metropolitan Police. This entrance was in Great Scotland Yard, off Whitehall, and the building soon became known as Scotland Yard.

By 1890 a new headquarters had been needed for many years, and the Metropolitan Police moved into a new building, designed by Norman Shaw, on Embankment. The building was to have been the site of an opera house, but the project had been abandoned when partly built. the new building was faced with granite quarried by prisoners on Dartmoor, and a female body, the victim of an unsolved murder, was found in the basement of the building, which became known as New Scotland Yard.

In 1967, the Metropolitan Police again moved headquarters to their current address of 10 Broadway, London, SW1H 0BG, on a site which also borders on Victoria Street. The name "New Scotland Yard" was retained.


In 1829, when Sir Robert Peel was Home Secretary, the first Metropolitan Police Act was passed and the Metropolitan Police Force was established.

This new force superseded the local Watch in the London area but the City of London was not covered. Even within the Metropolitan Police District there still remained certain police establishments, organised during the eighteenth century, outside the control of the Metropolitan Police Office.

The Metropolitan Police Service is famed around the world and has a unique place in the history of policing. It is by far the largest of the police services that operate in greater London (the others include the City of London Police and the British Transport Police).
The Royal Parks Constabulary have now become part of the Metropolitan Police Service.

Founded by Sir Robert Peel in 1829, the original establishment of 1,000 officers policed a seven-mile radius from Charing Cross and a population of less than 2 million.

Today, the Metropolitan Police Service employs 30,235 officers, 11,966 police staff, 493 traffic wardens and 1392 Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs), and, since the realignment of police boundaries in April 2000, it covers an area of 620 square miles and a population of 7.2million.

The Met works in conjunction with neighbouring forces but has particularly close relationships with the other forces that police in London:

The British Transport Police, who are responsible for policing on the rail and tube systems.

The City of London Police, who cover the area within the 1-square mile boundaries of the Corporation of London.

The City of London Police is responsible for the safety of everyone in London's 'Square Mile'. There are about 6,000 residents in the City of London although this number is swelled daily by an influx of some 350,000 commuters, as well as people traveling through and tourists.The Force is organized into six command areas. The two territorial divisions, based at Snow Hill and Bishopsgate, are responsible for the day-to-day policing of the City.

Fifty per cent of Force staff work from these police stations, and their functions include giving crime prevention advice, investigating crime, patrolling, staffing the traffic and environmental zone, and dealing with public enquiries.

About 1,200 people work for the City of London Police. Around one third of these are civilian support staff performing a wide range of professional, administrative and some operational support roles.

The Term �Scotland Yard� refers to the officers of the Metropolitan Police Department.


The Homicide Command is split geographically into three units (West, East and South), each led by a Detective Chief Superintendent.

Each of the Command Units has nine Major Investigation Teams (MITs), consisting of 33 staff, led by a Detective Chief Inspector (DCI), who performs the role of �senior investigating officer' (SIO) as well as Homicide Task Force per unit. The Detective Chief Inspector is similar to our NYPD Squad Commander.

The MPS is the only police service in the UK to have a Chief Officer nominated to oversee all homicide investigations and develop policy in this area.

The Homicide Command is responsible for the investigation of homicide and other serious crimes in London.

The work of the Homicide Command is supported by several specialized teams. These include:

The Murder Review Group Joint Trials Unit Coroners Officers and pathologists Forensic Science Services Other specialist support units

The Major Investigation Teams investigate:

* Murder, manslaughter and infanticide offences.
* Attempted murder, where the evidence of intent is unambiguous or where a risk assessment identifies substantive risk to life.
* Missing persons or abductions, where there is a substantive reason to suspect life has been taken or is under threat.
* Other investigations identified for specialist needs.

In addition, the teams provide advice for the MPS and other police forces on 'High Risk' situations such as missing people.

The Homicide Task Forces proactively conduct work in terms of murder suppression and 'man hunts' for murder suspects.

The Murder Review Group acts as an oversight on murder investigations, as well as a catalyst for the �Cold Case� investigation.

They review undetected murder investigations, with the objective of increasing public trust and confidence in the way the MPS investigates murders.

This Unit employs a mixture of serving and retired experienced detectives to undertake detailed reviews of undetected murders, looking for investigative opportunities that may lead to a breakthrough.

The MRGs achieve this by identifying, introducing and sustaining best practice. The focus of reviews is twofold:
� to ensure that all investigative opportunities are identified and progressed;
� to ensure compliance with the Murder Investigation Manual.

Think of it as the Compstat Review for murder investigations on a regular basis!

Reviews of new undetected homicide investigations are undertaken four weeks after commencement. The unit also undertakes �cold case reviews', examining old cases for new investigative opportunities, particularly taking into account advances in forensic science.

Note that retired detectives serve on the Murder Review Group as well � certainly a suitable use of experienced talent!


The prefix detective; is given to officers who have been assigned to investigative work after completing the appropriate selection and training. Detective ranks parallel uniformed ranks and range from Detective Constable to Detective Chief Superintendent.

The entry level, Constable, is followed by Sergeant then Inspector, with Chief Inspector next up on the chain of command.


During a recent visit to New York by some visiting Metropolitan Police investigators (Scotland Yardies, or just Yardies, as they�re known), I had the opportunity to discuss homicide investigations, and the role of the Squad Commander in London policing.

I learned that the major task of the Squad Commander (the Detective Chief Inspector) was to commit to writing his/her �Investigative Plan�.

Enacted several years ago, this is intended to be used to show at what stage an investigation is currently in, and what facts are being utilized to determine the next stages of an investigation.

This task consumes the majority of the commander�s time � even more than we spend providing Compstat updates to the armies that require them!

The Detective Commander must, in writing, indicate what course of action he has directed the Detective Inspector to pursue, and what his reason for this is based on.

Try and think what that would involve on your investigations, and you can get a small understanding of the magnitude of this task.

In this manner, the reason why a particular person may be brought in for an interview must be delineated, what the basis of this interview will be about, and what is hoped to be obtained � all committed to a written report by the Commander.

A cumbersome task for sure!


The word "Police" means, generally, the arrangements made in all civilised countries to ensure that the inhabitants keep the peace and obey the law. The word also denotes the force of peace officers (or police) employed for this purpose.

In 1829 Sir Richard Mayne wrote:

"The primary object of an efficient police is the prevention of crime: the next that of detection and punishment of offenders if crime is committed. To these ends all the efforts of police must be directed. The protection of life and property, the preservation of public tranquillity, and the absence of crime, will alone prove whether those efforts have been successful and whether the objects for which the police were appointed have been attained."

In attaining these objects, much depends on the approval and co-operation of the public, and these have always been determined by the degree of esteem and respect in which the police are held. One of the key principles of modern policing in Britain is that the police seek to work with the community and as part of the community.


London police officers are commonly referred to as "bobbies".

Where did this come from?

The first organised police agency in Great Britain was the Metropolitan Police Force, in London, that was begun in 1829. The founder of the agency was the Home Secretary for Great Britain, Sir Robert Peel.

These officers, who worked for Sir Robert Peel, were affectionately called "Bobbies" in his honor.


While we�re discussing policing in Great Britain, I came across this following item, put together by John Reilly, that seems to be a nice segue from London to America.

Have you ever heard of Evacuation Day?

Evacuation Day was established on November 25, 1783. This was the First Day of American Law Enforcement in New York City and the United States.

What does it refer to?

The name alone is enough to make some people squirm. But few anniversaries are of greater historical worth here, or offer more reason to give thanks.

On that date in 1783, British forces finally left American soil. They sailed out of New York Harbor, abandoning the city that was their headquarters during the American Revolution and clearing the way for George Washington's troops to move in uncontested from the north. That, one could say, was the start of full independence for the United States.

Today, not only is it no longer observed, but for most people it�s never even been heard of. For many decades, though, Evacuation Day was a huge deal in this city, bigger even than Thanksgiving.


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Aug 1, 1913 Ptl Bernard O�Rourke, 146 Pct, Dragged by horse
Aug 2, 1922 Lt Albert Duffy, HQDiv, Explosion investigation
Aug 2, 1966 Ptl Edward Monzillo, Mcy2, Auto pursuit
Aug 2, 1979 Sgt Michael Russell, 75 Pct A/C, Shot:Off duty arrest
Aug 4, 1913 Ptl Patrick Cotter, 65 Pct, Shot making arrest
Aug 4, 1928 Ptl Arthur Fash, 52 Pct, Electrocuted
Aug 4, 1953 Ptl Henry Ergen, 79 Pct, Assaulted
Aug 5, 1927 Ptl Hubert Allen, 52 Pct, Auto accident on patrol
Aug 6, 1861 Ptl David Martin, 2 Pct, Stabbed during burglary
Aug 6, 1917 Ptl Robert Holmes, 38 Pct, Shot, robbery in progress
Aug 6, 1925 Det Richard Heneberry, DD, Shot-GLA arrest
Aug 6, 1926 Ptl Oscar Oehlerking, 9 Pct, Shot-robbery in progress
Aug 6, 1935 Ptl Thomas Burns, 5 Pct, Injured on patrol
Aug 7, 1927 Ptl. William Goddy, 7 Pct, Line of duty injury
Aug 7, 1928 Sgt James Barry, 9A Pct, Auto accident on patrol
Aug 8, 1926 Ptl Frank Murphy, Mcy Dist, Shot-GLA arrest
Aug 9, 1930 Det Harry Bloomfield, 44 Sq, Shot by prisoner
Aug 11, 1926 Det John Singer, DD, Shot by prisoner
Aug 11, 1937 Det Isadore Astel, MODD, Shot � Robbery in Progress
Aug 11, 1937 Ptl John Bosworth 43 Pct, Trolley Car accident
Aug 11, 1937 Ptl Joseph McBreen ESS10, Building collapse
Aug 11, 1949 Ptl George Connelly 19 Pct, Line of duty accident
Aug 12, 1952 Ptl James McGillion 34 Pct, Shot during investigation
Aug 12, 1966 Ptl Harold Levine Mcy2, Motorcycle accident
Aug 14, 1924 Ptl Frederick Thomas 9 Pct, Shot-robbery investigation
Aug 14, 1980 PO Harry Ryman 60 Pct, Shot-investigation