Scotland Yard, the common name for the headquarters of the London Metropolitan Police Force and, especially, its Criminal Investigation Department (CID). The CID is responsible for criminal investigations throughout Greater London. It is known the world over for its effectiveness. The primary concern of the Metropolitan Police Force is the policing of London. Special activities include protection of royalty, cabinet ministers, and distinguished foreign visitors; keeping fingerprints and criminal records for all persons convicted in England and Wales; and assisting other police forces outside its jurisdiction when asked.
The Metropolitan Police Force was established by Robert Peel in 1829. Its headquarters was situated in an area where visiting Scottish kings had traditionally been housed. The name Scotland Yard comes from this location. A new headquarters building near the Houses of Parliament was occupied in 1890 and named New Scotland Yard. In 1967 New Scotland Yard was moved to a location near Westminster Abbey.