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The History of the Metropolitan Police Service

officer saluting

Historical Timeline
A comprehensive history of the Metropolitan Police from 1829 to the present. In these pages you will find descriptions of famous and lesser known events throughout the history of The Met as well as biographies of key figures and details of famous cases.
All images are property of the Metropolitan Police Museum

Roll of Honour
As a tribute to the many members of the Metropolitan Police Service who have given their lives in the course of policing London, the names contained in the Roll of Honour are set out here

A Brief Definition and History of Policing
A short description of the evolution of policing from distant origins in Saxon times to the founding of the Metropolitan Police in the 19th century.

Frequently Asked Questions
A list of the questions most frequently asked of us by members of the public, together with answers. A mixture of historical and non-historical topics.


Metropolitan Police Museums

The Crime Museum
The Crime Museum at Scotland Yard is the oldest museum in the world put together purely for recording crime.

The Historical Archives
The archive collection includes items reflecting the life of London, often as seen through the eyes of the Police Service dealing with social change in the city streets and ordinary lives of people at times of crisis.

The Metropolitan Police collections are not currently open to the general public but plans are underway for many items to go on exhibition at a new policing museum to be established at the old Bow Street police station.


Stories from the Crime Museum

Jack the Ripper
The enduring mystery of a famous series of murders that took place between 1888 and 1891.

The Brighton Trunk Murders
Gruesome discoveries at two railway stations began a notorious double murder case.

The Notorious Dr Crippen
The shocking case of a murdered wife which provided a historic instance of a criminal being caught with the aid of radio.

The Antique Shop Murder
A senseless and brutal killing that led to the first use in Britain of the 'Identikit' technique.

The 'Brides in the Bath' Murders
Zealous detective work that finally solved the intricate case of a serial adulterer and wife killer.


discovery of a Ripper victim

Available for purchase

History of the Receiver
A short history of the post of Receiver for the Metropolitan Police Service covering the last 170 years is available for purchase.

Metropolitan Police Memorabilia
A link to the separate Metropolitan Police Athletic Association website, where you can find details about Met Police memorabilia

The Official Encyclopedia of Scotland Yard
by Martin Fido and Keith Skinner. This definitive encyclopedia covers 170 years of Scotland Yard's policing history, illustrated with over 250 images from the Metropolitan Police archives. Buy online by clicking here (once at the web-site type "Scotland Yard" in the search box).