It’s all because of a story, more precisely a character named Shana George. She happens to be a Special Investigator with the Scotland Yard in their Specialist Operations Counter Terrorism Command. I moved Shana to Martha’s Vineyard as part of the Scotland Yard Exchange Program with Boston (that’s a whole other story). But before I wrote this romantic suspense novel, The Beachcombers, I had to do some research. I had to find out all about women of Scotland Yard.
What do women really do at Scotland Yard? The answer is: Everything.
From Matrons to Women’s Police Service to their current day status as Officers, women can now be found in every role in the Metropolitan Police Service—more commonly known in the states as Scotland Yard
It all started in 1983 when a female visitor was appointed in 1883 by the then Metropolitan Police Force to attend to female convicts. Six years later, fourteen more women were hired and they were called the Matrons. In 1914 Scotland Yard set up women patrols known as Voluntary Women Patrols to control all the women coming to town to hang around army camps. Then in 1918 when women were given the vote—women over 30 that is—the Met started recruiting women officially to deal with female criminals and children.
In 1922, When women officers were cut, Mr. Shortt M.P. said in the House of Commons that policemen’s wives could do Women Police Work. Lady Astor retorted that police did not choose their wives for patrolling streets or escorting prisoners. . In 1923 fifty officers were re-sworn, and this time with full powers of arrest.
Fast forward to the 1970s, with attitudes toward women changing, women officers were mixed with the men on all shifts and departments and new specialist mixed gender teams. Today women officers are assigned to every role within the Service including some of the highest ranks.
Of course Shana George is a superstar with “skills” and you can read all about that in The Beachcombers and in the Beachcomber Investigations series books including the most recent release, Beachcomber Wedding.