Harold Scott (police commissioner)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Harold Scott

15th Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis
In office
1 June 1945 – 13 August 1953
Preceded bySir Philip Game
Succeeded bySir John Nott-Bower
Personal details
Harold Richard Scott

(1887-12-24)24 December 1887
Banbury, Oxfordshire, England
Died19 October 1969(1969-10-19) (aged 81)
Minehead, Somerset, England
Spouse(s)Ethel Mary Golledge (m. 1916)
Alma materJesus College, Cambridge
OccupationCivil servant

Sir Harold Richard Scott GCVO KCB KBE (24 December 1887 – 19 October 1969) was Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police from 1945 to 1953.

Scott was born in Banbury, Oxfordshire and brought up in Bruton, Somerset. He was educated at Sexey's School and later Jesus College of the University of Cambridge. In 1911, he joined the Home Office as a civil servant, where he worked in various capacities including Secretary to the Labour Resettlement Committee (1918–1919) and Chairman of the Prison Commission (1932–1939). With the outbreak of the Second World War, Scott's work took on a more military capacity, as he joined London's Civil Defence Administration until he was appointed as Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Aircraft Production in 1943.

In late 1944, the Home Secretary Herbert Morrison asked Scott to accept the post as Metropolitan Police Commissioner when the war was over. The appointment in 1945 caused a stir in police circles—Scott was the first Commissioner without a police or military background since Sir Richard Mayne (who had been a lawyer when appointed). Unlike all subsequent commissioners, he was not a career police officer.

Scott's administration background served him well in some of the more managerial aspects of the Commissionership, and he managed some considerable cost savings for the Met. He also improved the public relations outlook of the service, including granting Ealing Studios unprecedented assistance in the production of the film The Blue Lamp, which was to lead to the TV series Dixon of Dock Green, which painted a rosy view of the Metropolitan Police fostered by Jack Warner's portrayal of genial PC George Dixon.

Scott presided over several high-profile cases during his time with the Met, including the Derek Bentley trial for the murder of police officer PC Sidney Miles.

In 1951, Scott introduced a police cadet training scheme for young people aged between 16 and 18.

Scott retired in 1953, and thereafter wrote several books related to crime and policing including The Concise Encyclopedia of Crime and Criminals (1962).


Police appointments
Preceded by
Air Vice-Marshal Sir Philip Game
Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis
Succeeded by
Sir John Nott-Bower