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article imageScotland Yard vice squad gets new politically correct name

By Lynn Curwin     Oct 24, 2010 in Crime
London - Scotland Yard's Vice Squad has been given a new name, which certainly does not evoke the same image. It is now officially known as Serious Crime Directorate 9: Human Exploitation and Organised Crime Command, or SCD9.
The Obscene Publications Unit, also known as the "Dirty Squad", is also part of the SCD9.
The Telegraph reported that Metropolitan Police sources said one of the reasons for the change was because it was felt word vice had negative connotations.
"The jargon of modern policing, with all the numbers and letters, is confusing for the public and probably for people in the police as well,” The Telegraph quoted Alan Moss, a police historian and former Met chief superintendent, as saying.
"I think the names of different squads should bear the name of what they do, and the crime they are trying to combat."
The Vice Squad was established in 1932 as "8 Area Clubs and Vice Unit." During World War ll it temporarily operated out of a pub because its headquarters was being used by the Aliens Registration Office.
"We are very proud of our heritage but the team and I are very comfortable with the new name because it reflects the changing nature of what we do," Detective Chief Superintendent Richard Martin, head of SCD9, was quoted as saying by The Telegraph.
"Our role is constantly evolving. While once the unit just dealt with on-street prostitution we now tackle international trafficking in highly complex covert operations."
A Scotland Yard spokeswoman said that reorganisation had taken place to ensure they could support victims and investigate traffickers, and that the former Clubs and Vice team, which had previously been within Central Operations, moved over to the command of the Specialist Crime Directorate. She said the new name reflects it changed work remit.
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