[ Attorney General Cummings spent some weeks in Europe in the summer of 1935, studying the law enforcement and procedure of several countries against the background of the operations of his own department. Ed.]
RECENTLY I have been engaged in examining the methods of criminal law administration in three of the countries of Western Europe--Great Britain, Belgium and France. I embarked upon this tour of study in the hope of obtaining information that might be utilized in the war on crime at home; to learn how the problem presents itself in other countries, and to ascertain what methods have been there devised to deal with it; and in the still further hope that, through a comparison of foreign methods with our own, I might have a more acute understanding of the reasons for our failures and a sounder confidence in the reasons for our successes.
The first place I visited was Scotland Yard. It is a virile and efficient organization, splendidly officered and admirably conducted. It is the coordinating factor in the varied police forces of England and Wales. The bulk of its work, however, is confined to policing London. Its investigative excursions outside of that area are infrequent, and assistance is not rendered to local authorities except upon specific request. It is under the general supervision of a cabinet minister responsible to Parliament.
The personnel of Scotland Yard numbers more than 20,000 men, including about 1,000 detectives assigned to the famous Criminal Investigation Department, the C. I. D. known to popular fiction. Its annual expenditure runs to about $35,000,000.