Police Museum celebrates over 175 years of policing in the Square Mile
Valuable and rarely-seen items from the City of London Police’s archives will tell the story of the force’s history at a new museum, which opens at Guildhall on Monday 7 November.
The City of London Police Museum will take visitors on a unique journey, which includes the last hours of one of Jack the Ripper’s victims; bomb damage during the Blitz; and the force’s current work to combat economic crime, cybercrime and terrorism.
The purpose-built museum is a collaboration between the City of London Police and the City of London Corporation’s Guildhall Library, which is situated next to the new museum. Digital installations were designed and produced by staff and students from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, who worked in partnership with the City of London Corporation (which owns the School) to provide cutting edge content to the new Museum. The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) awarded a grant of around £90,000 towards the development of the museum and associated community engagement. Admission to the museum is free and there will be a series of special events and a range of merchandise available.
The City of London Police has been responsible for policing the Square Mile since 1839. At just over one square mile, it is one of the smallest police districts in the world. Over the course of its 177-year history, the force’s priorities have remained the same: the prevention, detection and prosecution of crimes in order to protect the people, buildings and businesses of the City. It is also the UK’s leading police force for fraud and economic crime.
The main stories highlighted by the Museum will include:
- Catherine Eddowes, who was murdered by Jack the Ripper in 1888. Ms Eddowes had been arrested earlier in the evening for drunkenness, and then released in the middle of the night. Catherine will be brought back to life as a virtual hologram.
- The Houndsditch Murders that claimed the lives of three City of London Police officers, who were investigating strange noises coming from a house in Houndsditch. They had stumbled on an attempted robbery of a jewellery shop by a gang of anarchists. It remains one of the largest losses of life or injury of police officers on duty in the UK.
- The model of the building where murders took place will be on display. It was made by City of London Police for use at the Old Bailey trial of the gang members.
- A virtual 3D animation of one of the original automatic Mauser pistols, which is still classed as a lethal weapon. [NB: the original gun will not be on display at the Museum].
- The recruitment of women into the force with an initial intake of one female police sergeant and six female police constables.
- The two World Wars and their impact on policing, along with the display of photographs of bomb damage taken by City of London Police Officers, Arthur Cross and Fred Tibbs.
- The City of London Police as current holders of the Olympic Gold for the Tug of War, which it won in 1920. The event was dropped from the following Olympics, so the force remains reigning champions.
- Terrorism - from some of the earliest examples of home-made bombs to what is in place today. Also home-made weapons confiscated by the City of London Police.
- The technological progress of communications - from the old days of VHF radio to modern 4G technologies.
- Police uniforms and kit as it evolved during the force’s history.
- The force’s animals. The City of London Police has nine horses and since the 1940s, over 70 horses have served in the force. Mounted officers patrol the City of London to prevent criminal activity and provide public assurance. Alongside the mounted unit, the force has a number of dogs, trained in various specialist skills – from finding drugs to public order management.
City of London Police Commissioner Ian Dyson said:
“We are a unique force and everyone who works here is incredibly proud to serve the City. This museum illustrates much of what makes us special, our partnerships, our close links to our communities and most significantly, a long history that entwines us with the Square Mile and London.”
Sara Pink, Head of the City of London Corporation’s Guildhall Library and City Business Library, said:
“The museum will certainly attract a wide range of visitors, including City workers, residents, tourists and crime historians. From the horrors of Jack the Ripper’s murders in Whitechapel to how all of us must be extra-vigilant about identity fraud and terrorism, the exhibits will bring the personal stories and issues alive.”
The City of London Corporation, which owns and manages Guildhall Library, invests £80m every year in heritage and cultural activities of all kinds. It is the UK’s largest funder of culture after the government, the BBC, and the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Notes for Editors:
For interview and image requests, please contact:
Andrew Buckingham, Media Officer, City of London Corporation
Tel: 020 7332 1452 / Mobile: 07795 333060 / Email firstname.lastname@example.org
About the City of London Corporation:
The City of London Corporation is a uniquely diverse organisation. It supports and promotes the City as a world leader in international finance and business services and provides local services and policing for those working in, living in, and visiting the Square Mile. It also provides valued services to London and the nation. These include the Barbican Centre, Barbican Music Library, Guildhall School of Music & Drama, Guildhall Library, Guildhall Art Gallery and Roman Amphitheatre, London Metropolitan Archives, a range of education provision (including three City Academies); five Thames bridges (including Tower Bridge and Millennium Bridge), Central Criminal Court at Old Bailey, over 10,000 acres of open spaces (including Hampstead Heath and Epping Forest), and three wholesale food markets. The City of London Corporation is London’s Port Health Authority and also runs the Animal Reception Centre at Heathrow. For more details, visit www.cityoflondon.gov.uk
About the City of London Police:
The City of London Police is responsible for policing the City’s business district, the ‘Square Mile’ in the historical centre of London. In addition, it holds national responsibility for Economic Crime and under this remit is host to Action Fraud (the national fraud and cybercrime reporting service), the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department and the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit. The City of London continues to be one of the safest urban areas in the country.
About the Guildhall School of Music & Drama
The Guildhall School is a vibrant, international community of young musicians, actors and theatre technicians in the heart of the City of London. Twice-rated No.1 specialist institution in the UK by the Guardian University Guide, and recently selected as one of the top ten institutions for performing arts in the world (QS World University Rankings 2016), the School is a global leader of creative and professional practice which promotes innovation, experiment and research, with over 900 students in higher education, drawn from nearly 60 countries around the world. It is also the UK’s leading provider of specialist music training at the under-18 level with nearly 2,500 students in Junior Guildhall and Centre for Young Musicians. The School is widely recognised for the quality of its teaching and its graduates, and its new building, Milton Court which opened in September 2013, offers state-of-the-art facilities to match the talent within its walls, ensuring that students enter their chosen profession at the highest level. Milton Court is part of the unique Guildhall School/Barbican partnership delivering world-class arts and learning.
About the Heritage Lottery Fund:
Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about - from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings that we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. www.hlf.org.uk @heritagelottery