Mayor announces plans for permanent Policing Museum in London

09 October 2015

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson today confirmed that talks are underway to secure a permanent home for the public display of the Metropolitan Police Service's collection of artefacts.

The proposed Policing and Crime Museum will bring together one of the most extraordinary collections of police related memorabilia in the world. There have been calls for a permanent public exhibition about the history of the Metropolitan Police to open for many years, but its unique collection is scattered across London, much of it behind closed doors.

A major show opening this week at the Museum of London, suggests there is significant demand. The Crime Museum Uncovered is, for the first time, putting on public display a selection of around 600 pieces from the New Scotland Yard collection. Hundreds more objects, papers and other items exist, telling the incredible history of the world's oldest police force and the new museum will enable the general public to see it for the first time.

Paying a visit to the exhibition at the Museum of London this morning, the Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: 'It is astonishing that, despite being the birthplace of modern policing, there is no major museum telling the history of our first public service and the men and women who keep London safe every day. The huge public interest in The Crime Museum Uncovered demonstrates public appetite for learning about the world's oldest police force. I am thrilled that, working with the Museum of London and the Metropolitan Police, we are coming closer to delivering a new world-class museum for London.'

Following talks with the Metropolitan Police Commissioner and Deputy Mayor for the Mayor's Office for Policing And Crime, the Mayor hopes to confirm details of the Crime Museum's location in the next few months. It is expected that the new museum will be delivered in partnership with the Museum of London. Funding for the new museum will be sought from a number of sources, including corporate and private sponsors.

As well as being a significant new cultural attraction for the capital, the new institution will be an important educational resource, offering insights into the history and work of one of the biggest police forces in the world.

Museum of London Director Sharon Ament said: 'We are thrilled that a new police museum will be delivered by the Metropolitan Police and MOPAC in partnership with the Museum of London. We are currently advising on the initial plan and in the coming months we will also be sharing what we have learnt from our experience of the Crime Museum Uncovered which opens today. We look forward to what will certainly be a successful addition to London’s cultural landscape.'

Stephen Greenhalgh, Deputy Mayor for Policing, said: 'This new museum will show how London's police force has since its formation responded to the changing demands of serving one of the biggest cities in the world. It is an opportunity to tell the stories not only of the criminals, but the police officers who investigated these crimes, and to learn about what the Metropolitan Police are doing on a daily basis do to fight crime, bring criminals to justice and keep the public safe.'

Assistant Commissioner Martin Hewitt said: 'We are delighted at the announcement of plans to open a major museum detailing the history of the Metropolitan Police Service. 

'We will continue to work closely with MOPAC and the Museum of London in the initial planning for this project, and look forward to highlighting the fantastic work of the men and women of the Metropolitan Police Service in a permanent setting.'

Details about a location for the Policing and Crime Museum will be confirmed in due course. In the meantime, anyone wanting to get a taste of what it might contain is encouraged to visit the Crime Museum Uncovered. It runs until 10 April 2016.

Notes to editors

  1. The Crime Museum Uncovered

The Crime Museum Uncovered opens on Friday 9 October 2015 at the Museum of London. For the very first time, the exhibition allows the general public to see objects from the Metropolitan Police's Crime Museum, which was established by the police as a teaching tool in the mid-1870s and was previously only accessible to police professionals and invited guests.


Using evidence from real-life criminal investigations the exhibition – created in partnership with the Metropolitan Police Service and the Mayor's Office for Policing And Crime (MOPAC) – examines the changing nature of crime and advances in detection over the last 140 years, while also giving voice to the real people behind the crimes; victims, offenders and police officers alike. The Crime Museum Uncovered will also seek to dispel some of the myths that have been incorrectly associated with the Crime Museum over the last 140 years.


For more press information about the exhibition, contact Laura Jackson, Media Officer, Museum of London (0)20 7814 5502 / 07713 565 805 / [email protected] 




The MPS collection is comprised of:


  • The Crime Museum at New Scotland Yard - covering high profile criminal cases and used principally for internal training. This collection has always been closed to the public.

  • The MPS Historic Collections on display at the Metropolitan Police Heritage Centre at The Empress State Building in West Brompton (and in storage) -covering general historical policing material such as uniform and equipment, art collections, weaponry, street furniture as well as records and photographs.

  • Thames River Police Museum at Wapping Police Station - covering river police material including uniforms, model boats, police equipment and punishment books.

  • Mounted Branch Museum at the Imber Court Training Facility, Thames Ditton, Surrey - covering mounted police material including flags, uniforms, livery, awards and trophies.

  • Metropolitan Police Service Historic Vehicle Collection at Hendon - covering historical vehicles, many of which are working and used for special events.


  1. Other units, such as Counter Terrorism and Forensics, have their own collections.


  1. Funding will be sought from a number of sources, including private and business sponsors. The museum will be expected to cover its own costs, without requiring revenue from existing policing budgets. No decisions have yet been taken about the operating model for the museum including, for example, whether there would be an entrance charge.


  1. About the Metropolitan Police Service

The Metropolitan Police Service employs around 32,000 officers together with about 11,000 police staff and 1,700 Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs). The MPS is also being supported by more than 3,400 volunteer police officers in the Metropolitan Special Constabulary (MSC) and its Employer Supported Policing (ESP) programme. The Metropolitan Police Services covers an area of 620 square miles and a population of 8.2 million.


For more information on the history of the MPS visit


For more information about the crime museum visit


Press office contact: Jo Hudson, Corporate Press Team. Met police 24 hour press bureau contact number 020 7230 2171


  1. About the Mayor's Office for Policing And Crime

The Mayor's Office for Policing And Crime (MOPAC) oversees the delivery of the Mayor's Police and Crime Plan, and holds the Metropolitan Police Service and other criminal justice agencies to account for delivering efficient, effective and fair policing and crime reduction in London.


Press office contact: [email protected] / 020 7983 4070


  1. About the Museum of London

The Museum of London tells the ever-changing story of this great world city and its people, from 450,000 BC to the present day. Our galleries, exhibitions, displays and activities seek to inspire a passion for London and provide a sense of the vibrancy that makes the city such a unique place.


The museums are open daily 10am – 6pm and are FREE to all, and you can explore the Museum of London with collections online – home to 80,000 objects with more being added.

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