Metropolitan Police Museum

Reference code: 
DMPCD 2015 120
Date signed: 
07 October 2015
Authorisation name: 
Stephen Greenhalgh (past staff), Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime

Executive summary

The Mayor has set the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) a target to boost public confidence by 20 per cent. Crucial to this are efforts to reconnect the police force with the city, and the people, that it serves.

Currently there is no credible place where Londoners and visitors can learn about the history of the Metropolitan  Police Service- the oldest in the world- or about the evolution of policing the capital city. Understanding this shared history is vital to bringing the police and the public together.

MOPAC are custodians of a huge amount of material relating to the history of the police and crime­ fighting in the capital and have a duty to maintain and preserve this collection. This aim will be more easily achieved if the collection is used to both educate the public and generate some income for its maintenance.

Currently the collection is either displayed in private museums or in small public sites. Current and potential future changes to the estate mean that it is now considered appropriate to explore options around gathering the collections together for permanent public display. Similarly, the extra revenue raised from the sale of New Scotland Yard above that anticipated affords the opportunity to invest in the heritage of the MPS without impacting on existing budgets.

MOPAC and the MPS are working with the Museum of London in the development of a temporary exhibition focused on the Crime Museum from New Scotland Yard in support of this wider project.

This exhibition will be used to leverage sponsorship for the wider project which will defray these initial contributions from MOPAC.


That the DMPC supports the ongoing work with the Museum of London and gives approval for a budget of up to BOO,OOO in support of this and for the initial work required to establish a permanent home for the Metropolitan Police Service's collections, subject to approval of specific spend by the Chief Operating Officer.

Non-confidential facts and advice to the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime (DMPC)

1    Background and Existing Facilities

1.1    The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) currently operates at least eight collections of historical artefacts including the Crime Museum in New Scotland Yard, the Heritage Centre at Empress State Building in West Brompton and a collection of historic vehicles. Of these, only the Heritage Centre is open to the public.
1.2    Since at least the 1940s there have been discussions about creating a museum for the MPS. Over
the years the project has hit a range of legal, practical  and financial  hurdles and there has never
been sufficient will, all aligned in the same direction and at the same time, to overcome the
1.3    Many other major cities around the world have museums that celebrate the history and work of their police forces and it has for a long time been thought disappointing that London, home to oldest
police force in the world, with 185years of history, doesn't have something.
1.4    The Mayor's Office for Policing And Crime (MOPAC) has set the MPS an objective to improve
confidence in the police by 20 per cent, working towards making the MPS the most respected and
loved police force in the country. A key component of delivering this reconnecting the police and Londoners, including those from diverse communities who have traditionally been harder for the
MPS to engage.
1.5    Many organisations, such as the Armed Forces, TfL and other police forces around the world use their rich heritage to mediate discussions between themselves and the public they serve, as well as
building awareness and trust, in a relationship built on transparency and shared heritage .
1.6    A new museum focusing on the history of the MPS and crime fighting in London could be a
significant step towards helping in this task.
1.7    As the MPS has moved out of under-utilised buildings and sold them to fund a huge capital
programme it has been clear that, at times, preservation of heritage has, necessarily, been of
secondary concern . Rather than accepting this as an unavoidable consequence of the disposal of
buildings we have an opportunity to use this as a catalyst to deliver on plans that have been in
discussion since at least the 1940s.
1.8    The move from 10 Broadway (New Scotland Yard) has also created a need to reconsider the location
of the collections as the Crime Museum - possibly the most prestigious collection of crime related material in the world - is currently located on the first floor. There is only likely to be limited space for the collection at the new location for the headquarters, so other options need to be considered.
1.9    The sale of 10 Broadway has, though, provided an opportunity to Invest in the MPS' heritage. The site sold for £370m, £120m more than the guide price, meaning that a portion of the additional money raised can be used to support the creation of a dedicated museum site, allowing visitors from the UK and around the world to see rare crime artefacts and heritage items that tell the history of Scotland Yard.

2    Future Plans

2.1    In order to make the most of the current circumstances some internal work has begun within to MOPAC to consider the options and an initial piece of work has been prepared by consultants mapping the route through to the creation of a permanent museum .
2.2    Linked to this is work being undertaken in partnership with the Museum of London to put the permanent collection of the Crime Museum on public display for the first time. This will be valuable in relation to the wider project for a number of reasons:

•    Raising awareness of both the collection and the project to create a landmark museum .
•    Testing the public interest for a future museum .
•    Gaining a greater understanding of the practical process of establishing a museum using a collection of this type.
•    Engaging with, and seeking the support of, potential sponsors of the future project.
•    Conducting research and community engagement into the appetite and requirements of a future museum.
•    Considering the ethical challenges, in conjunction with the London Policing Ethics Panel, of displaying some of the objects in the collections.
•    Community engagement built around the exhibition .For example, panel discussions, visits and workshops by young people and school visits to explore issues of importance to london and the MPS in a neutral space, linked to issues raised by the exhibition .
•    Curatorial and research support and advice about the existing collection .
•    Conservation of elements of the collection which need work before they can go on display.
•    The opportunity to hold other events with the backdrop of the exhibition, such as dinners or visits for VIPS.
•    A place to store and continue to display exhibits from the Crime Museum after the museum has to decant NSY, including the continued opportunity for visitors to the MPS to visit the exhibition.
•    The Mol will also give the MPS/MOPAC any of the peripheral display material -mounts, high quality photographs etc -which will be of value, including commercially, to the ongoing project.

2.3    Although there are multiple benefits from the temporary exhibition, there is significant further work to be undertaken in order to take the project forward which needs to be carried out drawing on expertise beyond that available internally within the MPS or MOPAC. As part of the work with the Museum of London they are advising on the long-term project and are providing a consultant to give advice and support on a pro bono basis.
2.4    Potential sites have been identified, but due to the need to make operational decisions about the MPS estate this cannot currently be publicly disclosed.
2.5    In order to ensure best value for money MOPAC will seek to bid for funds from the Heritage Lottery Fund. This is a complex and time-consum ing process requiring a high level of expertise to successfully navigate bids. As such specialist support is required to maximise our chances of success.
2.6    As set out above, discussions about the creation of a permanent museum have been ongoing for many years. During this time varying legal advice has been sought considering different options. Further advice is required to establish the right vehicle for the delivery of the museum and Tfl are currently preparing this. Specialist advice may be required In support of the advice being prepared .
2.7    Currently the work for this project is being undertaken within existing MOPAC capacity. As the project progresses the workload of managing the various strands will likely require the recruitment of a project manager to ensure the timely delivery of the core elements of the project. While authority for this is not being considered as part of this decision, it may be a factor for future expenditure on the project.
2.8    The areas of work required for the pre-HlF bid stage are estimated to cost around £75,000. This will cover the necessary work required in support of the following areas of work. In addition to under­ pinning an HLF application these are essential items for the creation of any museum.

•    Strategic Brief encompassing the strategic objectives and plans for the whole project
•    Options Appraisal for potential locations
•    Consultation on the proposed aims of the museum
•    Collections Needs Assessment to identify what work is required on the existing collections
•    Vision Scoping and Story Line
•    Conservation Statement (building and collections)
•    Building surveys
•    Architectural Feasibility Study to determine what work is required on potential sites
•    legal Advice on the structure and governance of the museum

2.9    In addition to this a £25,000 contingency is requested to support additional costs required prior to the submission of an HLF bid.

3    Temporary Exhibition

3.1    As above, a temporary exhibition focusing on the Crime Museum, currently in New Scotland Yard, will open at the Museum of London (Mol) on 9 October and run for six months. It will focus on the history of the museum, using key cases contained within it to tell part of the story of policing in London .
3.2    This exhibition will give MOPAC/MPS the opportunity to explore the potential for a landmark museum and will enable us to test some of the concepts and approaches we will need to undertake when doing a bigger project (benefits set out above).
3.3    The Mol currently receive around half a million visitors every year and their temporary exhibitions, when successful, can attract around 600 people per day meaning around 100,000 visitors for this
exhibition. There has already been considerable public interest in the exhibition.
3.4    An events programme is currently being planned to coincide with the exhibition which will extend
the reach of the exhibition and provide a further benefit to the long-term project by testing the
commercial viability of peripheral events.
3.5    The museum will also be available as a location for internal and external MPS and MOPAC events, taking some pressure off existing events space and providing an added benefit to those attending
3.6    The shop attached to the exhibition is likely to stock a range of existing MPS branded products
which will generate revenue during the life of the exhibition as well as improving the awareness of
the available products and allowing market testing of products.
3.7    In order to make a high-quality exhibition the Mol are incurring significant costs, not all of which
will be recouped through ticketing and merchandise sales. This decision seeks DMPC approval to support the Mol with £200,000 for the project. Once the exhibition opens it will be used as a
backdrop to encourage sponsors who might be Interested In working with us on the landmark project, including a major event for potential sponsors in the spring. This is expected to offset the initial costs of the exhibition .

4    Financial Comments

4.1    The cost of the consultancy support and exhibition at the Museum of London can be met from existing resources within the MOPAC budget. The costs of establishing a permanent exhibition including the use of capital receipts to fund one off capital expenditure and funding of the ongoing running costs will be considered as part of the wider piece of work being undertaken.

5    Legal Comments

5.1    Legal advice has been sought on MOPAC's powers and it has been confirmed that the proposed involvement in the temporary exhibition and the landmark project is within those powers.

6    Equality Comments

6.1    There are no equalities concerns

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