‘Irreplaceable’ City of London police museum risks staying locked up

·2-min read
The City of London Police Museum is home to a huge collection of exhibits from the capital’s history ( )
The City of London Police Museum is home to a huge collection of exhibits from the capital’s history ( )

There are fears for the future of one of London’s “unique” museums after it failed to reopen more than a year after closing for the pandemic.

The City of London Police Museum is home to a huge collection of exhibits from the capital’s history, from the Blitz to Jack the Ripper, and also sheds light on the modern-day force and its work on fraud and terrorism.

Once based in the now sold Wood Street Police Station, the force’s collection includes the Olympic gold medal won by its tug-of-war team in 1920, uniforms and equipment.

It opened in the new purpose-built museum, owned by the City Corporation, at Guildhall in 2016 with £90,000 of lottery funding helping to pay for it.

Former police officer and historian Rebecca Walker said the museum was a “unique attraction” and it would be “a huge and irreplaceable loss” if did not reopen.

She said: “The Museum not only proved its popularity, attracting thousands of visitors while it was open, but allowed the public access to exhibits of significant historical importance.

“It contained numerous items relating to the 1911 Siege of Sidney Street, and most notably a display featuring two bombs planted in the City by militant Suffragettes.

“These are the only such devices known still to be in existence - their like simply can’t be seen elsewhere.”

The City of London Police has been responsible for policing the Square Mile - one of the smallest police districts in the world - since 1839.

The history of policing in the capital is under-represented in its museums with the Met’s Crime Museum not open to the public.

Bow Street Police Museum, which looks at the early days of policing in London, opened last year in a former police station and court in Covent Garden.

A spokesperson for the City of London Corporation said: “The museum was converted into a Covid testing centre to save lives and help deliver London’s recovery from the pandemic.

“The City Corporation and the City of London Police are currently considering options for the museum.”

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