policemuseum.vic.gov.au

What we do

The Museum is committed to encouraging engagement with and appreciation of Victoria’s history of policing and crime for present and future generations by conserving, interpreting and managing items of significance.

The Museum and Historical Services Unit produces exhibitions, events and education programs and manages an extensive archive and collection.

The Museum is open to the public Monday to Friday 10am to 4pm. Admission is by gold coin donation.

History

Inspired by the Crime Museum at Scotland Yard, Victoria Police developed its own museum of crime detection and criminal behaviour as early as 1902. This first museum was not open to the public but used as an educational and instructional tool for police. The early collection contained items such as counterfeit coins, safecracking equipment and weapons used in murders.

By 1922 this first museum had ceased operation. However in 1930 the Victoria Police Gazette advertised for any records or objects of historical value to be sent to the Police Depot at St Kilda Rd. By 1934 an article in the Argus newspaper announced that Chief Commissioner Major General Blamey planned to open a new museum for the instruction of recruits at the Police Depot.

It wasn’t until the mid 1950s that the collection was made available to the general public for viewing. The first public exhibition held at Police Headquarters in 1956, was so successful with 22,500 people attending that an annual event was adopted. In the same year a regular display of items from the Police Museum collection began at the Royal Melbourne Show.

During the 1960s, 70s and 80s the Police Museum collection was, for the most part, exhibited only at special events. However in 1991 a permanent Police Museum was established at the Russell St Police Headquarters. Open to the public, this museum was later relocated to Victoria Police’s new Headquarters at the World Trade Centre.

In 2007 the museum opened in its current location in a purpose-built space on the Mezzanine Level of the World Trade Centre. Open to the public, the Museum contains permanent displays on the history of policing and crime and hosts a series of changing exhibitions that showcase the Museum’s diverse collection and stories.

 

Photo of two men with headphones operating an early radio dispatch apparatus
Old radio communications control room

Reviewed 25 October 2018