Mayor Boris Johnson has confirmed that work is underway to set-up a new permanent home for the Metropolitan Police’s collection of memorabilia and artefacts from major crimes and key moments in the force’s history.
Items in the collection include letters from Jack The Ripper and the evidence that led to the prosecution of the Great Train Robbers. The force also owns a collection historic vehicles located at Teddington and a river Police Museum at Wapping Police Station.
Around 600 items collection are currently on display at the Museum of London but Scotland Yard’s collection contains hundreds of additional items chronicling the force’s history and work which can only be seen by appointment or invitation.
Conservatives on the London Assembly have previously called on the Mayor and Met to increase public access to the entire collection and capitalise on public and international interest in London and British history.
During a visit to the Museum of London exhibition today, Mr Johnson confirmed that talks are now underway to meet this demand by partnering with the museum and corporate and private sponsors to deliver a new public home for the collection.
He 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.”
Assembly member Roger Evans who led the calls for the collection to be opened up to the public, said: “A new Policing Museum will be a great addition to the capitals already stellar cultural offering, but only if it doesn’t come at a cost to the Met.
“In our initial research we found that the running costs of a museum are quite high, and if the books don’t balance the Met might have to front the bill. The current exhibition is a great low cost alternative to a full museum, and could even help fund 35k hours of front line policing.”