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.
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. In 1991, a permanent Police Museum was established at the Russell Street Police Headquarters. Open to the public, this museum was later relocated to the World Trade Centre in 2007.
The museum is now located at 313 Spencer Street, Docklands. Visitors will be able to experience a completely new museum, exploring carefully curated displays on various themes from major investigations to historical and modern policing.
The displays will also showcase the invention of the wireless patrol, a pioneering world-first technology.
Reviewed 22 September 2023