Kent Police Museum
Following its temporary closure and subsequent relocation to Faversham Police Station, we are pleased to announce that the Kent Police Museum will be reopening in 2021.
The Kent Police Museum collection has grown from items gathered together from within the Force and donated by retired Officers and staff in 1973. The collection occupied space in several offices at Kent Police HQ in Maidstone and, inevitably, space became restricted, leading to new accommodation at Chatham Historic Dockyard in 1994
For the next 20 years the collection was shared with visitors to the Dockyard and to school children and other groups on special visits before plans were drafted to create a dedicated facility in Faversham.
In 2016, Faversham Police Station became the new home of the Kent Police Museum, although the station will continue to house working police officers and staff. This charming 1904 building is formed of two houses and still retains the original cell block, a feature which will be developed in current plans to create new displays and a more immersive experience for visitors
- try on real police uniform and see what you’d look like if you were an officer;
- hear real life stories of people who have been involved with Kent Police;
step into our Edwardian cell block;
- see the evidence that brought criminals to justice in Kent in our crime room.
Our collection spans the history of Kent Police from 1857 to the present day, including the Borough forces and crimes committed in the County. Like most museums, we work hard to document and catalogue our growing collection in line with UK museum professional standards.
An estimate of our current holdings includes:
- 10,000 photographs (including negatives)
- 3,000 artefacts (including uniforms/guns/evidence)
- 5,000 documents (including newspaper articles)
- 1,500 books/journals
- 3,000 films
- 2 motorbikes
Our priority is to make sure material is properly cared for and documented in a way that we can easily retrieve detailed information. As we get more of the collection recorded digitally, our long term plan is to allow online research access to non-sensitive parts of our records.
Physical access to real museum objects is an important way to reinforce learning and, during the process of managing our collection, we have identified specific items that can be handled by the public. This includes items such as:
- forensic equipment
The Museum’s current rationalization and documentation of its collections gives the perfect opportunity to review its collections against our new Collections Development Policy. In this way we can ensure that our permanent collection is relevant to the story of Kent Police and items aren’t too heavily duplicated.
Please email us with enquiries, requests or suggestions from schools or educational groups.
We have a team of volunteers who help with documenting and cataloguing our collection, but are always looking for additional help.
- identifying artefacts
- dealing with enquiries such as family history questions
- photographing artefacts
- entering artefact details into a computer database
- making sure artefacts are cared for properly
But as the Museum opens to the public next summer and starts to deliver formal and informal learning activities, there will be further opportunities for volunteering in admissions and education.
Once security vetting is completed, a work programme will be agreed with each volunteer depending on their skills, experience, interests and availability. Full training and supervision is given to all volunteers
So if you have a background in policing, a keen interest in the history of our police force, computer skills or want to get involved with the schools programme get in touch by email.
Providing access to artefacts and historical information relating to Kent Police is a core function of the Museum. With the support of Kent Police, our volunteers and regional support agencies, we are investing a lot of energy into delivering that access to a global audience.
Such work depends on the professional documentation of the existing collection, as well as for new donations as they are accepted into the collection.
The growth of an electronic database to record and detail every item is central to efficient retrieval of information so we can answer a wide variety of enquiries. These include enquiries related to:
- family histories
- identification of items
- crimes in Kent
- historical facts relating to Kent Police
- policing methods and equipment
- specific items from the collections e.g. uniforms, badges etc.
There is a charge for those enquiries that take a longer time to process, and normal charges will apply for supplied photocopies etc. but there is no charge if we cannot help you.
Visiting researchers are able access the collections by appointment and under the supervision of the Curator.
We must be credited for the provision of any information used for publications.
Email us if you wish to:
- donate an object or a photograph relevant to Kent Police history
- donate money to help with running costs
- work as a volunteer at the museum
In your email, put 'donation' or 'volunteering' in the subject field and include the following in your message:
- phone number
- what you would like to donate (object or stated amount of money)
- preferred method of contact