At the Museum of Policing in Devon and Cornwall we engage people with the heritage of a force that continues to operate across one of the largest geographical areas of any police force in the UK. The museum collections capture the stories of the police, the communities it served, and the social and cultural make-up of the South West across more than two centuries. Because policing heritage mirrors the social and cultural context of the time, its history traces shifts in the cultural and social fabric of Devon and Cornwall, providing us with a diverse set of collections that chronicle the people and places of a unique region through history.
We want to change the way people think of and experience policing history.
The way state and society interact with one another is changing, and policing is at the heart of this interaction. By offering a lens on the history of policing, we better understand the social and cultural attitudes and experiences of policing today. We want our collections to join in and be part of the current narratives on what policing means, how it shapes and is shaped by society, and how we use its heritage to understand its future, engaging with myriad voices and opinions so that we can be a representative and diverse, inclusive, forward thinking and innovate heritage organisation that uses its collections to better inform, inspire and provoke engagement with policing’s past to better understand its future.
This bold, ambitious vision presents unique challenges; it will see us undertake difficult and unprecedented projects to achieve it. But we must be bold to effect change.