History of the Metropolitan Police
Friends of the Metropolitan Police Historical Collection (FOMPHC)
Although the Metropolitan Police was the first official force in England (being authorised by Parliament in 1829), a Museum to record the many events of the Force was not established until 1949 just prior to the Festival of Britain. The then Chief Superintendent, Arthur Rowlerson of Bow Street Police Station made an appeal for items to reflect mainly the part that Bow Street had played in the development of policing the capital. He was pleasantly surprised by the amount of material that came in. The collection thus formed the basis for a museum, which was on show for many years, albeit with limited access. The museum was always a low key, minimum expenditure type of operation for the police, and was kept going by the dedication of a curator and the goodwill of a few volunteers.
In 1982/83 the rooms occupied by the museum were needed and the museum was packed away, and has remained so ever since. Ironically, Bow Street was made redundant as a police station in 1992, and is only re-opened for temporary periods.
The Museum's artefacts are now housed in a warehouse somewhere in South London. There are some 30,000 items stored there. This Aladdin's cave of treasures of police history, with its collection of uniforms, medals, badges, station books and photographs has only been seen by a handful of people since the early 1980's.
Our aim is simple - to support the establishment of a Metropolitan Police Museum which will reflect the long and distinguished history of the Met and 'The London Bobby'. We will continue with our support by collecting artefacts, written material and other items of police history to add to the collection. The 'Friends', formed in 1995 and now with over 500 members, seek more members to assist with their efforts to establish a museum and research the history of the Met.
Membership is open to anyone interested in the history of the Metropolitan Police Service. To join, send us a completed subscription form below.
- FOMPHC subscription form - PDF format (48.9KB)
To contact the society or find out more simply send us an email at email@example.com.