This past Monday we took a field trip into Melbourne to the Victorian Police Museum. They are open Monday to Friday and entry is via gold coin donation. The Museum is located on the Mezzanine Level of the World Trade Centre.
You are allowed to take photographs inside this museum as long as it's without a flash.
Ned Kelly gang used on display. The piece of metal that Sir N is touching is an example of mould board. This piece weights nine kilograms. The armour Ned Kelly wore weighed a total of 45 kg.
|Women in the Victoria Police|
Top L - Hat with badge for women Bottom
Left Madge O'Conner one of the first police women.
Right Christine Nixon First Police
- About the hat and badge: "When Alma Aldersea joined the Police Force in March 1945 women were issued special 'PW' badge numbers rather than the unique individual numbers given to male officers. These numbers could be re-issued to other females when the original owner left the Force as was routinely expected. Alma's badge, PW9, can be seen on this cap. After Alma married and resigned her badge was issued to three more policewomen - the last in 1975." Interestingly if a woman got married she had to resign from the police Force.
- Madge O'Conner joined the Victoria Police as an agent in 1917 and became a fully sworn in police officer in 1924. It took her seven years.
- Christine Nixon became the first woman to be appointed as the Chief Commissioner in Victoria.
- Women had been in the police force since 1917 but it was only in 19743 that the first one was promoted one rank.
In the rear of the museum there is an area dedicated to the history of fighting crime in Australia.
- The first detectives were introduced into the police force in 1844. They wore plain clothes, and operated independently of any uniformed police.
- Detectives were issued an identification medallion on a fob-chain.
- In 1925 three detectives were charged and found guilty of asking for money in exchange for protection. The presiding judge in handing down his verdict expressed great shock that "a guilty person can buy the silence of the guardians of the law."
- From the Victorian Police Manual: "A good detective should know the suspects in particular classes of crime, their haunts and associates, especially their intimate male and female associates."
- "Science is the most efficient and most effective member of the Victorian Police Force ... the one unimpeachable witness." - John Morris, The Argus Weekend Magazine 11 May 1940
- The Australian Police were slow to adopt forensic investigation. It was pioneered by individual detectives. Today it is standard practice.
- You can read all about DNA proofing, fingerprinting, ballistics, etc along the walls.
- The identification kit called Photo-FIT was developed by Jacques Penry.
Last but not least we were able to try on a police uniform.
It was a lovely day out building memories and exploring together. I hope to revisit this museum with Sir N when he is in high school so that he can better enjoy all the displays and reading all the interesting historical information.