days out Local Review London museum

The Crime Museum Uncovered at the Museum of London

I’ve managed to visit quite a few exhibitions lately. There are so many great things showing in London and this year I am going to make sure I make time to see them! So far this year I’ve seen the Alice in Wonderland exhibition at the British Library. Last weekend the whole family visited the Museum of London and the The Crime Museum Uncovered exhibition.

This wasn’t our first attempt to go and see the exhibition. We bought tickets before Christmas but they were for the day after the latest terror attack in Paris and we didn’t feel like heading into town. Second time around and nothing was going to stop us.

I remember reading about the Crime Museum when I first moved to London and was intrigued by its collection. Since its establishment in the 1870s, the Crime Museum has only been open to police professionals and invited guests so this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see this collection.

Crime Museum Uncovered

I think the Museum of London is a great venue for this exhibition. I used to work there so I’m definitely biased, but I think London history is intrinsically tied with some infamous criminals, such as Jack the Ripper and the Kray twins.

The exhibition is laid out in clear sections, taking you through criminal cases throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The early rooms cover items from The Police Museum which were taken from criminals before they were incarcerated, known as Prisoners Property. The stories of the criminals are told through newspaper reports, hand-drawn courtroom illustrations, death masks from offenders hanged outside Newgate Prison, and anthropometric record cards.

We took both our children with us to see the exhibition. There is some guidance about whether it is suitable for children on the website but we decided that we both wanted to go and see it and would take it in turns to look after the children whilst the other could go round the exhibition. However, the children behaved really well the whole time so this wasn’t necessary. Most of the objects and photographs were in quite high cases which meant they couldn’t see much. The 4 year old wasn’t really interested in anything but our 5 year old asked lots of questions, some of which were difficult to answer.

The second half of the exhibition covered individual cases in more detail up until about 1975. Each criminal case included background information, photographs, police reports and evidence taken from the crime scene. I found this part really interesting as the emphasis was on the changing nature of crime and advances in detection over the last 140 years, as well as the challenges faced in policing the capital, such as terrorism, drugs and rioting.

It was amazing to see original evidence from some of the UK’s most notorious crimes from Dr Crippen to the Krays, the Great Train Robbery to the Millennium Dome diamond heist. I really didn’t want to see the last part of the exhibition which included items related to terrorist events but they are an important part of modern life and something that our police force has to respond and react to.

This is a brilliant exhibition which really makes you think. It doesn’t glamorise crime in the slightest but makes you aware of it and gives you hope in the way it is dealt with. The Crime Museum Uncovered is open until 10th April at the Museum of London. It was really busy when we went so I would recommend buying tickets in advance.


  • Reply
    Cotton Cloth Eco
    February 6, 2016 at 12:05 am

    I wish I had a chance to go and see this x

  • Reply
    February 6, 2016 at 12:12 am

    wow such an interesting exhibition I hadn’t heard of it! def one to add to my list, going to read your Alice in Wonderland post now 🙂 kx

  • Reply
    February 22, 2016 at 2:10 pm

    I love all London museums and galleries – they need to get more publicity like this because they are such a fantastic place! Thanks for sharing.

  • Leave a Reply