Bradford Police Museum

Carmel Smickersgill, Tours & Activities Editor
Bradford Police Museum
Courtesy of The Bradford Police Museum

Bradford Police Museum, Centenary Square, Bradford, BD1 1HY – Visit Now

Sadly Bradford Police Museum is currently closed due to the Coronavirus situation, however, this homage to the city’s policing history provides vital insight into the development of criminal justice, civic enforcement and the public’s relationship with the police from the early 19th century to the present day. Located within the historical City Hall, the Police Museum exists in the building of the original Police Station, which opened in 1874.

take a guided tour of the original Victorian cells as well as the decorative and beautifully preserved Victorian courtroom

The collection gives us a window into the development of crime and punishment in Bradford, from the truncheons and uniforms of the Victorian Bobbies, to the documents and memorabilia of Bradford’s force in the early 70’s. This collection manages to put on such fully formed exhibitions because the building was the Bradford Borough police force for an entire century. All of the outrageous breaches of the law, scandals and triumphs were recorded in the very space in which you stand and read about them.

As part of their collection the museum houses an immense photographic archive, spanning 150 years of policing. It shows the shift in public mentality towards the police as political situations change and the police become a force for good in the community as well as a prevention for crime.

On your visit you’ll have the chance to take a guided tour of the original Victorian cells as well as the decorative and beautifully preserved Victorian courtroom. The atmosphere in these rooms is thick with tales of crime and punishment. The courtroom’s dimly lit facade shows you how intimidating a space it would have been for those facing justice in the last century. Now it has an air of quiet calm and only faint reminders of the room’s grim past, told in stories and criminal records.

Over the lockdowns, Bradford Police Museum have been trying to stay engaged with the public via their social media streams. Check out their Facebook or Twitter to find unlikely items and intriguing objects as well as the stories and uses behind them.

  • Centenary Square
  • Bradford
  • BD1 1HY
  • View map