Winton Keenen Chief Constable hands over Force history to Beamish Museum
06 Mar | 15:45

A piece of Northumbria Police history will live on in a special exhibition at the region’s most famous open-air museum.

Yesterday (Thursday) Chief Constable Winton Keenen visited the team at Beamish to donate a series of vintage scientific aids and forensics manuals produced by the Home Office, which date back to the 1930s.

The relics, which were discovered inside a filing cabinet at our former headquarters in Ponteland late last year showcase a bygone era of forensics – and offer expert advice and guidance on how to analyse fingerprints, ballistics and tyre markings.

And yesterday, (Thursday) the books were handed over to Dan Hudachek, head of collections at Beamish to form part of a new exhibition, which will eventually be housed in the museum’s much-anticipated 1950s police office and houses.

Chief Constable Keenen said: “Our Force has a rich and diverse history and it’s an absolute pleasure to be able to share a piece of that with the help and support of Beamish Museum.

“The manuals give an incredible insight in to how forensic science has grown and developed throughout the past 70 years. But what’s also interesting to see is despite those technological advancements, the basic principles have not changed – from gathering and locating evidence to securing scenes.

“Our Crime Scene Investigators and scientific support staff do an amazing job and are integral to helping us fight and solve crime. Whether it is recovering a spec of blood which appears invisible to the untrained eye or piecing together shards of glass left behind at a crime scene – the world of forensics is fascinating and one which requires the highest levels of skill and patience.”

“Thanks to Beamish, the public will be able to learn about our heritage and see for themselves how policing has changed over the years.”

Dan Hudachek, Head of Collections at Beamish said: “These items from Northumbria Police are a brilliant addition to our policing collections, and provide us with further objects and information to call upon for the research, design and eventual operation of our 1950s police office and houses exhibit.  We are extremely grateful to receive these items in support of the Remaking Beamish project.”

The police office and houses are a replica of original buildings from Gateshead and will be part of a 1950s Town that is being built at the museum as part of the Remaking Beamish project, the biggest development in Beamish’s 50 year history.


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