Derbyshire officers are appealing for the public’s help to return priceless historical items stolen from the Derby Gaol and Police Museum.
Burglars forced their way into the building housing the collection in Friar Gate between 11 pm on Saturday, 3rd August, and Wednesday, 7th August, at 3 pm.
Items stolen by the thieves include:
- Swords from World War One
- Medals belonging to Sergeant Leo Mason
- A pair of 19th Century handcuffs
- Seven Special Constabulary long service medals dating from the reigns of George V to Elizabeth II
- Three Special Constable police badges
- Two pairs of Victorian police medals for the jubilee of 1888
- A large quantity of beer and spirits
Chief Superintendent Steve Wilson, of Derbyshire Constabulary, said:
“It is with great sadness that we learnt about the recent break-in.
“The museum showcases the fantastic history of the constabulary and the loss of these items is devastating to the force and the people of Derbyshire.
“These items are very distinctive, and I would ask that anyone with any information about where they may be [to get] in contact with us immediately.
“I would also speak to those responsible directly – the items that you have stolen are so unique that it is unlikely that you will be able to dispose of them and I would urge you to do the right and decent thing and return them now.”
A statement shared on the Derby Police Museum Facebook page said:
‘On Wednesday 7th August an alarm was risen to the propriety Richard Felix of Derby Gaol and also the Curator of Derby Police Museum Ashley Waterhouse to which the venue Derby Gaol had been broken into.
‘The assailants had broken Into Derby Gaol with crowbars and brute force by breaking the locks off to the main front entrance.
‘When gaining access to the premise they have disabled the CCTV we have operating within the building by turning them around so we could not see or recognise them for evidence.
‘While in the building they have broken into various rooms which are locked and home to Derby Police Museum.
‘They did not break the locks off these doors but damaging the door frames that hold the Grade II* listed prison cell doors to gain access.
‘When inside the police museum they have smashed one of the display cabinets that contain a large quantity of antique police truncheon and other police items.
‘They have been through any boxes and kit bags that were out within the museum to see what they could find and pulled the cabinets away from the wall to gain access to take the medals within them.
‘Below is a list of items that have been taken but its not just from the Police Museum but also the Gaol.
Content of items taken in the Break in.
Just some of the items which have been stolen
1. Wilkinson swords British bayonet from the Great War dated 1907 on the blade.
2. A pair of medals belonging to sergeant Leo Mason 1 is his long service and good conduct medal and the second one being is jubilee medal
3. A pair of 19th century Derby Hiatt cuffs
4. Two PR24 side handle battens
5. Wooden police truncheon
Two of the medals which were stolen
6. Seven special constabulary long Service medals dating back from George V to Elizabeth II.
7. three special constable police badges
8. A police cutlass or also known as a police hanger.
9. Two police training battens
10. Two pairs of Victorian police medals for the jubilee of 1888 and George v long Service medals.
11. A large quantity of beer and spirits
12. £300 out of the till.
‘With all these items that have been stolen, nothing else has been taken, but we cannot identify these burglars due to the fact of them removing the CCTV hard drive which operates within the Gaol.
‘But this has not stopped us by identifying evidence of those individuals that gained access into the establishment!
‘The social impact of this crime is devastated to us all, and those individuals whose items have been stolen within the police museum have been contacted, but we wish to reassure all members of the public that we will not stop at anything to bring justice to these individuals that have broken into the museum and the Gaol.
A sword that was stolen in the raid
‘We hope that you will continue to support us through this difficult period as our passion and determination to carry on showing our proud heritage and museum, its what we can achieve when we are at our lowest points when it matters when works as a team.
‘We would also like to thank you all for all the comments, calls and emails of support which is greatly appreciated by all the team members and we would also like to thank Wayne and Sarah for their quick response in contacting the police and relevant members of the team and Jason for repairing and making the Gaol and museum safe again.
‘I would like to ask if you hear or see of anything with regards to these items please contact Derby Gaol on 01335 360882 or Derbyshire Police on 101 and report your information.
‘We will keep you updated throughout the process.
‘If you have any questions that you wish to ask us then please do not hesitate to contact us.
‘Thank you Again’.
Anyone with any information about the incident is asked to contact Derbyshire police via 101 quoting reference 19*416976 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111