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Suffolk Constabulary Museum

The museum deals with Suffolk artefacts and photographs dating back to the very start of policing in the county. It is situated at the Constabulary Headquarters at Martlesham Heath near Ipswich.

At present it occupies an area around the Assembly Hall, with wheelchair access to the museum and disabled toilets, all of which are on one level.

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Meet the team
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Rachael Copley (Volunteer)

Rachael is employed by the Suffolk Constabulary as a data quality officer.  She has a keen interest in history and over and above her day job volunteers at the museum.

 

Alan Girling (Volunteer)

On leaving school Alan joined Ipswich Borough Police as a police cadet before being appointed police constable in 1961.  He served all but the last four years within Ipswich, mostly in uniform duties as a constable and sergeant.  He was posted to Felixstowe in 1986 and retired in 1990.

 

Eric Hopes (Volunteer)

Eric joined the former East Suffolk Police as a cadet in 1949.  He served in that force and the Suffolk Constabulary until retirement in 1988 as a Superintendent, having been stationed all over the county.  He served six years in Cyprus and Nyasaland (Malawi) Police forces 1957 – 1963.  On retirement as a police officer, he continued to work for the Force as a member of civilian support staff for ten years as the Force Firearms’ Licensing Officer.

 

Les Jolley (Volunteer)

Les joined the former East Suffolk Police as a cadet in 1966 before becoming a constable in the Suffolk Constabulary in 1968.  During his career he served at Southwold, Beccles, Bungay, Wangford, Lowestoft, Police Headquarters at Martlesham Heath, Bury St Edmunds and Ipswich.  His early service was as a patrol constable before becoming a trainer at Police HQ and Bury St Edmunds.  In the latter years he was Head of Training and Head of Operations, the latter then being overall responsible for the Traffic Division, Dog Section, Firearms’ Units, Marine Section and the Force Control Room.  Les retired from the Constabulary in 1997.

 

Annie Powell (Volunteer)

Following time in the armed forces, Annie joined Sussex Police in 2001 as an Investigative Support Assistant in CID before moving to the Chief Constable’s staff office in 2004 as Principal Committee Officer.  In 2009 she moved to Norfolk Constabulary in HR before moving to Suffolk Constabulary in 2012 as a Communications Data Investigator.  Annie has been a member of UNISON since 2001 and has held various roles within that organisation.  In 2016 she became the Assistant Branch Secretary of Suffolk Police UNISON Branch, a role she currently holds.  In addition she has been Women’s officer and Health and Safety officer and has been a member of the National Police and Justice Service Group since 2016.  Over and above these roles Annie volunteers at the museum and at the Suffolk Constabulary Sports and Social Club bar.

 

Derek Wilding (Volunteer)

Derek joined the Suffolk Constabulary in 1984 starting at Bury St Edmunds.  He worked mainly in West Suffolk on Bury Rural, at Brandon, Mildenhall and Bury Traffic Unit.  Away from the west of the county, he had two postings to Police Headquarters, Martlesham Heath, in the Training/Learning and Development Department before returning to Bury St Edmunds as a Response Team Inspector. Derek retired in 2011.

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How you can support the museum
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The museum is staffed by volunteers.

If you have a policing background, particularly from within Suffolk Constabulary, and would like to be involved in the museum as a volunteer, please contact: [email protected]

Donations

There is no charge made for visits as the museum is not directly funded, any donations are gratefully received. There is a collection box at the exit of the museum.

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Contact us
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To arrange a visit please contact:

Email:  [email protected] 

By Post: Les Jolley

Suffolk Constabulary
Police Headquarters
Portal Avenue
Martlesham Heath
Suffolk
IP5 3QS

 

For general enquiries : Email  [email protected]

By Post: Eric Hopes

Suffolk Constabulary
Police Headquarters
Portal Avenue
Martlesham Heath
Suffolk
IP5 3QS

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How to get here
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Suffolk Constabulary Headquarters is situated at Martlesham Heath on the A1214.

Upon arrival at the site please follow the driveway and park in the visitors’ car park in front of the main building which is where you will be met.

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Opening Hours
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The museum is not open to the general public but is available for group tours (minimum of 10 people up to a maximum of 24 per tour) between Monday to Thursday.  As it is a working building, tours cannot start until 6pm.

In special circumstances weekend tours can be arranged. There will be days where visits can’t take place due to Constabulary commitments.

On rare occasions, due to an emergency, visits might have to be cancelled at short notice but every effort would be made to inform the organisers as soon as possible.

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Museum Tour
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A tour of the museum will take about an hour and a half and the guides are all ex-police personnel. They will be on hand to answer any questions you have, as well as being able to talk to you about life in the police service.

We have a collection of uniform, hats, batons and handcuffs etc which visitors are welcome to try on if they wish.

This is not a ‘black’ museum (although there are several weapons on display) and is suitable for children about 5 years and over.