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 along and disabled toilets, all of which are on one level.
Meet the team
Alec Spall (Volunteer)
I was a Police Officer for 32 years, then a civilian for 14 years. I then became a volunteer for the museum after retiring in March 2014.
Rachael Spall (Volunteer)
I was employed by Suffolk Constabulary for 14 years before being made redundant in January 2016. I then became a volunteer for the museum.
Christine Shelley (Volunteer)
I have served as a volunteer and an employee for nearly 37 years.
I served as a Special Constable for 19 years in Framlingham and Halesworth before retiring as Sergeant in 1998.
I joined the force in 1990 as a Station Clerk working on the front desk at Halesworth, before transferring to Leiston where I served for 17.5 years. I then moved to Woodbridge to complete my service in 2011.
I returned on a zero hour contract for three years, after which I returned to volunteering mainly in the museum, although I do some role play in the Training department.
Eric Hopes (Volunteer)
I joined the former East Suffolk Police as a Cadet in 1949 and served in that force until retirement in 1988 as a Superintendent, having been stationed all over the county.
I served six years in Cyprus and Nyasaland (Malawi) Police forces 1957-63. On retirement I worked for ten years to 1998 as the Force Firearms Licensing Officer.
On leaving school joined Ipswich Borough Police as a police cadet, then becoming a full constable in 1961. Served all but the last four years within Ipswich, mostly in uniform duties, as constable and sergeant, and then posted to Felixstowe in 1986. I retired in 1990.
Juliane Ovenden (Volunteer)
My name is Juliane and outside my voluntary service I am a Freelance Conservator. This means I care for museum collections and repair or restore them if necessary to make sure they survive as long as possible.
I also supervise filming at historic properties across the UK for productions such as Sherlock and Dr.Who and assist with exhibitions across East Anglia for both council and independent clients.
How you can support the museum
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]
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.
To arrange a visit please contact:
Email: [email protected]
By Post: Christine Shelley
For general enquiries : Email [email protected]
By Post: Eric Hopes
How to get here
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.
The museum is not open to the general public but is available by appointment for group tours 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.
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.