180 Years of Wiltshire Police

8th August 2019 / News archive

Exhibition ‘Crime & Punishment: 180 Years of Wiltshire Police’ opened at Chippenham Museum with a Private View on Tuesday 6 August. The event was attended by several notable figures from the Police and local community including Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson and Wiltshire Police Chief Constable Kier Pritchard. The exhibition is open until Saturday 28 September with free entry and marks 180 years of Wiltshire Police, the first Police force in the country.

Desna Allen  Chippenham Town Mayor, Angus Macpherson Police and Crime Commissioner, Kier Pritchard Chief Constable gave speeches 

Featuring loans from Wiltshire Police’s historic collection including early uniforms, handcuffs and shackles, the exhibition explores crime and punishment from Saxon times to the present day. The exhibition was opened with several words from Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson, followed by Mayor Desna Allen and Chief Constable Kier Pritchard. Guests then had the opportunity to view the exhibition with light refreshments and discuss the objects and stories featured with members of the museum team.

Chippenham Museum’s Curator Melissa Barnett said “the museum is proud to exhibit items from the historic police collection and to tell the fascinating story of the Wiltshire Police force which was the first of the county forces to be created in 1839. The motto ‘primus et Optimus’ or ‘first and best’ is still used by the Wiltshire Constabulary today.”

Over the summer holidays visitors can enjoy a number of free events linked to the exhibition. Daily, families can try the museum’s Whodunnit!? Trail or drop-in every Tuesday and Thursday for free detective inspired crafts, with a new activity each week. On Saturday 10 August and Thursday 26 September historian John Girvan will be giving a talk in the Yelde Hall exploring how Chippenham’s offenders were treated in the past (free, booking essential).

On Saturday 17 August Chippenham Museum is organising a town-wide Pirate Day across multiple venues with storytelling, entertainment and the opportunity to meet Jack Sparrow. All activities will be free to enjoy 10.30am – 3.30pm.

Chippenham Museum, a Chippenham Town Council facility, is free to visit and tells the story of the people and history of Chippenham and surrounding villages from prehistoric times up until the present day with a varied programme of exhibitions and displays.