The Police Museum | Cyprus Inform
About Cyprus

A Museum in Cyprus

A Museum in CyprusWhilst driving along the Evangelou Floraki Street in Nicosia, past the Headquarters of the Police Academy, you can’t help but notice the Police Museum sign.  It’s close to the road and certainly arouses curiosity – a building surrounded by a large fence and barbed wire.

Police artefacts are kept there and you can’t help but want to look inside!  What is hiding behind the high fence?

Even before you step over the threshold of the museum, you feel you’ve become a real detective – you have to find the entrance into the building!  Follow the signs and you will get a glimpse of the world of law enforcement.

This type of museum is sometimes thought to be of interest only to a small group of law enforcement specialists.

But in reality police museums appeal to a wide range of people, both visitors and locals, who find it useful and educational.

A Museum in CyprusA British Footprint in the Cypriot Police

The history of the Cypriot police is inextricably intertwined with that of the island, and its roots go back to 1878 when it became a British colony.  The “British footprint” can often be seen on the island, and the police are no exception.

The rules, which were in force until 1960, were based on English Law.  Cypriots who served in the police had to know English traffic rules, the uniforms were the same as in England and the police also hired woman, the same as in the UK.

The museum itself is more than 80 years old, created in 1933 on the orders of the then British Chief of Police, W.C.C. King.

A Museum in CyprusVital trade routes have always passed through Cyprus, and many violations of the law occurred on the island.  Detectives worked hard to solve some very interesting and important cases.  King believed that learning about the circumstances of a crime and the methods of solving it was a priceless experience for future generations.

And he was right!  Not only the Police Academy, but also Interpol and police from other countries visit the museum.  Their signatures are in the museum’s visitor book.

The museum features a lot of documentary evidence and unique items relating to the period of British Rule.  A huge clock, which once stood in the entrance to the police station, is worth mentioning, and there are ciphers and cameras from that era.  The very museum is located in a building constructed during British rule, where the main police department used to be.

Mysteries in the Museum

 

The Police MuseumThe exhibition occupies two floors.  A separate room is allocated for each theme.

One of the main exhibits is devoted to World War II.  300,000 Cypriots, including police, fought the fascists.  What’s the story behind an Italian flag kept in the museum, with the inscription “Fascio Italiano of Larnaca”? There are police medals, fragments of enemy planes which flew over Cyprus, torpedoes and items from the mines where the prisoners worked.

There are many pictures of Cyprus, interesting documents and reports and samples of police and gang weaponry.

Police transport is a separate exhibit.  A story about Black Mary, what it is and how it came to be in the museum will be of interest.

The History of Cyprus in the History of Police

Not many people know that even before the events of 1974, when the island was split into two parts, the situation in Cyprus was not peaceful.  Between 1955 and 1959 liberation from the British began.  It was a difficult time for the police as a mixture of British, Greek, Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots served on the force.  They will tell you during the tour of the museum what happened in Cyprus at that time, and what price was paid by both parties for independence.

It’s interesting to hear stories about real investigations of the most incredible and unusual incidents, crafty and sometimes even comical burglaries.

The Police MuseumThe Police and Music are Compatible

The museum also displays rare musical instruments, the oldest dating back to the end of the 1930’s.  Even these show evidence of tragic events – a double bass with a bullet hole which happened during a battle in 1974.

Today

When the young get acquainted with history you can’t help but wonder about the life of the police today.  An exhibition on the hard work of the various departments – specialists, traffic police, economic crimes departments etc, is very interesting.  Don’t miss the criminology exhibition.

When will the age of mercy come?

The Police Museum

The museum is constantly supplemented by new items sent by relatives of policemen and colleagues from other countries.

It’s impossible to tell you about everything – you have to see it and experience it yourself.

The Cypriot police deserve their own museum.  They are always working and the fact that Cyprus today is among the top 10 countries with the lowest level of crime is a great achievement.

The museum is open all year round from Monday – Friday, from 9am until 1pm, and entry is free.

There is plenty to see – come alone or as part of a group.

If you are planning on a group visit, call ahead on +357 22808793 to let them know.  If you are planning on visiting this museum, perhaps consider combining it with seeing other sights of Nicosia, details of which are available on our website.