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Diary of a Heritage Manager – The evolution of Operations

From Cappers Commandos to specialist, highly trained units This year I’ve been fascinated to learn about the history of the various different teams that make up the West Midlands Police Operations Department. This department is currently headed by Chief Superintendent Sarah Burton and includes teams such as Firearms, Operational Support Unit (OSU), Drones, Planning, Roads …

Diary of a Heritage Manager – From Tally Ho to Steelhouse Lane

For this blog, I thought I’d take a look back at how the museum itself has evolved over the past 50 years and how we are continuing to mark our special anniversary. The West Midlands Police Museum originated in 1964 as the Birmingham City Police Museum at our Tally Ho! training facility, so is actually …

Diary of a Heritage Manager – Happy Birthday West Midlands Police!

This month marked the exact anniversary of West Midlands Police turning 50. So rather than choose a specific theme to highlight, we’ve taken a look back at the early days of the force and some of the key events that marked its development. As the clock turned midnight into 1April 1974, police officers across the …

Stephen Lawrence Day

1974 marks the year that West Midlands Police was formed – it’s also the year that Stephen Lawrence was born in south-east London. At 18 Stephen had ambitions to attend university to become an architect, tragically however his life was cut short by an unprovoked racial attack. On 22nd April 1993, Stephen was murdered whilst …

Diary of a Heritage Manager – Diversity part two

Earlier this week, I began talking about the very broad topic of diversity. Here’s part two, as diversity understandably has several very unique strands that all warrant a mention in their own right. Sexuality In the early 1970s it was something that wasn’t spoken about at all. Gay and lesbian officers went to great lengths …

Unlocked Stories: Tackling Forced Marriages

DS Trudy Gittins shared with us her first hand story of tackling the first FMPO case in the West Midlands, and first regarding an adult male in the country. DS Trudi Gittins, with a victim of forced marriage. What is forced marriage? A forced marriage is very different to an arranged marriage. An arranged marriage …

West Midlands Tourism Awards

In September 2023 we received an exciting email, stating that we had been shortlisted as a finalist for the West Midlands Tourism awards in the New Tourism Business of the Year category. To be nominated for these prestigious awards is an achievement in its own right; each year businesses, venues, and events across the region …

Midlands Service Excellence Awards: Winners!

The Midlands Service Excellence Awards seek to showcase those who go above and beyond to deliver excellent service and drive positive change within their organisations and communities – well it sounded right up our street! We were thrilled to be shortlisted in multiple categories; New Business of the Year, Training Provider / Educational Establishment of …

International Women’s Day

On Friday 8th March we joined in the world wide celebrations of International Women’s Day – and what a day! We opened our doors to the public for free, to allow everyone to join in the celebrations and meet the sheroes of West Midlands Police, and hundreds of visitors came to see us! We were …

Unlocked Stories: Memories of Policing as a Woman in the Sixties

Prior to joining the police force, Joyce Taylor (née Cooke) worked in a local post office straight out of school. She joined Walsall Borough Police in the 1960’s. She had always wanted to be a police officer and really liked the distinctive police uniform. On joining she went to Ryton on Dunsmore for 13 weeks …

LGBT+ History Month: When gay police made headlines

It would be remiss to pretend homophobia has not existed historically, both publicly and within the force, and many an officer certainly faced criticism, fear, and abuse for who they were – but here we would like to give no further spotlight to those who held such views in the past, and instead highlight those …

#WeAre50 | Whistle saves Birmingham officer’s life

Lying stricken on the ground, drifting in and out of consciousness and with a nine inch knife embedded in his back, PC Gordon Law knew he had one last chance – he reached for his whistle in his uniform pocket and desperately blew for help. That would be the last time an officer in Birmingham …

#WeAre50 | Technology: Facial Recognition

Facial recognition technology is no mystery to us in the 21st century – our phones know our faces, airport security is automated by scanning our likeness, and a spy movie isn’t complete without someone holding their eye up to a scanner to gain access somewhere top secret. It seems almost far-fetched to think of a …

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