Evidence Newsletter, April 2007
April 2007 - ISSN No.1175-9631
Crime Scene Detective Evening
On one of the few truly beautiful summer days in December last year, the Museum hosted an evening for the Friends of the Police Museum. It was an opportunity for the Friends to meet the new team at the Museum, enjoy some fine wine and food, and have fun solving a murder mystery.
The evening began with a mix and mingle in the sun, with guests sipping cabernet sauvignon and munching gourmet beef and oyster pies. Guests then embarked upon the more serious business of the evening, hands-on detective work.
Debra Lee, former Museum host, generously volunteered her time to assist on the night. She informed each team of the scenario, presented the team leaders with a detective moustache, and then sent the teams on their way to study the clues around the Museum.
Our guests had the opportunity to dust for fingerprints, analyse an autopsy report, and interrogate three very innocent-looking murder suspects, Museum Manager Kamaya Yates, Collection Officer Sophie Giddens, and Customer Service Officer Emma Godwin.
Everyone had their money on the crack team of genuine police officers to be the first to unravel the case, but, much to our surprise, it was the team of reporters who correctly fingered the guilty culprits. As it turned out, their victory served us well as we received glowing reviews in no less than four community newspapers!
We hope that the success of the Crime Scene Detective evening will encourage a greater number of Friends of the Police Museum to attend the next Friends’ event.
The Police Museum needs a fantastic team of volunteers to help out as Museum Hosts. If you would love to work in customer service, then phone Emma on 238 3141 Tuesdays to Saturdays to request a job description and application form.
This is a great opportunity to meet new people, develop new skills and learn all the things you never knew before about Police history.
Protest! The Voice of Dissent at the Nelson Provincial Museum
Earlier this year Collection Officer Sophie Giddens facilitated the loan of four objects from the Police Museum’s collection to the Nelson Provincial Museum. Lending on this scale was a new experience for staff at the Police Museum. As a result of the experience we have developed guidelines that will enable us to simplify and streamline the process for future loans.
“The benefits of lending our collection objects to other museums are enormous, for example we are able to build relationships with staff at other institutions and get parts of our unique collection out of storage and on display to the public," says Sophie Giddens. However, we will be limiting the number of objects that we send out in any one loan, and also the number of loans we negotiate each year because it is very labour intensive and time consuming to prepare the objects for travelling.
Protest! The Voice of Dissent includes a story of the protest against the 1981 Springbok Rugby Tour. On display from our collection will be a polycarbonate riot shield, a PR24 metal baton, a video camera used to film the protest, and a 1980s police uniform.
The exhibition runs from 3 March to 13 May at the Nelson Provincial Museum so if you are visiting the Nelson region take the opportunity to view an exhibition that explores one of New Zealand’s formative events in which the New Zealand Police played a major role. For those of you unable to visit the Nelson Provincial Museum’s exhibition, we have our own display about the 1981 Springbok Tour that includes photographs and riot gear.
Work is almost complete on our Medals Exhibition All in a Days Work. We will hold an opening once Kamaya returns from her Rotary Exchange to the United States. Included in the exhibition are the medals for Inspector Mick Huggard who in 1978 successfully disarmed an offender who had shot and killed a young man; Constable Francis O’Donoghue who in 1921 foiled an attempted armed burglary; and Senior Sergeant Martin Dudley Stagpoole whose heroic deeds included rescuing survivors from a sunken vessel in 1887 and subduing a taniwha while rescuing a horse from a coastal cavern.
Friends of the Police Museum and guests will be invited to the opening of this special exhibition that commemorates the gallant actions of New Zealand Police officers.
Some of you may be aware of the new fingerprint technology called LiveScan that the New Zealand Police has recently acquired. LiveScan is a computer device for fingerprinting and identifying suspects. Emma was recently invited by Julian Atkins, the fingerprint training officer from the Crime Service Centre, to join Wing 239 in their LiveScan training. Sergeant Braydon Lenihan from Wainuiomata, together with Julian, clearly demonstrated the efficiency and effectiveness of this new technology to the first wing of recruits to be introduced to this form of fingerprinting.
The technology is very user friendly. First, the person’s hand is placed palm down over the hand scanner and an image is captured and then saved. Next, the person’s fingers are scanned on the finger scanner, which also captures and saves an image. If an image does not reach the required standard of quality, the computer fails the scan and another has to be taken.
The process requires some patience to master, but practice makes perfect and recruits are encouraged to use the LiveScan set up at the Police College as often as possible so that when they are posted to their stations they can process suspects quickly and efficiently.
Sergeant Lenihan also demonstrated how to deal with a tricky suspect by keeping their arm in a secure hold, but he said that many of their suspects were enthusiastic about the new technology and even helped officers to achieve the best possible result!
For more information on LiveScan, visit http://www.police.govt.nz/news/release/2838.htm
If you are not already familiar with the radio programme Museum Detective, then tune in to Plains FM on Saturdays at 4.30pm (if you live outside the Canterbury region, download the programme at http://museumdetective.com). On 31 March and 7 April tune in and treat your ears to a behind-the-scenes examination of the New Zealand Police Museum. Joanna Cobley interviewed Kamaya and Emma in February to uncover the objects and stories held at Te Whare Taonga Pirihimana, The House of Police Treasures. Kamaya showed Joanna wreckage from the Rainbow Warrior, told her the story of the Stanley Graham manhunt, and discussed our plans for the future. Emma then took Joanna on a tour of the current Junior Detective Mystery, which is based on the scenario from the Crime Scene Detective evening.
Joanna also interviewed Detective Sergeant John Michael, senior investigator for Interpol, at the museum to discuss theft from museums and the role Interpol plays in the investigation of such thefts. His interview played on 24 March at 4.30pm and can also be downloaded.
Late last year, the Friends of the Police Museum played an indispensable role in ensuring that evidence of police history was captured by purchasing more than a dozen objects from a private collector of police memorabilia. The Friends use membership fees to contribute to the acquisition of objects for the Museum collection and for ongoing project work in support of the Museum.
While some museums have a large acquisitions budget enabling them to actively seek out objects to fill gaps in their collections, we don’t always have the means to secure items that come up for sale in the public realm. Most of the objects in the Museum collection have been donated by police members, current or retired, or their families. We would not be able to tell the stories of these proud and capable men and women without the support we receive from the wider police community.
One object included in the donation is a high collar tunic that belonged to Constable John A Feeley from his time in Invercargill. An amusing account of Feeley’s crime-fighting adventures already features in the sly grogging display in the Police Museum. He wrote the report in 1937 about his visit to Tapanui to detect breaches of the Licensing Act. He tells a meandering tale of his Herculean efforts to convince Adam E....r of Tapanui to sell him one bottle of whiskey, “as we were about to drink he toasted the King and I replied ‘To Hell with the Pope’ he certainly looked more pleased and after a long drawn out battle I had succeeded in getting into his confidences”. In his report he goes on to describe how the triumphant purchase was made 350 words later.
At some points in our policing history the line between the administration of justice and the police became blurred. Under Willoughby Shortland’s watchful gaze, the police magistrates of the 1840s performed the duties we would now expect of the justice system and the Department of Corrections. This practice continued into the twentieth century when lock-ups were built into police residences that also served as stations. A cat-o-nine tails included in the donation bears a label that states it was approved for use by the Minister of Justice Honourable A L Herdman on 6 October 1913. This object, along with a leg iron from Hokitika jail and a ball and chain from the Lyttelton jail, enables the Police Museum to demonstrate the level of involvement that police have had in the past, not only in upholding the law, but also in administering justice.
We appreciate the commitment of the Friends to help the Museum secure objects that would otherwise be out of our reach.
The Launch of Tact and Tenacity
On Wednesday 28 February Kamaya and Emma attended the launch of Valerie Redshaw’s book, Tact and Tenacity: New Zealand Women in Policing. The event was held in the Grand Hall at Parliament and was attended by the Police Minister the Hon Annette King and Police Commissioner Howard Broad.
Valerie’s speech at Parliament was well received by the numerous friends, family members, and colleagues who came to celebrate the special occasion. She shared with us her favourite stories including the tale of the 20-year-old actress who was employed as an undercover detective to help solve the 1882 murder of Lora George in Southland; the police matron who in 1917 became a whiz at catching fortune tellers whose profession was illegal at that time; and the policewoman who chased and caught a dangerous offender and was stabbed in the buttocks. When she was presented an award for bravery, the officer demonstrated that she had not lost her sense of humour by stating, “I suppose that is what you get when you put your arse on the line!”
Valerie’s book is a fabulous read filled with many interesting stories and unique photographs. The Museum sells copies of Valerie’s book for $50.00.
Become a Friend of the Police Museum
Become a Friend of the New Zealand Police Museum and in return for your support you will receive some great benefits.
You will receive free admission to the Museum, discounts on Museum merchandise, invitations to exhibition openings and special Friends events, and the opportunity to support the preservation and promotion of police history and culture.
Your membership fees contribute to the acquisition of objects for our collection and ongoing project work.
New Banners and Flags
Since Kamaya designed the first promotional banner for The Royal New Zealand Police College anniversary in April 2006, many more have been produced and they now feature at a variety of Police events. Kamaya recently designed two for the Police Museum, one with an image of John Nash (the first numbered police constable), and the other with an image of policewomen walking the beat in 1972.
The banners were put to good use at Valerie Redshaw’s book launch at Parliament and at the Police Museum’s Open Day for Children. As well as the banners, Kamaya has also designed a giant flag for the Police and is in the process of designing a flag for the Museum, because our sandwich board is beginning to show signs of overexposure to the Wellington wind.
Also available: download PDF version for printing, 4 pages, 380 KB