This website is the result of a year-long project, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and carried out by the West India Committee, to explore the hidden history of modern policing and the links that it has with the West Indies.
The project has resulted not only in this website, the e-book and documentary film, but also community engagement programmes with the Tower Hamlets Volunteer Police Cadets and the Prince’s Trust and an exhibition at the Museum of London Docklands from 13th October 2017 to 14th January 2018. More information on these programmes can be found in the Community section.
The first phase of the project consisted of researching the subject matter, using information from a variety of sources held in the National Archives, London Metropolitan Archives, Devon Archives, British Library and the West India Committee’s own library and archive. The West India Committee collection contains over 500 years of knowledge on the Caribbean and matters relating to the Caribbean and, due to its significance, it has been recognised as a UNESCO Memory of the World. The project team have also worked closely with the Metropolitan Police Heritage Centre and the Thames Police Association, who kindly allowed us to use their collections.
The research was then used in the second phase to produce the various written outcomes such as the e-book and the articles for Inside Time. The documentary film was also planned and the script was written. Planning began for the community engagement programmes.
The third phase saw preparations begin for the exhibition at the Museum of London Docklands, with potential exhibition items identified and the wording being established through collaboration between the Museum of London Docklands and the West India Committee. Filming began for the documentary, including the various interviews, and the website began to take shape.
In the final stage filming was completed and the film was edited. The community engagement programmes took place and the design of the exhibition, the website and e-book were finalised.
The exhibition at the Museum of London Docklands opened to the public on 13th October 2017, with a formal opening on the 19th, attended by the Metropolitan Police, Thames Police Association, the volunteers and interns who assisted with the project and Dr. Boyan Radoykov of UNESCO.