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Image bank

In our image bank, you can find photographs related to the Police Museum exhibitions and the history of the police. You are welcome to use images within the image bank for free: for example, as part of magazine articles and presentations concerning police history and the Police Museum.

Please remember to mention that the image was sourced from the Police Museum collection (for example: ‘Photo The National Police Museum’). You can find more detailed information on the source of each image when accessing the image in question.

Click on the image or its name to see the information related to it. In the same place, you can also download the image to your device in a larger size.

If the image bank does not include the photograph you are looking for, feel free to contact our image services, subject to a charge.

Further information about the image services subject to a charge

Kuvapankki kuvagalleria englanti

  • Exhibition logo in the museum facilities, with the text: Poliisi paikalla! (The Police is Here!).  

    The Police is Here!

    How has police work changed during the years? What did a “relay crown servant” do? What about the “vice squad”? When did Finland’s first Internet police officers begin working?

    The National Police Museum’s The Police is Here! permanent exhibition provides answers to these and many other questions. In the permanent exhibition, we give information about witch hunts, homicide, State treason, and cybercrime in the modern world.

    Photo: The Police Museum

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  • A view of the Museum’s exhibition. The picture shows, among others, the ‘Poliisi’ (the police) sign on the wall and some police tape “Police – do not cross”, and weapons on the wall in the background.

    A view of the exhibition

    In the Police is Here! permanent exhibition museum visitors are able to walk along streets and alleys where the police do their everyday work. The “criminal landscape” of the various epochs is on display: crimes, accidents and the dark side of the lives of police clients.

    Photo: The Police Museum, Jarkko Järvinen

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  • Inside the museum there is a dark blue Saab police car with a police sign on the roof. Computer screens and photos appear in the background.

    A police Saab car from 1988

    The permanent exhibition of the Police Museum features various police vehicles.

    In the 1970s the most common police car on Finland was the Saab, which was produced in the city of Uusikaupunki in Finland. Continuous product development eventually led to the Saab becoming a highly reliable vehicle for police work. In 1974, some of the police cars were painted with blue and white police insignia. In the photo, there is a police Saab car from 1988.

    Photo: The Police Museum

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  • A wooden chair in which suspects were photographed for police records. At the front, there is a large lamp used when the photographs were taken. 

    Suspect registration chair

    In the Police Museum’s permanent exhibition, museum visitors can, for example, examine a view into a room where an old chair in which suspects were photographed for police records is on display. Crime suspects were photographed sitting in this chair.

    In the Police Museum, museum visitors can themselves sit in a similar chair.

    Photo: The Police Museum

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  • A child wearing police overalls is playing in the Police Museum’s children’s section, holding a magnifying glass and looking at a miniature police car. The child is sitting on a traffic play mat, and a wall featuring police-themed comics is seen in the background.

    A child playing in Pokela

    There is a lot to do in our children’s section Pokela. Children can, for example, sit behind the wheel of a small police car and play with toys. In Pokela, touching the items is permitted!

    There is a hidden treasure in the closet: small police overalls that the little officers of Pokela police station can wear during their tour.

    Photo: The Police Museum, Reetta Lepistö

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  • A black-and-white photograph of around twenty members of the Police Department staff posing for the camera in front of an old stone building. Some members of the group are sitting down and others are standing, while four persons are mounted on a horse. Most of the persons pictured are wearing a police uniform.

    Police officers in Kuopio in 1913

    Members of Kuopio Police Department staff in 1913.

    Photo: The Police Museum

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  • A black-and-white photograph of a police officer in uniform at a desk, making a telephone call.

    A police officer on the telephone

    Telephones were in active use at the Helsinki Police Department already in the early 1900s.

    Photo: The Police Museum, the Crime Museum collection, A. Rosenberg

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  • A black-and-white photograph of police officers patrolling at the Helsinki railway station, and adults and children with suitcases, standing and walking around.

    Escape from aerial bombing

    During the war, the police supervised people’s movement and evacuation on the home front. In the picture, Helsinki residents are seen at the railway station on 27 February 1944, escaping from aerial bombings of the city. Police officers are present in the midst of the crowd.

    Photo: The Police Museum

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  • Three uniformed police officers are guiding Olympic athletes. The picture also shows children admiring the athletes. In the background, there are flagpoles with flags of various countries.

    The police at the Helsinki Olympics

    Before the Helsinki Olympics in 1952, concerns were raised about how presentable the police would be in the eyes of an international audience. The aim was to modernise the military uniform, and the conduct of the police, making them more relaxed. The trend was similar in other Nordic countries, and the civilian-type uniform of “gentleman police” was first introduced in Finland. Before the Olympics, police constables received training in languages and instructions on how to behave, present themselves and serve the general public.

    Photo: The Police Museum

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  • A black-and-white photograph of a female police officer in uniform checking the paperwork of a lorry driver.

    A female police officer in traffic surveillance

    In the early 1900s, the criminal investigation departments recruited female officers to serve in the vice squad. In the 1920s, they were put in charge of for example arrested women, unwed mothers and “vagrant children”.

    The first training course for female police officers was arranged in 1923. The education and training, position and pay of female police officers was weaker than that of male officers for a long time. From the 1970s onwards, men and women received the same police training, and at that time, women also entered the uniformed police squad. In 2019, women were present in all police duties, except the National Special Intervention Unit.

    In the photo, a female police officer is checking the paperwork of a lorry driver in the 1980s–1990s.

    Photo: The Police Museum

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  • At the front, an unmanned aircraft of the police (UAS), a drone, is seen hovering in the air. A uniformed police officer controlling the UAS, and cars can be seen in the background.

    Unmanned aircraft in the police forces

    The amount of technical equipment used by the police has increased in the 2000s. In the picture, the police operate an unmanned aircraft (UAS), a drone.

    Photo: Sami Hätönen

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  • A magnifying glass over a painting, the signature on the painting is being examined.

    A counterfeit painting being examined

    The exhibition titled The coloured truth – Art crime in Finland presents the key incidents of art crime committed in Finland and the related preliminary investigations conducted by the police. In the exhibition, the visitors have an opportunity to see forged copies of work by various artists such as Gallen-Kallela, Schjerfbeck, Picasso and Léger.

    All works seen in the exhibition are now part of the Police Museum's collections. Originally, they were confiscated in connection with the preliminary investigation by the police, and handed over to the state as instruments of crime.

    Photo: The Police Museum, Jarkko Järvinen

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  • A museum visitor in the exhibition on art crime is looking at an artwork on an easel, of which part of the back side is seen facing the camera. On the wall in the background, there are paintbrushes, colours and other artists’ tools of the trade.

    A visitor in the exhibition on art crime

    The Coloured Truth exhibition is not an art exhibition, but a portrayal of art crime and its history, as well as the investigations carried out by the police in cooperation with art experts. At the same time, the visitors have the opportunitity to learn for example how to distinguish counterfeit artwork from an original, or the tricks used by fraudulent sellers in art trade.

    The artwork in the exhibition are genuine forgeries and often sold with a forged certificate of authenticity – nothing is what it seems to be.

    Photo: The Police Museum, Reetta Lepistö

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  • Written records and other pre-trial investigation materials spread on a table, with a framed painting in the middle. On top, two museum headsets, which museum visitors can use to listen to information about the exhibition.

    Pre-trial investigation material in the exhibition

    All in all, more than 30 persons were suspects in the art crime cases. Some 30,000 pages of pre-trial investigation material was accumulated and more than a hundred pre-trial investigation records were prepared. The complex set of crimes required the police to understand a new type of operating environment, so that they had to study the concepts of art and familiarise themselves with the patterns of the art market.

    Photo: The Police Museum, Jarkko Järvinen

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  • Two paintings in the Museum’s exhibition. One is hanging on the wall, and only the frame in gold and a small part of the dark artwork is seen. The other one is a landscape on an easel.

    Framed works of art

    The starting point of fraud committed using art is that the buyer cannot recognise the artwork as a forgery, and does not know the market price of a genuine work of art. Fraudsters can go to a lot of trouble in order to commit the crime. For example, a credible origin and background story is invented for the forged artwork.

    Art forgers use various methods to make the paintings look old. An old frame makes the new artwork look convincing. Art forgers also colour, smudge and scratch the canvas and paper. Fresh oil colours can be dried in the heat of the sauna. There are cases in which an old poster or picture from a book has been framed, and pretended that it is genuine.

    Photo: The Police Museum, Jarkko Järvinen

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  • A drawing displayed in the exhibition shows the complex links of the art crime case in Finland, Sweden, Estonia and France. The photo includes arrows and injured party diagrams and, for example, texts: “Painting sold to France, EUR 120,000” and “About 10 other injured parties”. 

    More than 40 injured parties deceived

    Since 2009, the total value of damage caused by art crime investigated by the National Bureau of Investigation amounts to almost EUR 20 million. Operation FAKE detected more than 40 deceived injured parties. Among them, there were wealthy collectors as well as ordinary citizens who lost their savings when buying “valuable art”. Art enthusiasts, professionals and art museums alike were deceived. It is likely that some of the buyers of forgeries have not contacted the police. This can be due to ignorance, shame or even the desire to “pay it forward”.

    Photo: The Police Museum, Jarkko Järvinen

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  • An ultraviolet lamp and part of an artwork in a gold frame.

    Ultraviolet lamp helps in investigation

    Art forgeries are investigated in cooperation between authorities. For the police in Finland, the most important cooperating party is the Finnish National Gallery and its art historians, conservators and materials researchers. By request of the police, the Finnish National Gallery studies the authenticity of artwork suspected to be a forgery. This provides the basis for preliminary investigation and consideration of charges by the police.

    Photo: The Police Museum, Jarkko Järvinen

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  •  forged certificate of authenticity at the back of the painting. The text in the picture is not fully legible, but it can be deducted that the text claims that Järnefelt’s daughter verifies the authenticity of the painting.

    Forged certificate of authenticity

    The police investigate whether the agent selling the forgery has been aware of its suspicions origin, that should have been verified before selling the artwork as genuine. In the art market, there are valuable works of art “found in the attic”, with vague background information or completely lacking any. A forged artwork can be accompanied by a forged certificate of authenticity.

    The National Bureau of Investigation’s Operation FAKE revealed a forged artwork by Eero Järnefelt, “Flowers on the windowsill, 1910”. A forged certificate of authenticity is attached to the back of the painting. The painting was made based on a picture of Järnefelt’s painting “Flowers on the windowsill” from 1918, included in an auction catalogue. The asking price of the painting by Järnefelt was EUR 7,000–10,000.

    Photo: The Police Museum, Jarkko Järvinen

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  • A black-and-white photograph of a man, wearing a lab coat, sitting at a desk, closely investigating a glass bottle. Dozens of different glass bottles stand next to him on the table.

    Fingerprint analysis

    Manager of the Crime Museum, assessor Viljo Vathén, is analysing fingerprints in 1955. Vathén’s colourful guided tours in the Crime Museum were famous for making some of the visitors feel nauseous.

    Photo: The Police Museum, the Crime Museum collection

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  • A black-and-white photograph of a large, complex photography device on a table.

    Micro­photography equipment

    The Crime Museum collection sheds light on the history and development of forensic crime investigation. This microphotography equipment was acquired for the Crime Research Centre in the 1920s–1930s.

    Photo: The Police Museum, the Crime Museum collection

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  • An axe with a wide blade and a wooden handle, behind the axe there is a wooden storage box.

    An executioner’s axe

    The executioner’s axe of the Province of Kuopio executioner and its storage box from the late 1700s. The purpose of the axe with a wide blade was to decapitate a person. 

    Photo: The Police Museum, the Crime Museum collection

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  • A black-and-white photograph of three men standing in front of a van. One of the men is in police uniform, while the other two are wearing civilian clothes. A brick building is visible in the background.

    Criminal investigation department van

    Helsinki Police Department received the first criminal investigation department investigation van in 1951.

    Photo: The Police Museum, the Crime Museum collection

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  • A black-and-white photograph of a man, wearing a lab coat, standing in an archive room. The walls of the room are stacked high with archival drawers. The man is examining a paper he has taken out of a drawer.

    Archive of the Distinguishing Features Office

    One of the methods used by criminal investigation departments has been to collect various types of information and compile personal registers. The Crime Research Centre’s Distinguishing Features Office collected a variety of information of criminals, including fingerprints, photographs and a card file of nicknames.

    Photo: The Police Museum, the Crime Museum collection

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  • A black-and-white photograph of four men investigating a car inside a garage.

    Smugglers’ car

    The Prohibition Act meant a lot of work for the police in 1919–1932. Even though the purpose of passing the Act was to safeguard public morale, to eradicate crime and bad manners, the exact opposite happened. Smuggling and trade of liquor started to flourish, and the crime rate increased manifold.

    In the photo, police from Helsinki investigate the car of moonshine bootleggers.

    Photo: The Police Museum, the Crime Museum collection

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