An Introduction

Crime author Peter James sits in a cell at the old Sussex police station in Brighton after taking part in the "Jail and Bail" fundraising event for Crimestoppers Sussex, Brighton, East Sussex, 10th February 2010
CC Giles York reflects on 50 years of Sussex Police
It is exactly five decades since the borough forces of Hastings, Eastbourne and Brighton, and the county forces of East Sussex and West Sussex, came together in January 1968 to form Sussex Police. Back then we saw the introduction of the Ford Escort, rock band Led Zeppelin and BBC sitcom Dad’s Army. It is also the year five and ten pence coins were introduced in preparation for decimalisation in 1971, the M1 was completed and the first Isle of Wight Festival was held.


The museum was the brainchild of the late Brighton Councillor John Drake. His wife adopted it as her mayoral project and the museum was opened on the 4th May 2005 by the Mayor of the City of Brighton and Hove, Councillor Mrs Pat Drake. The museum was created thanks to the work and enthusiasm of retired and serving police officers and council staff and with the wonderful support of the Brighton Princes Trust and graphics students from the University of Brighton.

All our staff are volunteers and we’re always interested in new recruits, so if you’re interested please contact us.

Our criminal past

For a taste of Brighton’s criminal past, weave through the lanes to the Old Police Cells Museum in the dank basement of Brighton Town Hall.
You can peek into the bleak cells, relive the events leading to the death of the Chief Constable who was murdered in 1844 and learn about some of the mods and rockers who were briefly incarcerated here after violence on the beaches.
Standing in a cold, dark cell bathed in a cold, blue light, with no access to pen and paper, many took advantage of the only blank canvass available to them: the cell wall.
Venture down into the sub-basemen into the parquet-floored police clothing store where ‘capes’ and ‘breeches’ were kept and fearless ghost hunters can now spend a lonely vigil in the dark, silent hours before the dawn.
Many of our guests experience the heavy, brooding atmosphere prevalent in our subterranean domain.


The police station was condemned as unfit for use in 1929 but continued in use up 1967, just before the amalgamation of five separate forces; East Sussex, West Sussex, Brighton, Eastbourne and Hastings, into Sussex Constabulary in 1968. The force was rebranded as Sussex Police in 1974.

Contributing to the site

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Comments about this page

Very good Website, Carry on the useful job. Many thanks!