Add:518 Ruijin Rd S.
Credit Cards Accepted
English Service Available
The Museum of Public Security is also widely known as the Police Museum and showcases the history and activities of the shanghai police since its formation in 1854. Given Shanghai’s turbulent history in the last century, and its reputation as a breeding ground for gangs, prostitutes and other illegal activities, you may expect this museum to be interesting.
The exhibits cover the shadiest eras of Shanghai's history. From the colonial period after the Opium War you can see gambling paraphernalia, calling cards of prostitutes, and illegal drugs of various kinds. From the Nationalist and civil war era you can see a newspaper, the earliest surviving, reporting local panic as inflation spiraled out of control. And from the later periods such as the Cultural Revolution of the 1950’s you can see letters of confession of 'counter-revolutionaries' and paperwork from the infamous Gang of Four.
There are also special exhibits themed around prisons, guns owned by famous historical figures, and fire-fighting. Highlights amongst these are the Tilanqiao Prison, built in 1902 and known as "the first prison in the far east", and a room recreating the vast amounts of paperwork police had to use before the introduction of computers.
Not only does this museum show peculiarly Chinese methods of law enforcement, and how this changed over time, it is also worth visiting for a different and unique angle to understanding Shanghai's history.
Tickets: 8 yuan
To get there: Bus No.17, 41, 43, 89, 72, 92, 146, 205, 253, 572
You can download the bilingual Audioguide from HERE