You might think our obsession with gritty crime series would have toughened us all up. But although the Museum of London's new show is completely absorbing, most people will find 'The Crime Museum Uncovered' an intense, unsettling experience. This is the first time these grim exhibits from the Metropolitan Police Force's Black Museum, as the Crime Museum is also known, have gone on public display. The exhibition's curators have successfully avoided sensationalism and the exhibition's methodical design is excellent, inviting you to focus carefully on each of more than 20 individual cases as well as themed sections on topics including illegal abortion, terrorism, counterfeiting, espionage, and the challenge of distinguishing a real firearm from a replica. But the relentless succession of sad stories and objects used to cause harm is quite hard to take. Still, these are all cases the Met has successfully solved and many have triggered an important development in policing the capital or the detection of crime.
There's a particularly imaginative programme of themed events to accompany the exhibition's run; places are bound to go fast so it's worth booking early.
A Crime Uncovered Walk promises to uncover some of the secrets of forensic techniques and detection (Sat Oct 10, 24; Nov 7; Dec 5, 19, 11am-1pm. £20).
Uncovering the Crime Museum: Meet the Experts is a chance to quiz Keith Skinner from the Crime Museum and former Chief Superintendent Alan Moss about the museum's history (Thu Oct 15, 7-9.45pm. £15, £23 with exhibition adm).
At Curating the Crime Museum Uncovered you can talk to the show's curators to learn about challenges of curating such sensitive subject matter as well as visiting the exhibition after hours (Mon Nov 16, Jan 18, Mar 14, 7-9.30pm. £35).
Crack the Case is a workshop that will appeal to anyone who fancies them self a bit of a sleuth. Exploring the future of preventative, digital crime-fighting, you'll use interactive apps and problem solving to crack a case against the clock (Tue Nov 24, Wed Dec 16, 7-10pm. £36).
The Crime Museum: Fact and Fiction is a chance to join authors and experts to rehash the 140-year history of a private museum that has proved a source of endless fascination to those who haven't had access to it (Tue Dec 1, 7-9pm. £15, £23 with exhibition adm).
Find out more about The Crime Museum Uncovered.