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South Australian Police Museum

Because the NT Police originated from South Australia the SA Police Museum is the perhaps the most relevant museum to us and a special page has been created to provide details about SA Police history.

Corner of Gaol Road and Port Road, Adelaide, 8207 4099,, Email

Thebarton Barracks - Home of the SA Police Museum

"South Australia was colonised in 1836. Unlike other states, it was not a penal settlement and migrants were ‘free settlers’. It was hoped that by adopting this type of migrant, a respectable society would grow in South Australia and there would be no need for a Police Force.

This was not to be however as the Marines from the “Buffalo” were unable to control local crime and in particular, deal with criminals coming from the State of Victoria. As a result, Governor Hindmarsh, after a few aborted attempts to control the situation, finally formed a Police Force on April 28th, 1838 with the appointment of 10 mounted and 10 foot constables under the command of Henry Inman, whom he appointed an Inspector of Police.

Another view of Thebarton Barracks. As the police force grew so did the demand for more space and better accommodation and as a result, among other accommodation, was the Mounted Barracks on North Terrace, built in about 1850 then the Thebarton Barracks in about 1916.

Photo and document display room

The Historical Society was formed in 1977 as a result of the work of Constable Robert Clyne with a B.A. Hons. degree who was imbued with the romance of the long police history since its inception. The Society moved through various buildings and finally settled at the present location.

The Society has collected and preserved over 600,000 documents, artefacts and other memorabilia and has a substantial collection of photographs of police and related activities" - text from SAPM website 2013.

Cell block at Thebarton Barracks.

Police Motorcycle Collection

IPA President and AFP member Michelle Harris in an early SA Police Highway Patrol car.

Mounted Trooper display.

Early station display.

Early Marine uniform on display in the museum

Retired SAPOL Commissioned Officer Bill Prior providing a guided tour in period uniform for an International Police Association group.

Painting of early mounted troopers.

Just part of the patch and badge collection

Memorial photo wall for fallen officers.

SA Police Commissioners - Also responsible for the NT directly during the early years.

A model of early Barracks

A display of handcuffs, locks and weapons.

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Squad to be added

Looks like we haven't had a chance to add any information on squads for this period. If you have something you'd like to contribute please email


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