1 Criminal Police of St Petersburg in the Early Soviet Era and Beyond

Criminal Police of St Petersburg in the Early Soviet Era and Beyond

Posted on September 7, 2015 by tim


This photoset explores in detail the work and hard days of the criminal police during the early era of St. Petersburg – the second biggest Russian city. The city, which was a base for the famous Dostoevski novel, Crime and Punishment, for sure was in need of a good investigative service to protect the citizens. So here is how it all started…

Actually it started even before the Soviet era, in the late Victorian age of the 1860s. The first boss of the criminal police was its creator and later a mayor of St. Petersburg, Fyedor Trepov.

And this man, Ivan Putilin, was his successor.

This man was leading the department just before the Revolution struck.

And in the first days of new proletarian dictatorship, Kirpichnikov Arkadi as appointed as the leader of the St. Petersburg investigators.

Here is one of the acts from the archives of the service – the burning down of an old Coat of Arms of the old Russian Empire, right after the revolution.

Revolutionary forces consisting of the most lower class people shoot the police officers who were still faithful to the Tsar the Emperor.

Checking the documents of the visitors of Smolny – the Bolshevik mecca of 1917.

The ex-ruling class is forced to indulge in labor. Labor day!

The criminal police officers visit a crime scene.

The active service members of the department in 1919.

A department chapter dealing with pickpocket thefts, with its chief presiding behind the table. 1920.

Police officers join forces with the army to storm Kronshtadt fortress near St. Petersburg.

Police officers visiting the judicial medicine classes in Petrograd in 1922.

An investigator’s dog finds a “thief” – the cab driver. It’s a piece of the training at time.

Here is another service doggy. It caught the famous criminal “Squirrel” in 1921.

The department gets bigger over time. 1922.

Leading members of the department putting the end to many street gangs in the 1920s.

Officers and the city map divided into the regions.

One of the best criminal police officers in Petrograd in the 1920s.

A collection of lockpicks and other instruments to help with opening safes in 1924.

An example of a safe opened with these tools.

An entrance to the criminal police before 1924.

Bringing a suspect into the police station.

Preparing to send a suspect to prison.

A class on criminal sciences.

A group of policemen ready to go on operations. 1924.

A badge to celebrate 10 years of Soviet Police.

Parade of the K9’s at the 15th anniversary of the Soviet Militia-Police.

A badge commemorating 15 years of Police.

Officers after a successful operation in 1934.

After a huge gang of 56 members was taken down these were their weapons and tools.

The murder investigators of the criminal police.

During a resting hour.

Police officers at a grenade throwing class.

Document inspection at the entrance into Leningrad during the first year of WW2 in Russia.

Food confiscated from criminals in an encircled city. During that time, people were largely under eating and all food was precious.

Gold rings and other gold things taken from criminals during the Leningrad siege. People were robbing other people, or often trading a golden ring for a small piece of bread.

Officers planning an operation in 1944.

Officers of the criminal police helping rebuild the city.

A chapter fighting newly reemerged gangs after the war was over.

Weapons seized from the gang members.

Some more weapons.

During 1949 the gang of three was rampaging across Leningrad. They committed over forty armed robberies and seven murders. Here one of them called “Slon” or “Elephant” is being arrested.

A research team was also formed to better equip the department.

Ready to go on a task.

Ready for a parade. 

A parade.

A K9 dog searching for evidence.

Now some later shots – a criminal investigator’s mobile lab in the 1970s.

Here the new equipment has arrived.

An expert working on a crime scene.

Studying the surface.

A group of investigators worked on a famous case in 1973-75.

Studying photo evidence.

A parade.

The best investigators in 1976.

A crime scene in the woods.

Bringing a suspect into a Police station in the late 1970s.

A famous “new era” Russian journalist visiting the police to see the seized antiques.

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One Response to “Criminal Police of St Petersburg in the Early Soviet Era and Beyond”

  1. Dan says:

    Excellent and interesting photos. I’ll bet there was a lot of crime after the war.

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