Sydney Crime Museum is an online history of crime in Sydney, which has often affected the lives of ordinary people as well as corrupting the processes of policing, justice and government.

Sydney was founded by criminals and for many years they formed a majority of its population. Various prohibitions have caused many citizens to engage in criminal behavior over the subsequent years, most commonly illegal gambling and drinking.

Immigrants in many countries turn to crime for economic opportunity and this has occurred in Australia, an immigrant nation, with some of the Irish, and later the Italians, Lebanese and Vietnamese in particular being involved in crime in Sydney.

The prohibition on drugs such as marijuana and heroin has had a massive impact on everyday life, with a huge rise in property crime and the measures needed to resist it, including the fortification of residences and the militarization of the police force. Tens of thousands of people have become criminals and over 17,000 heroin addicts have died of overdoses due to the “war on drugs”.

Famous murders, such as the Shark Arm case, have entered Sydney’s folklore, while corrupt zoning decisions have literally shaped the development of the city. You cannot understand Sydney properly without understanding its criminal history.

This museum was established in 2015 and has no physical presence. It is run by a small group of enthusiasts and is fortunate to be able to include material from Alfred McCoy’s history Drug Traffic, Bob Bottom’s important books Connections 1 & 2,  and some of the pictures of the Sydney artist Michael Fitzjames.

We would welcome offers of any form of assistance, including research, design, films, and event management: please see out Contact details.