Seized! family day

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Meet the teams keeping the UK border safe at Maritime Museum

Head to the Merseyside Maritime Museum for an exciting day of free family activities linked to the collections in the Seized! The Border and Customs uncovered gallery on Saturday 29th  September from 11am to 4pm.

Visitors will have the opportunity to meet some of the Border Force teams – including the amazing sniffer dogs - and discover the fascinating work that goes into protecting our borders.

Hold live snakes, tortoises and lizards while finding out about the illegal trade in smuggling endangered species. Meet the human and canine members of the Border Force sniffer dog team. See the team in action during demonstrations and learn about their important role in drug detection and in protecting our ports and airports.

Seized! is the National Museum of Border Force. It highlights their work in protecting us against some of today’s most organised and dangerous criminals. It includes stories about the fight against people trafficking, and the smuggling of drugs, weapons and counterfeit goods. 

Highlights for visitors include: -

  • Meet the animals with Exo Teach – Live snakes, tortoises and lizards are here to help raise awareness about the illegal trade in endangered species. Why have some species have become endangered and what are the Border Force are doing to combat it?
  • Sniffer Dog demonstrations - Meet the human and canine members of the Border Force sniffer dog team from Manchester Airport, demonstrating their skills in detecting smuggled goods.
  • Border Force Rummage Team demonstration aboard MV Brocklebank - Merseyside Maritime Museum’s restored tug boat.
  • Forgery Detection Team – Meet the officers who specialise in spotting forged documents which can be used to enter the country illegally.
  • Fakes team – Find out where counterfeit  goods come from and what are the risks of buying substandard and often dangerous goods.  Can you spot a fake?
  • There are a variety of ways people smuggle endangered animals and plants into the country. See some unique wild life specimens and meet National Wildlife Crimes Unit’s specialist investigator, Andy McWilliam.
  • See Border Force’s own Tractor truck unit and a Ford Kuga car, both specially adapted with hiding space to smuggle goods and seized at the port of Dover.   
  • Crafts and face painting activities.

Steve Butler, Curator of Seized! says,

“Border Force does a vital job in protecting us from dangerous and often illegal activity. This day is about the work they do, but showing it in a fun way that everyone can engage with. The live animals are always really popular and families love the sniffer dogs.

“I think visitors will be surprised at how close fakes and crime can be to home and everyday lives. The day offers the opportunity to meet some of the specialist teams we don’t always see when we pass through the port and airport. It will raise awareness about the work of Border Force but in an enjoyable and entertaining way.”

Seized! is the Border Force National Museum, in the basement of Merseyside Maritime Museum, it opened in 2008. There is no other museum of this kind in Britain and it offers a unique perspective on protecting the UK’s border.

More information about Seized! can be found with #seizedgallery and at:

Full listings for the day:

  • Border Force National Deep Rummage Team – on the Brocklebank displaying specialist techniques and equipment. Quayside in front of the Maritime Museum at intervals 11am-4pm

  • Border Force Sniffer Dog team – demonstrate their skills. Lecture Theatre Fourth Floor 12.30, 1.30, 2.30, 3.30pm

  • Exoteach – Get up close with live snakes, tortoise and lizards. Learning Base B, Basement 11am-4pm

  • Face painting with Cases Faces Foyer - Ground Floor, 12.30-3.30pm

  • Border Force CITES Team will show us seized contraband from endangered species such as elephants and snakes - Learning Base B, Basement 11am-4pm

  • Border Force Counterfeit Detection Unit bring their collection of fake consumer goods and some cautionary tales -  Colonnades Ground Floor 11am-4pm

  • Rummage – Have a go at being a Rummage Officer and search for smuggled goods in our mock ship’s cabin. Seized!, Basement, 1.00, 1.30, 2.00, 3.00, 3.30pm

  • Border Force Forgery Team – How do you spot a fake document? Our experts will reveal some tricks of the trade.Seized!, Basement, 11am-4pm

  • Border Force  Keeping Children Safe Team  – information stand Third Floor, 11am-4pm

  • Border Coastal Patrol Craft – Albert Dock, 11am-4pm

Notes to Editors

About Merseyside Maritime Museum
Albert Dock, Liverpool Waterfront, Liverpool, L3 4AQ
Open daily 10am-5pm
Tel: 0151 478 4499
Free entry

Merseyside Maritime Museum was the first public building to open at Albert Dock 30 years ago in 1986, heralding the renaissance of Liverpool’s iconic waterfront. Once a warehouse for high value goods like tea, silk, sugar and spirits, the Museum now explores Liverpool’s maritime history through its large and varied collection.

Highlights include a lifejacket from a Titanic survivor, beautiful ship models, maritime paintings, colourful posters from the golden age of liners and even some full-sized vessels. Two major exhibitions tell the stories and history behind the tragic sinkings of Lusitania and Titanic, and their links to Liverpool.

Visitors can also learn what it’s like to be a customs officer and captain a high speed cutter to stop smugglers in the hands-on gallery Seized! the Border and Customs uncovered.

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Twitter: @merseymaritime

National Museums Liverpool

National Museums Liverpool comprises eight venues, including some of the most visited museums in England outside of London. Our collections are among the most important and varied in Europe and contain everything from Impressionist paintings and rare beetles to a lifejacket from the Titanic. We attract more than 3.3 million visitors every year. Our venues are the Museum of Liverpool, World Museum, the Walker Art Gallery, Merseyside Maritime Museum, International Slavery Museum, Seized! (UK Border Force National Museum), Sudley House and the Lady Lever Art Gallery.