Sham Shui Po Police Station [1925- ]

Submitted by stepheneroberts on Fri, 01/30/2009 - 06:23
Current condition
In use
Date completed

Photos that show this Place


Notes from the Antiquities Advisory Board's Historic Building Appraisal (currently grade 3, proposed to downgrade to grade 2):

Sham Shui Po Police Station. No. 37A Yen Chow Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon

Historical Interest

Sham Shui Po Police Station (深水埗警署) was built in 1925. The architects were Palmer and Turner and the contract was let to Wing Yick Company. It was built in response to the influx of Chinese immigrants, the subsequent deterioration of social conditions and increased crime rates. During the period of Japanese Occupation (1941-1945) the police station was used as a command post to administer the internment camp nearby. During the Double Tenth Riot in 1956, which first broke out in Lee Cheng Uk (李鄭屋), the police station was besieged by Nationalist (Guomindang) sympathizers and tear-gas and firearms were deployed. Since the establishment of Cheung Sha Wan Police Station (長沙灣警署) in 1978, it has been a sub-divisional police station.

Architectural Merit

The police station premises consist of five blocks named from A to E. The
oldest building is Block C which is a three-storey block having a symmetrical plan, with Neo-Classical façades facing Yen Chow Street (欽州街) and Lai Chi Kok Road (荔枝角道). The façades have deep verandahs at first and second floor levels with ornamental balustrades and giant columns. The verandahs jut out over the pavement and are supported by an arcade of semi-circular arches.
The finish of the walls appears to be Shanghai plaster and the arches and columns of the arcade are grooved with imitation voussoirs, keystones and joints to resemble stonework. The roof is pitched and covered with Chinese tiles. Several chimney stacks protrude above the roofline. The façades facing the courtyard are more modern looking and more Bauhaus in design. The  facades of the other blocks are also of modern design with rectangular forms, flat roofs, white walls, regular bands of windows and long horizontal projecting balconies and typhoon canopies.

Rarity, Built Heritage Value & Authenticity

Sham Shui Po Police Station is one of the oldest police stations in Kowloon. With its powerful and dramatic symmetrical façades, it is a distinctive piece of architecture with obvious built heritage value. It is well maintained with many original architectural features still preserved.

Social Value & Local Interest

The social value of the police station lies in its continuous service to the local community in maintaining law and order since its establishment in 1925. Special programmes targeting the district’s needs have been launched such as the setting up of Neighbourhood Policing Units and the Police Community Youth Camps for teenagers living in the district. With its prominent position at the corner of Yen Chow Street and Lai Chi Kok Road it is a landmark in the area.

Group Value

Sham Shui Po Police Station is physically close to a number of historic buildings, namely, Sham Shui Po Public Dispensary (深水埗醫局), Mo Tai Temple (武帝廟), Tin Hau Temple (天后廟), Sam Tai Tsz Temple and Pak Tai Temple (三太子廟及北帝廟) and a number of tenement houses along Yen Chow Street (欽州街), Nam Cheong Street (南昌街), Ki Lung Street (基隆街), Un Chau Street (元州街) and Apliu Street (鴨寮街).

Adaptive Re-use

As far as is known there are no plans to close down the police station so that the question of adaptive re-use does not arise at present. It will probably continue to be used as a police station for many more years to come.

Sham Shui Po Police Station was accorded a Grade III status by the Antiquities Advisory Board in 1987 in view of its historical and architectural merit.

Although the building was ready by 15th June 1925, the staff moved into the new premises on the weekend of 8th-9th August 1925:





Shamshuipo district now has its own up-to-date Police Station, this having been constructed on the same lines as the one recently finished at Kowloon City. In size and appearance the new Station is exactly a duplicate of the latter, and its completion is but another step marking the growth of a new populous area.

During the week-end the men from the old Stations in Shamshuipo and Tainam Street moved into the new building, but in spite of a very free use of space for “elbow room” the whole building could not be occupied. However, present indications are that the development of the district and the growth of its population will be such as to necessitate constant additions to the personnel of the Police station. In thus providing for a much larger building than is necessary for present requirements, the authorities are simply taking time by the forelock.

In addition to the usual office and cells there are also provided comfortable quarters for both the single and married members of the force. Up-to-date lavatory arrangements are also included.

Source: The Hong Kong Telegraph, page 1, 10th August 1925…