Hong Kong Regional Crime Prevention Office, Tai Po
Also known as “Old Tai Po Police Station”. It sits at the top of Wan Tau Kok Lane, No. 11 to be precise, behind Tai Po Market MTR station in Tai Po, right next door to the Old District Office North (see an earlier entry for more information).
As mentioned before, my old KCR booklet actually decsribes #20 Wan Tau Kok Lane as the Old Police Station, but this seems to be incorrect.
Anyway, the complex at the top of the hill is referred to on Centamap as the title of this entry (Regional Crime Prevention Office). It was built in 1899 and was the first police station and Police Headquarters in the New Territories. The complex is made up mainly of a one-storey simply designed building with the south and east elevations having ‘former’ verandahs. Some Chinese architectural influence is in place, notably the roofs. But the original truss system had been replaced with metal trusses. The complex is about 1,300 sq m in size and is a Grade II historical building. Inside the buildings are a canteen and a kitchen, detention cells, reporting rooms, loading area and office area.
It seems as though there is currently some debate as to what to do with the place. The Spurrier book notes that it is a temporary home for the Marine Police, but actually it now stands empty as the North District Marine Police have moved to a new HQ in Sha Tin. You can’t go in as the place is fenced off and the picture included below is about the best view you will get – although there is also a guard box by the main gate. Various options are being touted for its reuse – such as a holiday camp or art and craft retreat. Personally I think it would make a great place to house a museum for the history of Tai Po. Getting people up to that part of the town would be a good thing considering the proximity of several other places of interest already mentioned.
Interestingly, on the opposite side of Kwong Fuk Rd are the “Old Police Cottages” that used to accommodate some of the senior police who would have been stationed here in its heyday.