History of Quarters

3 Photos

Since its inception, the Force has provided staff with quarters or housing allowances as part of staff welfare. In the early days of the Force, most police officers were recruited from the United Kingdom and the Colonial Government provided them with quarters. According to records, the early senior officers lived in police stations until 1856 when the Colonial Government began providing separate quarters. Thereafter, the Captain Superintendent and high-ranking officers were also given housing allowances in lieu of quarters.

Although quarters were provided, many police officers in the early days had to live in the buildings where they were stationed because many police stations were located in far-flung and isolated areas with no convenient means of transport. Therefore, in the original architectural blueprints of early police stations, certain parts or floors of the stations were designated as officers' quarters.

In the former Marine Police Headquarters built in 1884, for example, the top floor of the west wing tower block was used to be the residence of the Superintendent of the Water Police. The early Captain Superintendent also resided in the "Daai Gwoon" - then the Police Headquarters. On completion of the Peak Police Station at Mount Gough, which replaced the No. 6 Police Station at Victoria Gap, the latter was re-designated as quarters for police officers stationed at the Peak Police Station.

Sometimes, the families of police officers also resided within police stations, an arrangement that continued until the mid-1960s. The officer-in-charge of the then Wanchai Gap Police Station - the present site of the Police Museum - lived within the station with his wife.

In the early days, the Force provided quarters or housing allowances for high-ranking officers only. When Duncan William MacIntosh was Commissioner of Police, the Force started providing married rank and file officers with quarters. The first of these was the Hollywood Road Married Quarters, inaugurated in April 1951, followed by the Canton Road Rank and File Married Quarters, inaugurated in February 1953. Another Married Quarters was built on the grounds of the Arsenal Street Police Headquarters in 1957. Many more rank and file married quarters were subsequently built in Cheung Sha Wan, North Point, Tin Kwong Road, Kennedy Town and Wong Tai Sin. Married police officers were allocated quarters according to their seniority. As more married quarters were built, married rank and file officers and their families were able to enjoy better housing at low rents.

The former Arsenal Street Police Rank & File Married Quarters

The Inspectors' Quarters located at the junction of Caine and Seymour Roads was completed around 1921.

The former Cheung Sha Wan Police Rank & File Married Quarters

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