• Behind the Blue Lamp


In the 1880s North Dulwich Police Station needed replacing as it had become too small for the number of police officers now needed to police the increasing population. In June 1881 Mrs Taite of ‘Rose Bank’, Crystal Palace Road, at the corner of Upland Road, East Dulwich offered her house for use as a police station. The premises were taken on an 85-year lease from 1883. The cost of adapting the property, under the supervision of Metropolitan Police Surveyor John Butler was £1,800.

The new station at ‪97 Crystal Palace Road was ready for use in May 1884. At the same time Police Inspectors Pride and Pearn were transferred from North Dulwich to East Dulwich Police Station. The locale of Dulwich was served from this station for 88 years.

As early as 1959 it was realised that a new, larger police station was needed.

Accommodation was so cramped that in 1972 a two-storey prefabricated administrative building had to be crane-lifted into the yard behind the station to give room for constables to write their reports, and to provide a separate interview room.

The site at 173/183 Lordship Lane and 77/85 Whatley Road, East Dulwich, was purchased for the accumulative sum of £40,000 between the years 1962 and 1963. But it was still some time before the new station was built.

In 1965, with the formation of the London Borough of Southwark, East Dulwich and West Dulwich became Section Stations to Peckham Division.

Work on the new East Dulwich Police Station eventually started in 1975, and it was finally opened in September 1977. It included stables for twelve horses. The new station also served as the Area Four Headquarters (London at that time was divided into four areas, each having a Deputy Assistant Commissioner in overall charge).

East Dulwich Police Station was closed in 2013 and the premises were sold in 2014 for £6.4M.

Information taken from the new book BEHIND THE BLUE LAMP. Click here to learn more.

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© 2020 ADAM WOOD.
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