18. BRIXTON POLICE STATION
There was an early reference to Police in Brixton when the Brixton Wall Stables were leased from a Mr Elden in December 1831 on an annual lease of £9.
In 1852 a freehold site was purchased in Brixton, but it took until September 1857 for the Home Office to approve the plans for a new police station to be built on that site. The new station was designed by Charles Reeves, the Metropolitan Police Surveyor, and opened in 1858. It was very like other Police buildings at the time, built of stock brick and slate. It was three storeys high on a semi-basement, and comprised 16 rooms and six cells.
A report in 1881 described Brixton Police Station as an important station on an ample site. At the time there were 24 single constables living in the Station. Refubrishment work started in 1905 and was completed by 1909, providing accommodation for 31 single men.
This building served as the Police station in Brixton until WWII, when in April 1941 it was badly damaged by a parachute mine and incendiaries. The Fire Brigade were quickly on the scene but were unable to save the roof from being completely burnt. The station was closed and business was transferred to Nine Elms Police Station at 147 Battersea Park Road.
A new Brixton Police Station, erected on the same site as the previous building, was taken into use in 1959.
In April 1981 the Brixton riots resulted in 299 police officers and at least 65 civilians being injured, 61 private vehicles and 56 police vehicles damaged or destroyed, 28 premises burned and another 117 damaged and looted. There were 82 arrests for various offences. Both the Police and the community were to learn valuable lessons for the future from the experience.
Information taken from the new book BEHIND THE BLUE LAMP. Click here to learn more.