Former CID Headquarters

Located along Eu Tong Sen Street are a cluster of old pale-bluish buildings surrounded by fence. It is where the Singapore Police Force’s (SPF) Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Headquarters was previously situated, along with the former Police Operational Headquarters at Pearl’s Hill Terrace.

Both the police headquarters, historically known as Lower and Upper Barracks, were built in the 1930s for the Straits Settlements Police’s (SSP) Sikh contingent. After Singapore’s independence in 1965, the buildings were used to function as the Ministry of Interior and Defence (the predecessor of the Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Home Affairs) until the late seventies.

After their new headquarters were established at the nearby Cantonment Road, CID shifted away from here and it was handed over to the Police Licensing Division. The Licensing Division, too, has moved to Cantonment Road shortly after and this site has been left vacant since 1996.

In the five-storey main building, the first level was perhaps the most famous with its 13 cell rooms that had countless of hardcore criminals locked up during interrogations. Throughout the years, there are persisting rumours that the cell rooms are haunted due to past suicides of the criminals.

It was also reported that in 1990, a police officer shot himself inside the toilet on the third floor.

Today, the first level of the main block of the former headquarters, which are owned by Singapore Land Authority (SLA), is opened to the public and immediately attracts interest from various organisations. Some are keen to hold events like Halloween parties, while others intend to organise exploring trips in this forgotten place of more than one decade.

While the former CID Headquarters is left vacant, the former Police Operational Headquarters has been given a new lease of life in recent years. The building is now occupied by companies specialised in arts and sculptures.

Both former headquarters were gazetted by Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) for conservation in Decemeber 2008

Published: 27 November 2010

Updated: 09 July 2012

13 Responses to Former CID Headquarters

  1. richmond sugita says:

    hi,i’ve been there today. it’s quite fun going in there and i enjoyed it a lot with 5 other friends. is there any other cases of police officers commiting suicide?

  2. Vance gilday says:

    I was recently in Singapore and walked past this building, I had no idea what it was but felt a strange sense of intruige. Thankyou for posting this information about it, I wish I had gone in to see it now but I will definately return and have a look.

  3. areohama says:

    hi.. is the area being fenced? is it a restriction building?

  4. Mike Zeng says:

    From 50s to 70s, this property was the Police HQ as well as Central Police A Div Station, CNB and anti-vice offices. I worked there in the 70s and 80s.

  5. Peter Dunlop author "Street names of Singapore" says:

    Look carefully at the map and you can see that the railway ran here between what is now Duxton Park and Tank Road

  6. The Upper and Lower Barracks were also home to the Police Radio Division in the 70s and 80s

    (Photo Credit: Singapore Police Force)
    In the past, Radio Cars were situated outside the Lower Barracks to ensure the Police could respond to ‘999’ calls immediately. These cars would respond to situations island-wide.

    Opened in 1934 by Governor of Singapore Sir Shenton Thomas, the Upper and Lower Barracks housed the Sikh Contingent of the Straits Settlements Police. Decades later, the headquarters of the Singapore Police Force (SPF) and the Criminal Investigation Unit called the compound home till 2001.

    The neo-classical styled Upper Barracks also housed the Ministry of Interior and Defence during its formative years after Singapore’s Independence. The ministry was later split to form the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Defence. One of the more well known occupants at Pearl’s Hill was the Radio Division.

    Because of Pearl’s Hill’s prime location, it was easy for policemen to be mobilised to radio cars which would be used to attend to emergencies. Considered as state-of-the-art communications technology then, the radios played a crucial role in coordinating police work in the early years. The Upper and Lower Barracks are important reminders of the beginnings of the Singapore Police Force.

    The Singapore Police Force and the National Heritage Board jointly marked the Upper and Lower Barracks as historic sites on 3 December 2012, in conjunction with the Police Heritage Centre’s 10th Anniversary celebrations.

    See full story:

  7. Oldies says:

    i used to live at the quaters behind the office there… since my father work as a police officer…

    • Michael says:

      I served two years of NS at police HQ just above CID in 1998-2000.

      In the first photo, the small hut like building, I think every Thursday morning there’ll be lots of pretty girls sitting inside. Heard it’s the legal prostitutes reporting every week with their health check ups.

      I recall the canteen also serves very nice chicken drumstick.

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