Highgate Hill Police Station, Lockup & Quarters (fmr)


City of Vincent

Place Number



57 Lincoln St Perth

Location Details

Additional address: 12 Smith Street, Perth

Other Name(s)

Highgate Police Station, Lockup & Quarters

Local Government




Construction Date

Constructed from 1897 to 1906

Demolition Year


Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents
Heritage List Adopted
State Register Registered 12 May 2000 HCWebsite.Listing+ListingDocument, HCWebsite.Listing+ListingDocument

Heritage Council Decisions and Deliberations

Type Status Date Documents
(no listings)

Other Heritage Listings and Surveys

Type Status Date Grading/Management
Municipal Inventory Adopted 13 Nov 1995 Category A
Classified by the National Trust Classified 11 Sep 2000

Statement of Significance

Highgate Hill Police Station (former) was an early suburban Police Station established in the early years of the district. The station continued to be used for community policing activities until the Second World War, when it became the centre for police wireless operations. Latterly it has been the home of the Road Safety Section and Bicycle Education unit of the WA Police Service. It has had continuous associations with the Police Department demonstrating changes in police operations.

Physical Description

The Station & Lockup and Police Quarters are single-storey brick and iron buildings. The Station was constructed in a standard bungalow style with verandahs on all sides and consisted of a charge room and two cells. The Quarters were built in a Federation Bungalow style with three bedrooms, a living room, kitchen and external bathroom. Additional structures have been added to link and extend the buildings. Considerable setback from Lincoln Street- hard surface. The quarters faces Smith Street and has a minimal setback more residential in nature. Addition of transmission room, carport and plant room to Quarters in 1969.


The place comprises a former Police Station and Lockup, constructed in 1897 by W. Young at a cost of £464-9-6 on Perth Lot 1088 (Crown Reserve 6245). Tenders were called on 26 March and awared on 7 May 1897 with completion scheduled for 7 August that year. The maintenance contract was awarded to W.C Mirfim and the station was officially opened on 1 November 1897. It consisted of a charge room and two lock-up cells. A water tank was situated originally on the south-east corner of the verandah and an earth closet (EC) and soak well on the property's north-east corner. In 1899 constable Michael Leen was in charge of the station. He remained until 1901. At this time a cow was kept in the fenced-off back half of the Police Station block. The suburban police station dates from the initial development phase of Highgate Hill. It is shown on the c1897 PWD sewerage plans. It is interesting to note that the plans for its construction were examined by Robert J. Haddon, W.B Hardwick and hillson Beasley, architects at PWD. Beasely was Chief Architect at PWD and responsible for a number of prominent buildings in the Vincent area and Haddon later became a notable architect and author in Melbourne, and Professor of Architecture at Melbourne University. The original plans included the police quarters but they were not erected until 1906. The builder was C.H Carter and the contractor and the contract price of 500 pounds. They consisted of a living room, three bedrooms, kithchen and outside bathroom and they were first occupied by the officer - in - charge, Corporal Patrick O'Halloran. He was still there in 1910 but by 1915 Sergeant John Kingston was in charge. The officer - in - charge of Highgate police station was allocated seven foot constables. In May 1898 two of these, McArthur and O'Conner were shot at while trying to apprehend a man with a rifle at the Brisbane Hotel in 1928. Mark's sucessor was Sergeant H. Jones. This shooting, which upset many of the local residents, also helped the Police Commissioner's lobby for the introduction of a firearms licensing system in WA. The first police constables in the Colony were appointed by Governor Stirling in 1829 but by 1850, only approximately 20 had been employed. A police force was established in 1851 in response to the arrival of convicts. In 1871 its number had grown to 146 and there were 36 police stations. A Police Act, passed in 1892 was amongst the early legislative acts passed after full self government was granted in Western Australia in 1890. Other police stations opened around the time of Highgate one were Claremont (1895), West Perth (1897), Fremantle (1897), North Fremantle (1897), Leederville (1898), Subiaco (1898), Beaconsfield (1898) and East Fremantle (1899). These were opened in response to the population grwoth - and suburban expansion - which was a result of the gold rushes. The Highgate Station was closed on 2 December 1940 following the opening of a new Inglewood Police Station. In late 1941 or early 1942, the central wireless section serving the police force was covertly moved from police headquarters into the Highgate Station and lock- up as a result of Japan's entry into World War II. Its call sign was VKI - Licence No. 1258. The location of the wireless section was kept secret at that time, as it was considered a prime bombing target. The wireless antennae was attached to the 38 metre tall sewer vent on the corner of the station block. A further response to Japan's entry in the War was the connection of all police stations to the system on 30 June 1942. It is possible that during this time the station was also used by the Commonwealth Department of Defence for communications purposes as it was not uncommon for Commonwealth Departments to use local police facilities. The police wireless service had been established in 1930 with its transmitter at Wireless Hill in Applecross until 1936 when it was moved to the Central Police Station. In 1949 the Highgate Station became the centre for vehicular communications which led to the formation of the Traffic Branch and Road Traffic Authority (RTA). In 1956 the wireless section was moved into the larger Police Quarters, and the building was extended to accommodate additional equipment and services. In June 1959, just three years after its location was disclosed, Police Commissioner J.M O'Brien reported: The Wireless Station in Lincoln Street, Highgate Hill, operates a 24 hours service; and in addition to the two way Morse system which enables the department to communicate direct with the headquarters of other Police Forces within the Commonwealth, it is now possible to send to and receive messages by radio telephony from all District Police Offices in the State, with the exception of Broome. The cars used for patrol duty in the Metropolitan area, the police launch, four vans and 37 other motor cars and utilities are also fitted with two way wireless sets while all police stations within the radius of the metropolitan area are now equipped with wireless and receiving sets. Constable (later Sergeant) S.C 'Jimmy' Austin was officer-in-charge of the wireless section from 1930 to 1966. The quarters were furthered enlarged in 1968 with the addition of a new plant room and a carport. In 1975, the final year of its operation at Highgate, VKI had radio connections with all the metropolitan police stations 338 vehicles and two launches plus links interstate and a country network of 39 base stations and 95 mobiles. In 1975 the Wireless Branch, known initially as the Radio Section and later again , the Communications Section, was transferred to Police Headquarters in East Perth. The Highgate Hill Police Station continued to be used by the WA Police Service, and was most recently occupied by the Road Safety Section and Bicycle Education unit. In 1999 the former Highgate Hill Police Station and lock - up and quarters were entered on the Register of Heritage Places on an Interim basis.


Mostly intact


Name Type Year From Year To
Public Works Department Architect - -

State Heritage Office library entries

Library Id Title Medium Year Of Publication
4330 Heritage Assessment of WA Police Services Property Highgate Concerning the Lincoln Street Ventilating Stack Former Police Station and Lockup Heritage Study {Other} 1998
4474 Highgate Hill Police Station (FMR), Lincoln Street, Highgate: Conservation Plan Heritage Study {Cons'n Plan} 1999
4329 57 Lincoln Street Highgate-Former Police Station and Quarters (the Highgate Hill Police Station): Submission to the Heritage Council of Western Australia for Inclusion of the Highgate Police Station on the Register of Heritage Places Report 1998

Place Type

Individual Building or Group


Epoch General Specific
Original Use GOVERNMENTAL Gaol
Present Use GOVERNMENTAL Police Station or Quarters
Original Use GOVERNMENTAL Police Station or Quarters

Architectural Styles

Federation Bungalow

Construction Materials

Type General Specific
Wall BRICK Common Brick
Roof METAL Corrugated Iron

Historic Themes

General Specific
PEOPLE Famous & infamous people

Creation Date

08 Oct 1998

Publish place record online (inHerit):


Last Update

04 Jan 2018


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