Lawson Street Police Station – Divisional Headquarters

Author sophos9 - Last updated: 20.10.2010

Written by Pixie

I was lucky enough to get permission to photograph the police station last year as part of some work I was doing on a project. Its inaccessible as its still in use for part for taking prisoners to court.

Lawson Street Police station in preston was the Divisional Headquarters, it is joined on to the Magistrates court allowing easy transportation from the holding cells in the police station to the courtroom and vice versa.
I dont have much history as of yet sorry, but what I can tell you is, it was built in around the 1960’s which means it didnt have a long life.

With health and safety regulations getting more and more strict the closure was forced quite simply because of one set of stairs, only half a dozen steps but these led down to the male cell area, according to h&s these steps could cause serious injury to either prisoner or police should there be any kind of altercation on the stairs or if a drunk or drugged up prisoner fell, and so the closure was approved.

detainees would have been brought in from a garage area underneath the police station and up stairs to this gate

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They would have been brought through and booked in here, shoes and belongings were taken off them and stored in a small room off this area

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This is the cell gate to one of two observation cells which were situated directly opposite the booking in area, generally used for detainees who were considered to be a risk to themselves or for juveniles

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The female cells situated just behind the booking in desk

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Inside one of the female cells, this is one with a high bed suitable for detainees who were not under the influence of drink or drugs

[singlepic id=54 w=590 float=none]

The first row of male cells, at the end was situated the offending stairs

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Male cell, the ones on the inside wall of the block all contained toilets, this one has a low bed for anyone under the influence of drugs or drink

[singlepic id=57 w=590 float=none]

This fan, was used to blow stuff off any detainees, i cant remember what the said stuff was though sorry!

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Unusually Lawson Street had an exercise yard, this is an enclosed yard in the centre of the building, the windows you can see are the windows to the cells which were built in a u shape around this

[singlepic id=60 w=590 float=none]

This was the only area detainees could smoke and many of them used their cigarette stubs to make their mark on the walls, as you can see though even though they were searched some of them still managed to get pens in !!

[singlepic id=61 w=590 float=none]

and finally, upstairs another unusual room, most recently used as a locker room this was originally a shooting range

[singlepic id=62 w=590 float=none]

these werent the images i used for the project but you can see them on


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