Old Bailey Street

Old Bailey Street

Old Bailey Street

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Old Bailey Street () is located in Central, Hong Kong. The name is derived from the Old Bailey, the Central Criminal Court in central London, United Kingdom.

Victoria Prison, the first prison in Hong Kong, was built on Old Bailey Street in 1841. As the population in Hong Kong grew, a larger prison was needed and in 1925 construction began in Stanley. Later that year a new prison opened as Stanley Prison where those sentenced to more than a year in detention were sent.

During the early colonisation of Hong Kong, prisoners in Victoria Prison were forced to parade in public, were often beaten with a cane, and their arms locked with a cangue on which their name and crimes-committed were penned. Policeman, often of Indian descent, would walk the prisoners to a plaza in front of the Man Mo Temple where the lawbreakers were scoffed and condemned by the passers-by. After a few hours, the criminal was returned to the Old Bailey Street jail. This form of punishment was abolished after World War I.

The old Victoria Prison still stands on Old Bailey Street, but is no longer in use. It was closed in December 2005 and the Hong Kong Government is currently in consultation as to what to do with both the Prison and the old Central Police Station, which is at the intersection of Old Bailey Street and Hollywood Road.

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