In the early 1900s, Singapore grew rapidly and the crime rate rose with the city's expansion. Harold Fariburn - the Inspector – General of Police from 1925 to 1935 – realised that the Police needed a programme of modernisation and expansion. As a result, police stations like the Beach Road Police Station were built around the 1930s.
There was an older police station with a fire engine at this site. This was before the Central Fire Station at Hill Street was built, and fire-fighting outfits were decentralised in this manner. When the new Beach Road Police Station was constructed in the early 1930s, it consisted of the site of the older police station and a Chandu (opium) shop with a petrol pump.
Completed in 1931, the new Beach Road Police Station was a typical government-designed building of pre-war years. F. Dorrington Ward, the Municipal engineer exercised a strong influence over the building's mason-stone based design.
This police station was a holding centre for some Jews, Chinese and Indians a few days before they were interned at Changi during the Japanese Occupation (1942-1945). It was an evacuation centre towards the end of the war for the general population. This station also provided police assistance during the Maria Hertogh Riots of 1950.
From the mid 1950s to 1960s, this police station went through a series of general repairs. Typical of all police staions before the 1960s, police stations had living quarters for their staff and families. Part of the Beach Road Police Station was reserved for such quarters. In 1957, 48 new quarters for married personnel were added to the station. After independence, the Geylang Police Divisional HQ, also known as "C" Division was moved to the Beach Road Police Station until May 1988 when it shifted to Paya Lebar. "A" Division then moved in, later known as the Central Police Divisional HQ. This police station ceased operations in 2001.
There are two military buildings near the Beach Road Police Station. One is the People's Defence Force (PDF) camp, which was the former Straits Settlements Volunteer Force (SSVF) opened in March 1933. The other is the Singapore Armed Forces Warrant Officers and Specialists (WOSE) Club, formerly known as the Britannia Club that was built by the British in the late 1940s. Another notable landmark nearby is the Kheng Chiu building, built in 1963, which incorporated parts of an old temple accessible through the main entrance. The building belongs to the Singapore Hainan Hwee Kuan dating back to 1857. Another building in the vicinity was the famous Alhambra Cinema. Built in 1907, it was nicknamed "Hai Kee" (by the sea) due to its proximity to the sea. The theatre was one of the pioneer cinema halls in the early 1930s. The Alhambra Cinema eventually made way for Shaw Towers in the 1970s.