MP ‘alarmed’ to discover Chinese ‘police station’ on High Street

The Chinese Communist Party is operating a secret police station on Croydon High Street, part of a global network intended to control and intimidate former nationals who have made their homes outside China.

Secret policeman’s balls-up: Xi Jinping has set up a ‘service station’ on Croydon High Street

Beijing claims that almost a quarter of a million “suspects” were “persuaded” to return to China in a 15-month period as a result of the work of these secret police stations.

Britain has three Chinese police stations – the others are in Hendon and Glasgow.

The serious incursion into British national territory by a foreign power prompted an urgent question in the House of Commons this afternoon where Sarah Jones, MP for Croydon Central, expressed her surprise and alarm that such an organisation should be found in the town centre.

In Ireland, the government has already ordered the closure of a Chinese police station in Dublin, which even featured a sign advertising its presence as the “Fuzhou Police Overseas Service Station.”

In this country, under Home Secretary Suella Braverman and where Chris Philp is the policing minister, the government has described the presence of Chinese police stations as “very concerning”.

A civil liberties group based in Spain has alerted the world to the presence of this global network of undeclared police hubs, which are used to silence dissenters and force them to return home.

Researchers identified possible outposts in London and Glasgow after their addresses were among 54 published by Chinese police agencies in the Fuzhou and Qingtian provinces. Click here for their full report.

Safeguard Defenders claims that Chinese police forces have been running “overseas police service stations” in “dozens of countries” across five continents since 2018.

According to the Chinese register, Croydon’s Chinese police station shares office space with a food delivery business based on the High Street. The Hendon station is based in an estate agents, the one in Glasgow in a Chinese restaurant.

Beijing claims the outposts are to combat “transnational fraud” by Chinese people living overseas, and to provide diplomatic services, including the renewal of driving licences.

Closed: Dublin’s Chinese secret police station has already been closed

Chinese officials said 230,000 fraud suspects were “persuaded to return” to China from April 2021 to July this year.

“This creates tremendous fear among the overseas Chinese community,” Jing-Jie Chen, a Paris-based researcher for Safeguard Defenders, told Vice Magazine.

“You finally escape an authoritarian regime but you’re still not free still.”

Chen said the undeclared police “service stations” were a clear violation of the sovereignty of the countries where they were operating, and represented a dangerous incursion of China’s police state into free, democratic societies.

The Chinese Embassy in London said that the so-called police stations were “in fact overseas Chinese service centres.”

Last month, Spanish newspaper El Correo quoted an unnamed Chinese diplomat as acknowledging the “persuasion operations”, saying that bilateral extradition treaties with European countries were “very cumbersome and Europe is reluctant to extradite to China. I don’t see what is wrong with pressuring criminals to face justice”.

Speaking in the House of Commons today, Security Minister Tom Tugendhat said such activities “must be stopped,” stressing it would be “unacceptable” for any foreign government to attempt to operate a security apparatus on British territory.

Global network: how the Madrid-based civil rights group Safeguard Defenders has traced and mapped the secret Chinese police stations

The British government will step up work to prevent “transnational repression” as police investigate reports of undeclared Chinese “police stations” around the country, Tugendhat said.

“It is clear that we can and must do more. I have therefore asked officials to step up the work to ensure that our approach to transnational repression is robust and I have asked our department to review our approach to transnational repression as a matter of urgency,” Tugendhat said.

Tugendhat said the upcoming National Security Bill will strengthen the government’s powers to deal with “transnational repression, coercion, harassment or intimidation linked to a foreign power”.

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15 Responses to MP ‘alarmed’ to discover Chinese ‘police station’ on High Street

  1. If the exact location in Croydon could be identified correctly, that would allow us local citizens to picket the premises and peacefully persuade these spies and thugs to leave our town.

  2. Jim Bush says:

    Why have they picked Croydon for one of only three such bullying bases in the UK?
    1. Because Croydon has an especially large population of Chinese dissidents?
    2. Because with much of the centre of Croydon resembling a ghost-town, it would be easy to find premises?
    3. Or because it is so well-known that the people at Croydon Council are such idiots that they would never spot these spying outposts in the borough ?
    Other reasons are possible….?!

    • Because Croydon is the Borough of Culture 2023?

      • I expect the proximity to Lunar House has a lot to do with it.

        Refugees fleeing persecution by the Chinese Communist Party and students and temporary workers making administrative arrangements to stay here will have to make a trip down Wellesley Road to sort things out at the Home Office.

        Thanks to facial recognition software, these people can be picked out of the crowd and threatened by Xi Jinping’s thugs. Anything they put on social media or in an email will easily be intercepted by the Chinese Communist Party.

        A few weeks ago, people who were peacefully protesting outside the Chinese Consulate in Manchester were attacked by staff. One man was hospitalised, and had to be rescued by the police. If they’ll do that in the UK, think what they’re doing to people in Tibet, Hong Kong and Xinjiang.

      • Because they were excited by the development of Westfield Croydon?

    • Because they’d heard that Jo Negrini was a regeneration practitioner?

    • Because they thought they might get a home from Brick by Brick?

  3. Don White says:

    Could we ask them to investigate Fairfield Halls ‘upgrade’ for us? (or is that the half-empty building they are occupying?)

  4. Ian Kierans says:

    There have been many countries running security offices in Great Britain for decades. This has not been a secret and if not with Security services tacit approval, they are not unaware.

    One would struggle to find any regime wishing to monitor their dissidents or community and many foreign residents of those communities work with them reporting on matters they find of concern.

    China uses as one tool a more open kind of persuasion and therefore less of the abduction, rendering, kidnapping, assassination, beating and murder in embassy’s and various other collateral damage to British citizens that other Countries indulge in on our shores.

    • PJ says:

      Lol hello local “police station”
      So many mistakes in this comment, “One would struggle to find any regime wishing to monitor their dissidents or community” i can think of one.

    • chris Myers says:

      If you’ve known about this “for decades” why didn’t you report it??? Beggars belief

      • Ian Kierans says:

        Apologies PJ and Chris for the brevity that may have misled – but it was a shortish comment. It was also missing a phrase and should have read –

        ”One would struggle to find any regime wishing to monitor their dissidents or community not having a premises so that many foreign residents of those communities can work with them reporting on matters they find of concern.”

        The Times, Guardian , Telegraph, Independent, in the UK (and others) have published and evidenced foreign nations operating in the UK for decades.. You may wish to read the News archives going back to the 60s.

        Many countries operate out of consulate premises, others airlines and tourist shops and do so openly as did we in their countries. I honestly cannot say that still goes on after the late 90s as methods of gathering data changed. Normally they are not reported as a watching brief is kept by the security services for operational exigencies.

        It is simply the matter that until exposed the Security services like to monitor them and how they operate in the national interest.Usually they come to light and gets reported when operations in this country that cause injury and death (like the Russian dissident) are exposed by the National press. Thankfully not so that we know in Croydon

        If you follow the ISC News in parliament some matters are inferred as does the knowledge that our security services are aware of them but those reports are re-knowned for the lack of detail.

        If you choose to look at the proscribed organisations you would perhaps like to take into account that a member of our security services may have infiltrated said organisation at great risk to themselves to obtain information and evidence to enable that group to be proscribed.
        But before proscription those groups operated with impunityon many high streets in cities and towns but are now as proven fronts for foreign governments sponsoring of acts of crime and terrorism against those in the UK had their assets frozen etc

        This as you state may begger belief but perhaps is a fundamental part of modern life. I am not judging the act – it can be misused – but used efectively does keep this country safe. Not for anyone to say until we have all the information and can take an informed decision really.

        With respects to monitoring its own community, the national security services do this daily and have hit the papers regularly since the 70s with the undercover operations going awry. That also includes the Police forces under the home secretary not just with Stagg in Wimbledon but have got it somewhat wrong when infiltrating trades unions and organisations believed to be manipulated by foreign governments.

        Look up Rob Lambert in the McLibel trial.

        They have also got it right and have persevered for the national benefit – on many occasions that have not received public acclaim or notoriety also.

        If you choose to look at the proscribed organisations you would perhaps reasonably like to take into account that a member of our security services may have infiltrated said organisation at great risk to themselves to obtain information and evidence to enable that group to be proscribed. But before proscription they operated with impunity and are proven fronts for foreign governments sponsoring of acts of crime against those in the UK

        With respects to Croydon you may wish to note it has 96 fixed and 10 mobile monitoring camera’s. These do a range of tasks but operate to regulations in general – but they monitor many areas some for civil offences others for intelligence on anti social behavior etc..
        There are others operated by TfL monitored for the purpose of traffic control but accessible when appropriate to the security services and police by process.

        The difference is that we are (ostensibly) a Democracy and China is not.

  5. Lewis White says:

    This is frightening, particularly for Chinese and HK refugees. Big Brother is alive and in Croydon, watching you.

    Can MI5 come down to Croydon and set up a shop in town?

    It was helpful of the Chinese Police International Division to have their Dublin office signage in English as well as Chinese.

    Otherwise, would anyone have twigged that this was anything to worry about?

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