Law and Order

There were law and order issues in Chinatown in the 1920s.  Full scale street fights with a variety of weapons, including guns occurred between rival gangs struggling to control widespread local gambling.

Puka-pu card

Puka-Pu card

In the early years the game of choice was Fan Tan, a simple betting game. But by 1920 this had been mostly been replaced by Puka-Pu, which resembles the national lottery. A player chooses a selection of Chinese characters and wins money according to the number of characters correctly chosen when the draw is made.

Gambling houses were raided by police but by the 1930s the street fights were mostly a thing of the past. This did not stop the newspapers printing crazily sensationalist and mostly fact-free stories of the ‘evils’ of Chinatown, the crime, the drugs and the enslaving of white girls lured by sinister Chinamen.

 

 

Limehouse Police Station Lamp

Limehouse Police Station Lamp

Limehouse Police Station Main Door

Limehouse Police Station Main Door