As previously reported a police box will be materialising in the town of Boscombe near Bournemouth in the near future. It is hoped the police box will deter crime as well as becoming a tourist attraction.
The idea was suggested five years ago by local councillor and former mayor, Phil Stanley-Watts, who told the Bournemouth Echo last year that he had contacted the BBC to invite new Doctor Peter Capaldi to perform the opening ceremony.
At the time Mr Stanley-Watts told the Echo:
I’m trying to get Peter Capaldi to open it. I bumped into him when I was working as an extra on a play. I will contact the BBC so it will depend on what they say. This will put Boscombe on the map in a positive way. There used to be a lot of police boxes about. There’s going to be a police presence there. I think it does a number of things and it’s an attraction in itself.
The box has been designed by James Roberts at Christchurch-based architect and design practice Anders Roberts Cheer and is being built by AMK Industries, also of Christchurch, and has been paid for by local businesses and organisations.
Inspector Chris Weeks, whose policing responsibilities include the Bournemouth East neighbourhood, said:
The community voiced concerns regarding levels of crime and disorder in Boscombe precinct. Due to these concerns I considered an enhanced policing presence essential to reassure the public. The introduction of the police box will place an obvious policing footprint exactly where it is required.
The Boscombe police box is just one of a number of projects aimed at reducing crime and anti-social behaviour.
It will provide a much-needed and alternative engagement point with the community and send a very clear message that the area is policed.
Boscombe Regeneration Partnership officer Sgt Chris Amey added:
Building a police box in Boscombe has been a lengthy project which began in May 2011 and has seen years of hard word, dedication and support to make it a reality. I would like to thank all those companies and organisations that have donated sponsorship – they are as keen as we are to help make a difference in Boscombe.
The police box will be staffed by police officers and police community support officers who will be able to help members of the public with any issues or concerns they may have, as well as reporting crime.
Jane Kelly, the cabinet member for partnerships and regeneration at Bournemouth Borough Council, said:
We welcome this exciting new initiative in Boscombe. Working together with the police, we are determined to drive down anti-social behaviour in Boscombe and boost regeneration. I fully support this initiative to maintain a regular police presence in the precinct area, acting as both a convenient information point for the public and also to provide reassurance to residents, businesses and visitors to the area.
Once a common sight in Britain, police boxes started to be phased out during the 1960′s with the introdution of walkie-talkies within the police service. Currently, the only other operational “Mackenzie Trench” police box in the UK is situated at Earl’s Court in London, having been installed there in 1996.