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Force unveils exciting Boscombe Police Box

A police box will be landing in Boscombe precinct this spring thanks to sponsorship from local businesses and organisations.

The much-anticipated Boscombe Police Box will provide a highly visible policing footprint at the western end of the precinct on Christchurch Road.

It will be regularly staffed during day-time hours by police officers and police community support officers where they will be able to engage with the community and offer help, advice and support. A yellow phone will be attached to the police box which members of the public can use to contact Dorset Police at other times.

It is hoped the police box will also become an iconic landmark creating tourism opportunities in Boscombe.

Construction of the Boscombe Police Box is now underway and it is expected to be officially opened and operational in the spring.

The initiative has been independently funded by sponsorship from local businesses and organisations that have each donated £1,500. The sponsors will be recognised in the form of an engraved paving stone set at the foot of the box, thanks to Hoare Banks Stonemasons and Bournemouth Borough Council.

The steel construction is being undertaken by AMK Industries Limited based in Christchurch and Glossbrook Builders Limited will provide the foundation work.

The box was designed by architect James Roberts at Anders Roberts and Associates Ltd and will be three metres high and 1.8 metres wide and will weigh in excess of two tonnes.

Bournemouth East Neighbourhood Inspector Chris Weeks 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. Dorset Police is dedicated to the Backing Boscombe regeneration scheme.”

Sergeant Chris Amey, Boscombe Partnership and Regeneration Officer, said: “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.

“We would like to thank all those businesses and organisations sponsoring the Police Box. They are Anders Roberts and Associates Ltd, AMK Industries Ltd, Glossbrook Builders Ltd, Bournemouth Borough Council, DWP Housing Partnership, National Landlords Association – Dorset, Hamilton Fraser Insurance, Hoare Banks Stonemasons, Jones Lang LaSalle, Guarding UK Ltd, Koh Thai, Coastal Bid, Nationwide, Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner’s Office and Dorset Police.”

Police boxes were first used in the USA, with the first UK box being opened in Glasgow in 1891. By 1953 there were 685 police boxes on the streets of London. Each had a light at the top to signal that officers should contact the station. Police boxes were phased out between 1969 and 1970. A new police box was installed by the Metropolitan Police outside Earls Court Underground Station in 1996 and will be the only other operational one in the country.

Councillor Jane Kelly, 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.”

To see the progress of the police box throughout the building and assembly stages, follow @dorsetpolice on Twitter #boscombepolicebox and visit the Dorset Police Facebook page.

ISSUED: 28 February 2014

Boscombe police box