Doctor Who Tardis-style police box unveiled in Boscombe

Media caption,
Dorset Police said it would act as a visible presence to tackle crime, as well as being a tourist attraction

A police box similar to that made famous in the television series Doctor Who has opened to the public.

The Tardis-style box on Boscombe's precinct on Christchurch Road, Dorset, was unveiled by Bournemouth East MP Tobias Ellwood at 11:30 BST.

Dorset Police said it would act as a visible presence to tackle crime, as well as being a tourist attraction.

The force said the steel-framed box was one of only two operational boxes in the country - the other is in London.

Image source, Dorset Police
Image caption,
A yellow telephone is attached to the police box which members of the public can use to contact Dorset Police when the box is unstaffed by officers

It added that it would be staffed by police and community support officers "as much as is operationally possible" during precinct trading hours.

When unstaffed, a yellow telephone attached to the box can be used by members of the public to contact officers.

'Time travel'

Mr Ellwood said: "Boscombe has had its challenges with anti-social behaviour but it is a vibrant community.

"The box itself is now a fantastic, iconic symbol of a desire by the police and the community to be very optimistic about where this part of Bournemouth is going."

The project, which has attracted attention from Doctor Who fans, was funded by donations from local firms.

Mr Ellwood said: "I couldn't help but notice that many in the crowd were dressed up as Doctor Who figures - there was even a Dalek there."

Before it was unveiled, Tony Tester, chair of Dorset Police Federation, tweeted: "Off to the launch of the new police box this morning by car not time travel. #boscombepolicebox".

The box's design is based on the distinctive 1929 version created for the Metropolitan Police and made world famous by the television series.

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