BOSCOMBE residents and Dr Who fans turned out in droves to see the unveiling of the new police box in the precinct today.

The box, which has been in place but covered up with hoardings for the past week, was unveiled by Bournemouth East MP Tobias Ellwood at 11.30am, with music from the police band.

It is intended to provide a regular police presence in the western end of the precinct – an antisocial behaviour hotspot – while also attracting tourists to Boscombe.

News of the launch was spread via a number of Dr Who websites, and fans of the show travelled from around the south for the event.

Mike Ball, 41, travelled from Portsmouth with his wife Karen and children Louise, seven, and Simon, six, for the unveiling.

“We travelled down specially to see it as we are fans of Dr Who, and we decided to make it a day out down here,” he said.

“It is slightly fatter than the Tardis but it looks very good. I think it will be good for the community.

“We didn’t know that there are problems with crime around here but hopefully it will have a positive effect on that too.”

The police box will be regularly staffed during day-time hours by police officers and police community support officers, who can be approached for advice and support by members of the public.

A yellow phone is attached allowing people to contact the force at other times.

The box was funded, supported and built by a range of local businesses and organisations, which are recognised in engraved paving stones around the base.

Inspector Chris Weeks said: “We are delighted to be here today, I have seen the box in various different guises while it was pieces of metal being fabricated, but it is great to see it finished.

“It does make a statement, that Dorset Police are here to care for the community.

“I understand some people have travelled from some distance to see the launch today and it is great to have so many different people here.

“The feedback we have had has been very positive”

He said the 22 local businesses which have supported the project demonstrated a commitment to invest in the community.

The launch was accompanied by a family fun day, with a bouncy castle and inflatables, children’s arts and crafts activities and face painting, in the precinct, which continues until 4pm.

The following businesses and organisations have supported the police box: Dorset Police, The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Dorset, Bournemouth Borough Council, AMK Industries Limited, Anders Roberts and Associates Ltd, Glossbrook Builders Ltd, DWP Housing Partnership, National Landlords Association – Dorset, Hamilton Fraser Insurance, Hoare Banks Stonemasons, Koh Thai, Nationwide Building Society, Urban Reef Restaurant, Michael Grubb Studio, Backing Boscombe Regeneration Partnership, Royal Arcade Apartments, Graemar Group, Community Development Foundation, Bournemouth Coastal Bid, Southern Security Services Ltd, Sovereign Shopping Centre, South Western Ambulance Service and the O2 Academy Bournemouth.