JUST a week after it was installed the Boscombe Police Box was still drawing in curious onlookers.
The Tardis-like box was unveiled on Tuesday last week before a large crowd of local residents and Dr Who fans, many of whom had travelled long distances for the event.
As well as serving as an attraction for sightseers, the box was planned by Dorset Police to deter crime in the precinct, and provide a place where people could speak to officers directly.
PCSO Chris Wilson took his fourth two-hour shift at the box since it was unveiled at 1pm yesterday. He said people had been approaching him non-stop during his shifts both to ask about the box and to report local issues.
“We get a lot more people approaching us now than when we had the van, it is pretty much constant,” he said.
“Residents come to us here with concerns they wouldn’t report by phone. It is a great way for us to interact with the public.”
Local resident Joan Larive, who with husband John was taking their grandchildren out for the day, said: “We think it is brilliant, anything which will have a positive effect on Boscombe’s image and promote it more widely is welcome.”
Robert Connell, visiting relations in Boscombe from Falkirk in Scotland, said: “I can see it attracting Dr Who fans to visit, although I am not sure what it will do for crime in the area. I expect it will be reassuring for the locals though.”
Another Bournemouth resident, Leah MacDonald, said she didn’t believe the police box would deter anti-social behaviour from addicts in the precinct area, however Maybelle Gazard said she felt it was a reassuring presence.
Carly Joseph, who opens new business CJ’s Boutique in the Royal Arcade next month, also praised the box.
“Many young people don’t see police as the good guys these days, and don’t have that confidence in them,” she said. “I think this is something which can improve that relationship.”
Sergeant Chris Amey said: “We have had lots of families visiting. We are very pleased with the public reaction so far.
“The main aim for us is to reduce crime,and we have already had a few incidents where officers based here have been able to intervene quickly to apprehend shoplifters.”
The box was locally-built and funded and supported by 22 local businesses and organisations.