RESIDENTS put their concerns about prostitution, the state of housing in Boscombe and the number of drug rehabilitation centres to Martyn Underhill last night.

The community engagement forum held in Boscombe gave residents from all over Bournemouth the chance to challenge Dorset's Police and Crime Commissioner.

Mr Underhill said there was a “ridiculous” number of drug treatment centres advertising their services on the internet to encourage people to Bournemouth.

Last week, Boscombe GP Dr Mufeed Ni’Man said drug-addicted former prisoners from outside Bournemouth are being referred to Boscombe every week.

There was praise for Boscombe’s new Tardis-style police box, but residents complained that it was not open longer.

One resident said: “It shuts at 5.30pm and it shuts on Sundays, so crime continues.”

Mr Underhill said: “It’s better to have it some of the time than not to have it at all.”

Boscombe police inspector Chris Weeks said: “Whilst we’re there, the anti-social behaviour and criminality has waned but when we go, it does seep back again so we’re structuring our patrols and activities to focus on what now becomes the peak time, from 6pm to midnight.”

The meeting heard that The Crescent seemed much safer since it was redeveloped. Inspector Weeks confirmed the police would be moving into the former Argos building opposite The Crescent.

The meeting also debated the “unacceptable” delays facing callers using the 101 non-emergency phone number. Mr Underhill has vowed to improve the service.