Bournemouth police box opening date announcedBookmark and Share

Thursday, 27 March 2014 - Reported by John Bowman
The TARDIS-type police box specially made for Bournemouth is to be opened on Tuesday 8th April, Dorset Police has announced.

The steel box is to be installed at the western end of Boscombe precinct in Christchurch Road, with the official opening ceremony taking place at 11.30am in front of local dignitaries plus businessmen and women as well as the community.

Sgt Chris Amey, Boscombe Partnership and Regeneration officer, said:
The steel construction has been completed, the box has been galvanised and is currently being powder-coated at a secret location. When it returns it will undergo its internal fit, which will include security locks, CCTV, telephone and the installation of some exciting bespoke technology.
The opening will be followed by a family fun day between midday and 4pm, to be held at the precinct marquee and led by Creative Kids, with free activities and entertainment organised, including a bouncy castle, face painting, music and games.

It has not been announced who will perform the opening honours.

The design - by James Roberts of Christchurch-based architect and design practice Anders Roberts Cheer - has been based on the iconic 1929 version created for the Metropolitan Police by Gilbert Mackenzie Trench. The box has been built by AMK Industries, also of Christchurch, and been funded by local firms and organisations via donations or services, either free or at a significantly reduced cost. The sponsors are to be recognised with an engraved paving stone at the foot of the police box.

The new box will be regularly staffed during the day by police officers and police community support officers, who will offer help, advice and support to members of the public. A phone will be attached to the police box for people to use to contact the police at other times.

Dorset Police says that as well as serving an important policing purpose it is hoped that the police box will become an iconic landmark, creating tourism opportunities.

Inspector Chris Weeks, who is responsible for the Bournemouth East neighbourhood, said:
The Boscombe police box is just one of a number of projects aimed at reducing crime and anti-social behaviour and will place an obvious policing footprint exactly where it is needed.

Dorset Police is committed to listening to the concerns of the community and we hope the police box will both reassure those living, working and visiting Boscombe, as well as sending out a very clear message that the area is policed.
Sgt Amey added:
I'm extremely grateful to Clare and Cary from Creative Kids who are very kindly organising the family fun day to mark the opening of the police box. The day has specifically been organised during the Easter school holiday to encourage parents to bring their children along to celebrate the opening of this iconic landmark.

I would like to thank the following businesses and organisations supporting the police box without whom this project would not have been possible: 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.
Two pictures showing work nearing completion were tweeted by Dorset Police two days ago with the hashtag #BoscombePoliceBox, and they can be seen below. Click here and here for the tweets.

UPDATE - 30th MARCH: A picture tweeted by Dorset Police on 28th March shows the police box on the move ahead of its grand opening.

UPDATE - 1st APRIL: And here's a picture tweeted by Dorset Police yesterday, showing the box with what looks to be a fresh coat of paint.