Police Box

A police box is a British telephone kiosk or callbox located in a public place for the use of members of the police, or for members of the public to contact the police. Unlike an ordinary callbox, its telephone is located behind a hinged door so it can be used from the outside, and the interior of the box is, in effect, a miniature police station for use by police officers. Police boxes pre-date the era of mobile telecommunications; now police officers, in many countries, carry two-way radios and/or mobile phones rather than relying on fixed kiosks. Many boxes are now disused or have been withdrawn from service.

British police boxes were usually blue, except in Glasgow, where they were red until the late sixties. In addition to a telephone, they contained equipment such as an incident book and a first aid kit. Today the image of the blue police box is a trademark of the BBC as it is widely associated with the science fiction television programme Doctor Who, in which the protagonist’s time machine, a TARDIS, is in the shape of a 1960s British police box.

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