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Working police call box gets listed status

One of the last blue phone boxes has been given listed status.

A Dr Who-style police phone box has been saved for the nation by getting listed status.

A police phone box made before the Second World War – and amazingly is still in use – has been added to the National Heritage List for England.

The tiniest areas hub for Leicestershire, a kiosk built in 1931, has now been given Grade II listed status meaning it cannot be altered and must be maintained.

The phone is a unique design and size not seen in other policing areas. It was moved to its current location in Bradgate Park in 1952 and has survived despite being hit by motor vehicles on several occasions.

It is now just one of 49 historic sites in the Midlands.

Police telephone boxes, detached from a controlling central police station, started in the United States in the late 19th century, and the first English examples were introduced by the Sunderland County Borough police force in 1923.

The increasing home ownership of telephones in the 1960s led to police boxes becoming obsolete and they are now rarely found in England.

The form and use of boxes varied between forces and the world-famous Dr Who police box was based on a Metropolitan police design.

Its communication days aren’t over; the distinctive building is used as a meeting point for neighbourhood officers PC Greg Moore and PCSO Mitch Jarvis. 

PC Moore said: “We both use the box regularly and hold our monthly beat surgeries there.  It’s one of the best spots in the county to hold a beat surgery because it attracts a lot of attention and we get a lot of footfall from visitors to the park. 

"Dr Who fans often ask us if it is bigger on the inside and are really pleased to see that we do still use it.  It’s great to have it on our beat and great to see it being protected for future generations to enjoy.”

Historic England Director, Midlands, Louise Brennan said: “It is an honour to highlight buildings that have served communities in the Midlands during times of need.

"These services quite rightly should be celebrated, and we are delighted to have listed these great examples of buildings that have enabled years of public duty.”

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