Readers could be forgiven for thinking they have travelled back in time when they set eyes on Sussex Police’s latest crime-fighting tool.

Only the older generation will remember seeing a police box anywhere but on the intergalactic adventures of Doctor Who.

But the thing of the past has become the shape of the future as police in Brighton bid to get back in touch with the public.

The Tardis-style box has been created out of a ticket kiosk at the underground car park in High Street, Kemp Town – a known hotspot for drug abuse and anti-social behaviour.

The area’s Police Community Support Officers are to spend half an hour of every shift at the box so members of the public can contact them face to face.

The times will vary but will be posted on the door.

Police hope their presence will put off yobs and reassure the public.

Brighton and Hove City Council put up £300 to convert and decorate the box.

The rest of the car park has been repainted by offenders doing community service as part of court sentences.

Workers from the charity Crime Reduction Initiatives are to begin outreach work with addicts in the area and businesses have provided plants to spruce up the spot.

Councillor Mary Mears, council leader, said: "This is a real team effort.

“Residents and local business people told us they were fed up with the car park being used for anti-social behaviour and we have worked with the police, probation service and the local community to do something practical about it.”

Inspector David Derrick, head of Central Brighton's Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: "We will be based right within the community, making the team even more accessible.

“This is not a police station, but local residents are welcome to pop by and get crime prevention advice and make appointments to see officers."