Ealing resident and journalist Yasmin Alibhai Brown played a key part in the chain of events that have led to disgraced BBC presenter Stuart Hall’s downfall. In her account she gives a glowing account of Lancashire Police. Unfortunately her account of Ealing police station will not come as a surprise to many of us:
So, I went to my police station in Ealing, sat for almost two hours waiting to hand it [a letter] in and feeling a bit foolish. The small reception area was crowded that day with victims of robberies and assaults, some addicts and a couple of drunk bores. I almost left a couple of times because it was taking so long and because I wasn’t sure what they would do with an anonymous letter. When, finally, it was my turn, the officer recording the “incident” looked uninterested.
Ms Alibhai-Brown half excuses Ealing police with the phrase “crowded that day” but my own experience of Ealing police station has always been as she describes. A badly signed, dirty, unfriendly environment where one officer uses one workstation to go through an incredibly long process whilst people have to wait for an unacceptably long time.
There is no excuse for this level of service. It discourages the reporting of crime and is simply an insult to peole who are trying to do the right thing. Luckily Ealing Police did pass the letter on to Lancashire Police so the system worked. But, part of that chain was the awful “screw you” culture of the front desk at Ealing police station. If Yasmin Alibhai-Brown had been one millimetre less the good citizen that she clearly is then Stuart Hall might still have an unstained reputation today.
Ealing police station’s front desk must get a lot better.