I (not English native) regularly write about crime cases in my area. The main source is usually a high-ranking police officer which I introduce along with the police station he works at. But in my article, I'm never sure about the correct preposition:

...said Mr Daniels, an investigator at Dungworth Police Station.

...said Mr Daniels, an investigator from Dungworth Police Station.

...said Mr Daniels, an investigator of Dungworth Police Station.

To me, some of these sound like I spoke to him at the police station itself, which in most cases is wrong. The questions are usually being asked on the scene.

What is the correct version(s) in British English?

  • I don't know if you're speaking of a different place, but I live on the island of Manhattan, in New York City, and it's spelled with an -an, not an -en. Also, we have about 25 police precincts on the island, so there is no one single "Manhattan Police Station". – Dan Bron Mar 10 '17 at 14:51
  • Sorry, this was just an example. I live far, far away from there. – thaikolja Mar 10 '17 at 14:53
  • Since you care mostly about British English, maybe change your example to a British city? Otherwise you might get answers from the perspective of American English. – Dan Bron Mar 10 '17 at 14:54
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    It might be. I don't know British English that well. Here, all 3 prepositions seem idiomatic, and there's no big difference between them. Maybe others will have different opinions, but that's mine. – Dan Bron Mar 10 '17 at 14:58
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    As a native speaker of British English, I think I would be sensible of the possible confusion of all of those and use something else entirely. As in the comment from @EdwinAshworth if I was referring to the Station I would use 'based' because it avoids these confusions. So ' DC Daniels, an investigator based at.... However, in my area individual Stations aren't the important thing, we would probably cite the Command and Community team, so, DC Macbeth of North Highland Command, Wester Ross, Strathpeffer and Lochalsh Community Team But that's Police Scotland, it may be different in England. – Spagirl Mar 10 '17 at 15:16

I wouldn't use 'of' since that makes it sound like he is investigating the police station. You're right that 'at' might be taken to refer to the place where you interviewed him, but most British English speakers would know what you are talking about: you could say 'stationed at' to be clearer. 'from' is pretty unambiguous so I'd go with that.

  • I like that 'stationed in <(sub)district>' – Spagirl Mar 10 '17 at 15:47

In British English "of" is idiomatic. There is a well-known TV show called:

Dixon of Dock Green

which is about Constable George Dixon who works at Dock Green police station.

There are also real life examples, such as:

Slipper of the Yard

which was the nickname for Detective Chief Superintendent Jack Kenneth Slipper, who worked for the Metropolitan police (which is headquartered in Scotland Yard, often abbreviated to just "the Yard").

  • I agree that 'Mr Daniels of Dungworth Police Station' would work, but 'an investigator of Dungworth Police Station' is equally likely to mean a person investigating the police station. – Tony Linde Mar 10 '17 at 20:21

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