When a person was stabbed at Highbury and Islington station a couple of weekends ago, the Police asked for the station to close so they could search for the weapon. No problem, said the station staff, and started the process of closing it. But then the Service Manager got wind of this, and somehow had delusions of authority over the staff on site and ordered the trains - which had already started non-stopping at Highbury - to start stopping there.
Nearly twenty minutes of telephoning, to-ing and fro-ing later, the Service Manager finally agreed to stop the trains and allow the station to close.
Station staff will understand what an appalling incident this is. If we don't have the power to close stations when we need to - for example, when the Police ask us to - then we can not guarantee the safe operation of the station, or the safety of passengers or staff. Bear in mind that there was a knife that had just been used to stab someone at large, and that it was 11pm on a Saturday night. A Service Manager who is not even there can not possibly know better than the staff on site whether the station needs to close.
RMT has rightly demanded answers about this and a guarantee that it won't happen again. But management don't yet seem to understand what the problem is. Either that or they are closing ranks.