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Here’s what happened when I called the police

Jeremy Clarkson in his Amazon Prime series Clarkson’s Farm

When a suspicious-looking pair of chaps drove up to my farm last week, I rang the police, says Jeremy Clarkson in The Sunday Times. Earlier that day I’d seen a drone hovering over my farmyard, and didn’t much fancy being burgled. I shouldn’t have bothered. First I sat through an “extensive recorded message about how I should record a Covid breach”. Then the call handler went all funny when I described the men as Travellers – even though that was what they’d called themselves. If I continued like this, she said, “she’d be forced to open a new line of inquiry into racist behaviour”. Afterwards I “waited for the actual police to not show up. Naturally they obliged.” So what was Plod doing that was more important than rushing over here? “Ungluing vicars from the Oxford ring road?” No: writing me a long letter complaining that my plans for a café had no provision for cycle parking.

That’s the problem with the police. My local bobbies are brilliant, but work part-time out of a “broom cupboard” while all the resources are used by head office chasing people like me for non-offences. Everyone’s fed up with this. Why doesn’t someone set up a private police force that actually fights crime? Then the actual police can spend “more time pandering to the whims of social media and making sure everyone has somewhere to park their bicycle”.