Outspoken British television host Jeremy Clarkson claims that a police officer threatened to report him for racist behaviour after he called emergency services to report trespassers on his property.
Clarkson, who hosts The Grand Tour, and previously hosted Top Gear, detailed in his Sunday Times column how he called the police to report an incident in which he found a crashed drone in his garden, which showed aerial footage of houses in the area, including his own home.
In the article, Clarkson says he feared trespassers on the Diddly Squat Farm Shop when he noticed another drone hovering over his farmyard and assumed the worst when two men arrived at his house. Clarkson detailed how the two men solicited him for a selfie but he did not trust their intentions.
“There was something about them I didn’t like the look of,” Clarkson wrote. “And there have been a lot of burglaries in the area recently. And I’d just taken delivery of two puppies. And there had been that drone scouting the site just a few hours earlier.”
Worried about the trespassers, Clarkson called the emergency police line to report the issue and described the “couple of chaps” as best he could and referred to them as “travellers.”
Clarkson alleges that the emergency dispatcher warned him that if he continued to use the term “travellers” she would “open a line of inquiry into racist behaviour.”
Explaining his concerns in the article, Clarkson said that he was worried about the drones hovering over his farmyard and his concern was elevated with the arrival of the two individuals at his home.
“So I was a bit worried last Wednesday when I looked up to see another drone, hovering over my farmyard,” he wrote. "And then I was even more worried that night when a couple of chaps came up the drive in a Mk 1 murderer's special Land Rover Discovery. The Kenny Noye edition.”
Returning to his experience with the police dispatcher, Clarkson says that "She seemed to think I was reporting someone for wanting a selfie. But she did at least ask me to describe them, so I said they were travellers.”
"There was then a pause, after which she said that if I continued in this vein, she'd be forced to open a new line of inquiry into racist behaviour,” he added. "That was scary, and tricky too, because how do you describe someone without bringing colour and religion and race into it?"
Absolving himself of any wrongdoing, Clarkson says he told the operator that the men themselves had introduced themselves as “travellers” and that police eventually turned up at his farm to tend to the report.
Clarkson says he was “fed up” with the police.
"They want to fight crime, but their hands are tied by idiotic inclusivity and the need to make sure a burglar doesn't bang his head when getting into the Vauxhall," he said.