People complain that the police sometimes take a terribly long time to turn up to investigate complaints. But then sometimes they do not turn up at all. In fact according to Tom Winsor, the Chief Inspector of Constabulary, ‘there are cities in the Midlands where the police never go because they are never called. They never hear of any trouble because the community deals with that on its own.’

Entire cities in which the police are totally absent! Which ones does he mean? Birmingham? And who are these communities? Tom refers to them mysteriously as people born ‘under different skies’? Venusians, then, perhaps, or ethereal creatures from Betelgeuse. I assume it’s something like that. Because otherwise he would spell it out, wouldn’t he?