Police Raid is a sketch that appears in "Man's Crisis of Identity in the Latter Half of the 20th Century," the fifth episode of Monty Python's Flying Circus.


Two men (Eric Idle and an uncredited actor) play chess until Police Constable Henry Thatcher (Graham Chapman) interrupts to announce that he is raiding the establishment due to certain substances being in the vicinity. The first man, the actor Sandy Camp (Idle) repeatedly asks what sort of substances he is referring to, but Thatcher is intentionally vague and evasive each time. After several attempts at questioning, Thatcher warns Camp that outside he has a police dog, Josephine, who is trained to sniff out 'certain substances' but is also, he admits, a 'junkie'. This thoroughly confuses Camp who begins to grow fed up with Thatcher when, suddenly, he removes a paper bag from his pocket and plants it in the premises, intending to frame the two men. Camp calls him out on his ruse and examines the bag to find... sandwiches. Thatcher turns to the camera and comically wonders what he gave the wife.

In response to the sketch, E.B. Debenham (Mrs) (Carol Cleveland) writes a letter in defence of her husband, who, like a lot of people his age, is fifty.

Brigadier Arthur Gormanstrop (Mrs) writes a response to the previous letter, offended, as he is nearly sixty, and is quite mad.

Various people, including a pepperpot, are interviewed about satire.


  • Thatcher's line about what he might have given the wife for lunch was originally filmed to end with the wife, obviously stoned, saying "I don't know, but it was better than lunch!" This was cut from the final broadcast. (No known copies exist of the sketch with this line included.)
  • The sketch is a satire of British police officer Norman Pilcher, who became infamous in the 1960s for arresting a number of celebrities on drug charges, and was widely suspected of planting evidence. His police career ended in disgrace in 1972 and was imprisoned for perjury.
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