There is a conundrum that raises its ugly little head early
in the first episode of series 5 of Lewis.
Prof Diana Ellerby is having emotions because of the untimely
death of her chum Poppy.
Somebody hit Poppy on the head with a blunt object, after
which she fell down some stairs and broke her neck.
Inspector Lewis is chewing the fat with Prof Ellerby about
the matter in her picturesque Oxford garden, when his
offsider DS Hathaway does the decent thing and hands her a
Prof Enderby blows her nose.
Then she hands the handkerchief back.
The matter is not explored in series 5, which begins this
Saturday on Prime, but what is the protocol?
Does one quietly keep the offending item, wash it, and send
it back by post?
Is it better to offer the mucus-soiled package back to its
It is not the only conundrum on Lewis.
I am not the only person to raise the issue of the quite
unrealistic murder rate in both Oxford, where Lewis is
set, and Midsomer, where Midsomer Murders is set.
It has been estimated that with Lewis solving eight murders
in a month in one series, and with the Oxford population
sitting at about 150,000, the murder rate is 11 times that of
The number of genuine Oxford murders in 2007-08, for
instance, was actually one - an ex-soldier stabbed in the
neck in a pub.
In fact, the Thames Valley police do a very good job.
There were just 291 domestic burglaries, 86 vehicle thefts,
and 339 thefts from vehicles in the last year.
There were 830 cases of violence, down 25%, and 814 cases of
criminal damage, down 18%.
In total, all crime was down 14%, and the police are
targeting a further 5% cut in the 2012-13 year.
Sadly, and I blame shows such as Lewis, the public is
The Oxford City Council's annual community safety talkback
survey includes a question about how much respondents agree
or disagree that the police and the local council are dealing
with anti-social behaviour and crime issues.
The score for Oxford was 50.2% in 2010 and 46.6% in 2011,
which showed a decrease in public confidence.
This is just one way quality English police dramas are
destroying society from within like a parasitical disease.
If you are not bothered by all this, and feel you can watch
anyway, Lewis this week sees our heroes trying to solve
Poppy's death at Lady Matilda's College for ladies.
There are rowing sequences and lovely Oxford buildings.
"What do you think we're looking at, a burglary gone wrong?"
No way in the world, Sunshine, no way in the world.
- Charles Loughrey.