A 2017 study showed that Ambridge is blighted by roughly half the expected amount of crime of a comparative Midlands village (and a tenth of the crime levels of Walford). No wonder PC Burns is able to squander so much police time on hassling people to turn up for nets.
And so when we spotted a tweet from Archers listener @jen_jstephen, we were led to wonder... what are your most memorable Ambridge crimes?
The missing bunting - WE WANT ANSWERS
Ambridge's premier unsolved crime. When Fallon's bunting went missing from the Village Green, little did Archers listeners know that years later the culprits would remain at large. PC Burns' reputation lives or dies upon whether he ever cracks it...
If you thought The Flower & Produce Show was quaint or civilised, think on - it's a hotbed of fraud, duplicity and deliberate sabotage. Just a few examples - in 1978, Jean Harvey was disqualified for using a professional gardener, in 2008 Sabrina Thwaite's winning fruitcake turned out to have been baked by Jill and in 2007 Derek Fletcher swapped the names on the runner beans in an attempt to do Bert out of the prize... Absolutely shocking.
Roy Tucker is a pillar of the Ambridge community but it wasn't always so. In the nineties, he was a member of the gang who made Usha's life hell in a number of racist attacks. Roy suffered a beating from the gang when he came clean to the police.
Didn't Roy Tucker get done for inciting racial violence? [Paul Davison on Facebook]
Matt said that they were filled with cardigans... many listeners suspected they contained horses heads. Most likely they were filled with unmarked bills. Either way, Matt was fixated on keeping them close and getting out of the country with them...
"Pat’s jam. Christine’s scones..." [Sandra Dennis on Facebook]
No Saturday Archers
Arguably the most heinous crime(s) of all...
Biggest crime... no Saturday episode. Next, episodes too short. [Jacqueline Arnold on Facebook]
This is in not an exhaustive list of Ambridge's crimes. But here are some of the other crimes that were listed by Archers listeners...
Jazzer and Ed’s breaking and entering, magic mushrooms, Ed’s stolen cattle, Home Farm ground poisoning, Wayne selling weed, Alistair and Matt’s blood doping, Freddie’s dealing, Helen’s hit and run, Toby’s moonshine gin, the Grundy cider making schemes, the stolen church funds, the burning of Toby and Rex’s ‘egg-mobile’, Jill’s flapjack GBH, the vandalising of Christine’s cottage, Matt’s hit and run, Rob and the hunt sab and Shula’s cover-up, the theft of Ed’s herd, various instances of poaching (many by the Grundys), theft of Josh’s farm machinery, fraud (Auntie Chris and Melling Equestrian), dog fighting, Paul’s heart attack after being ‘visited’ by an associate of Matt’s, theft of the Village Hall curtain money, horse slashing, Tom Forrest being tried for manslaughter after shooting a poacher, Nelson Gabriel’s mail-van robbery.
Thank you all for your submissions. We expect Ambridge house prices to fall accordingly.