More than Morse: The Origins of Policing in Oxford
When we think of policing in Oxford, the most enduring image that comes to mind is a fictional one: the dapper detective Inspector Morse. Ever since 1975, Colin Dexter’s creation has been treading the city’s beat in novels, TV shows, spinoffs, and prequels, always a reassuring presence as he tracks down crooks in his own cerebral style. Yet in recent months it has been increasingly difficult to reconcile this gentlemanly vision with footage of officers brutalising civilians everywhere from Minsk to Minnesota. Oxford has not been exempt from the global wave of protests sparked by these developments, inviting us to consider whether Morse has given way to Derek Chauvin as the public face of law enforcement.