It has brought the sort of (fictional) crime to his islands that he is surely grateful he doesn’t have to deal with.
But Shetland’s most senior police officer believes the TV show of the same name has improved relations between the local community, visitors and police.
Chief Inspector Lindsay Tulloch, area commander for Shetland, has praised the interaction he and his officers have with visitors with many keen to learn more about policing the islands.
Shetland follows the life of Detective Inspector Jimmy Perez and his team as they investigate various criminal activities that take place on the archipelago.
The BBC programme, which first aired in March 2013, initially drew on the novels of Ann Cleeves and has run for five consecutive seasons since.
Chief Inspector Tulloch said: “It is really interesting to speak to people when they do come to Shetland, and the series does attract people to the island and I think it promotes Shetland really well.
“We do find visitors come to seek out the police station and they are keen to speak to officers about the detective programme and try and find out some facts about policing the island – which maybe isn’t quite reflected in how it is portrayed in the detective series.
“It has very much brought officers closer to the community and visitors.
“The policing in Shetland here is very community-based and we are keen to engage with the community and visitors and listen to people when they come.
“They have got their own stories when they come about their own communities and how they can see the difference.”
In truth, much of the series is filmed on the Scottish mainland; however, a select few locations on the Shetland Islands have been used to ensure it is in fitting with modern-day life on the islands.
The exterior of Lerwick Sheriff Court has been used to portray the islands main police station, which actually sits directly behind the court building. For aesthetic reasons the front was favoured over the actual police station.
And in the heart of the town, DI Jimmy Perez’s house is a mere few minutes from the main hub of Lerwick at Market Cross, attracting scores of visitors in the height of season wishing to replicate an image outside of the famed building, which is submerged below sea level on its first floor.
Other areas including the Lodberries area on Commercial Street in the centre of Lerwick feature prominently, with filming also taking place on the NorthLink ferry as it approached its Lerwick terminal.
Chief Inspector Tulloch added: “Tourism in Shetland generally I can see is on the increase. The number of cruise ships that are coming here is increasing in the summer months.
“It was in the high 90s last year and we have over 100 scheduled to attend this year.
“Speaking to some visitors during the Up Helly Aa procession, I was being told stories about how friendly they find the Shetland community and how friendly they find the police service here in comparison to different parts of the world.
“We had international visitors here in high numbers from and that is really heartening to hear that.”
Jimmy Perez’s ‘Shetland’
The Shetland that features in the TV series is far bloodier, thankfully, than real life on the islands.
Crimes investigated so far include the death of a journalist who had been hot on the trail of a controversial new gas pipeline on the island in a suspicious car accident.
A scientist on Fair Isle, at the now-destroyed bird observatory, was also found dead in series two – the twist being stormy weather forcing Perez and his investigating team to remain under a single roof with the victim’s friends, family and colleagues and possible murderer.
Hard-hitting dramatic scenarios are explored throughout with a modern slave trafficking ring the centre of much of the drama in season five as severed hands and body parts wash ashore on an island beach demanding the attention of the investigating officers.
Cold cases are also reopened during the series developing plot lines of historic entertainment and the Shetland Folk Festival and Up Helly Aa, two of the main fixtures in the island’s calendar, are also portrayed with the Viking heritage of the islands drawn upon as leads are followed as far afield as Norway.