The answer to this lies in the backstory. The NWA were forced to kill Sergeant Popwell after he deduced what was actually going on. It would be logical for them to realise that this situation would likely pop up in the future, seeing as it already happened once. They also can't just kill anyone in the same position as Popwell, as even the dimwitted police force of the town could probably put two and two together once anyone who questions the "accidents" mysteriously dies in one. So, they needed a way to draw attention away from the truth of the murders.
Simply put, Skinner begins acting as Obviously Evil as possible. This attracts the suspicion of anyone in the same position that Popwell was in, and also acts as a set of blinders, preventing them from realising that more than one person was involved. They focus all of their attention on Skinner, but when it comes time to prove their theories, suddenly, Skinner has alibi after alibi and none of the evidence points to him.
Not only does this help convince the other police further that the murders were really accidents, it also demoralises the officer in question, making them doubt the idea as well. They stop pursuing the investigation, everyone involved believes even more strongly that the deaths were accidental, and life continues as usual.
All of the above happens to Angel throughout the film, step-by-step. It's also backed up by the fact that none of the NWA have any sort of hostile inclination towards him after he accuses Skinner (except possibly Skinner himself-though it can be construed as smugness, or the fact that he just got accused of murder)-instead, they simply ask him how the investigation is going-helping to reaffirm that the plan is working.
The plan only fails once Nicholas keeps going after his first theory failed. It's at this point that the NWA realise that Angel's not going to let this go, no matter what, and have to resort to their tried-and-true plan B-namely, to kill him and Make It Look Like an Accident. It all fits in with what happens in the movie-and if it were true, it would add a whole new, intriguing facet to Skinner's character.
- That's actually a very good theory.
- It would explain why they want Nick back at the end and why he gets the call from London that he never replied to.
- Building on this, The reason the Inspector didn't just outright tell Angel his reasons for sending Angel to Sandford... Popwell, The Inspector sent him first, it's implied that Popwell was an investigator on par with Angel,and just as serious, and he figured it all out, but unlike Angel, Popwell was getting on in years and didn't bond with Danny like Angel did, but also like Angel, Didn't suspect Frank, so when he brought his findings to Frank, he was easily killed, prompting the Inspector to send Angel, but not telling Angel why, so Sandford would think the Metropolitan Police didn't suspect anything, and so that Angel wouldn't let slip to Frank why he was there, as the Inspector suspected that Popwells disappearance had to do with a mole within Sandford Police Service, Angel came up with the exact same conclusions as Popwell, but was younger, fitter and had bonded with Danny which gave him, luckily, an ally to be fake killed by and return.
- One problem, though; sending an officer essentially undercover to investigate a potentially lethal conspiracy possibly involving fellow officers without actually telling him what's up is, at the very least, incredibly negligent.
- My theory as to why the Inspector didn't tell Angel was because he knew there was something fishy about Popwell's disappearance, and he decided to pull a bit of a Batman Gambit, if you will: Keep Angel in the dark, keeping him from having a tainted view of the village, and get a detailed explanation.
- To make matters worse, the NWA escapes prison and gains superpowers of their own.
- And to add to the hilarity, The Crimson Bolt will assist Nicholas and Danny in taking down Brandon Breyer.