Four men have drowned in Bristol waterways this year. It can’t be a coincidence, can it? One perhaps might be regarded as a one-off tragedy, but a four-off tragedy? There’s something going on here, isn’t there?

Social media is full of speculation, the speculation being that a phantom “pusher” is at work, creeping up behind unsuspecting men and pushing them into the harbour. It sounds plausible enough. We have come across all manner of serial murderers over the years, so why not the “Bristol pusher”? There is only one problem with this: there is no evidence to suggest this is anything more than a tragic series of coincidences.

Don’t think I haven’t thought about the possibility that something more disturbing is going on here. Bristol’s waterways are incredibly popular, especially near the city centre of an evening. Many people drink far more than is good for them. How easy would it be for someone to simply give someone a shove when they weren’t expecting it?

We do not know if all four victims were drunk and suggestions are that at least one of them certainly wasn’t. I would like to know how many more people managed to fall into the water and then swam to safety or were rescued? I find it hard to believe that everyone who was apparently pushed into the water drowned and no one escaped. But the main point is more simple than that. Why are we prepared to believe what isn’t true?

From David Icke to every quack individual who professes to possess paranormal powers (they don’t because no one has paranormal powers: they don’t exist) to people who believe 9/11 was an inside job, why do we search to find what isn’t there? Why will a simple explanation that, for example, a group of islamic fascists hijacked a bunch of aeroplanes and caused mass murder, not suffice? With all these ludicrous theories must come the proviso that any conspiracy involves everyone in the world, every single person. And with the “pushing” theory, why speculate that the police have somehow not considered the possibility that we are looking at a series of murders? Of course they have. The very basis of a police evidence is to obtain evidence. Evidence is what finds someone guilty of a crime. Turn up in front of your honour with a lavish conspiracy theory and you will be laughed out of court.

Look, this is a very sad state of affairs. Four men have lost their lives in tragic circumstances but there is nothing to say they are in any way linked. I repeat: believe what we know to be true, make judgments on the basis of evidence, not on imagined conspiracy theories. Making up stories as to why people may have died benefits no one, least of all those who are left behind. Unless the police say anything to the contrary, it’s important we believe what we know to be true.