The announced reward of £3.2 million divided between the landowner and the detectorist is too small according to some detectorists and ten times too small according to one contributor to one of the most prominent detectorists’ forums!

“They should have got at least 10 times that. Why should anyone declare anything now is beyond me. … They are having a laugh.” How much more of a realistic figure if it had of been found by archiologists? (sic) These items should have been put up for an open auction of collectors/museums with an interest in them and the true value figure found. If the museums or the Crown couldnt (sic) match that figure, then they would be passed off to the highest bidder. Only until a usefull (sic) and correct valuation scheme comes along will we see a decent valuation being put on these items. Until then you will have to go on accepting stupid valuations being put on our treasures.”

No understanding, evidently, of the fact these treasures are OURS as a society, ALREADY vest in the Crown and HAD to be reported by law. No inkling that the reward is just that, a reward (or maybe, a ransom, since the system is openly based on the fact that without payment some detectorists would simply not report  items and sell them illegally).

So £3.2 million is just not enough reward it seems in the thuggish intellectual cul de sac that a portion of detectorists inhabit. We can only be glad this hoard wasn’t found by individuals of that ilk. Or other hoards.Or have they?How many other national treasures have fallen into the hands of detectorists holding the ignorant and self-serving view that  what they find is theirs to profit by without limit?

Who knows? But if a proportion of them think the rewards are far too low the rewards are clearly not working in their cases. So here’s a controversial idea (except that it isn’t) :

A stiff prison sentence for failure to declare Treasure. But a reward, set at a maximum figure of £10,000 for those who manage to act like the rest of us and obey the law without complaint, merely because it IS the law, and don’t require encouragement, persuasion, praise, flattery or million pound bribes or ransom payments. Let us pay  detectorists the complement of treating them like the rest of society, not as a group that includes an invisible but existing proportion of ferral crooks that need vast payments to ensure they don’t break the law and murder our cultural heritage. What other sector of British government policy copes with public damage caused by moral imbecilism by PAYING people to act properly? And what country in all the world but Britain, dresses such a policy up as sensible? No, we suggest Britain saves those millions of pounds  and spends them on childrens’ hospices.

Watch out for the stampede of “in it purely for love of history” detectorists supporting our call. All ten thousand of them we would presume.

Or maybe not.