You are currently browsing the daily archive for 14/12/2011.

Early this year English Heritage and others launched an excellent initiative on Heritage Crime http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/about/news/643873/ The idea is a sort of neighbourhood watch scheme in which communities are asked to keep an eye on their local heritage assets and to report criminal or anti-social behaviour…..

Under the strategic guidance of English Heritage, the Police (through the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO)) and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), a nationwide network is developing among enforcement bodies, local authorities, non-governmental organisations, professional groups and amenity societies to systematically tackle and reduce offences such as architectural theft, including metal theft, criminal damage, illegal metal detecting, graffiti, vehicle nuisance and arson.

It seems like a great idea and it would be particularly appealing to prehistory enthusiasts. However, there’s a worry that after the initial publicity people will tend to forget who and where they should report problems to. But we happened to come across a possible solution here on the US Customs and Border Protection website https://apps.cbp.gov/eallegations/ where people are encouraged to report trade violations under this typically American no-nonsense logo ……

“U.S. Customs and Border Protection has established an on-line procedure by which concerned individuals can report illegal import and export activity. By completing and submitting the form on the following page, you can help CBP prevent international trade violations. If you have knowledge of a violation of United States trade law, please click the “Report Trade Violations” button after reading the Privacy Policy. You will be asked to fill out a short form explaining the infraction. Once you have submitted the form, a confirmation e-mail will be sent to the address you provided if you gave one. You may also report trade violations by calling 1-800-BE-ALERT.”

Perhaps that’s a bit too radical for the British taste as if we’re going to report something we prefer to be a bit more downbeat about it. Nevertheless, there might be something in the idea. If lots of webmasters could be persuaded to permanently display something like a “Heritage Crime Reporting Line” with it’s own logo and link then that would surely be helpful in keeping the issue in the public mind and ensuring people knew who to contact. We’d certainly be happy to consider having such a link ourselves.

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