They keep telling the public porkies. We keep highlighting the facts. That’s how it works in Bonkers Britain. Here are the latest 4 examples:
First, in the wake of Roger Bland’s retirement from PAS, FLO Julie Cassidy tweeted “Roger created a Scheme the envy of countries across the world”. But of the 195 other countries in the world not one has ever come within light years of setting up a PAS of its own. The world isn’t envious, it’s unconvinced.
Second, FLO Anni Byard tweeted on the same occasion: “Sad to see Roger go. He leaves a legacy of 1.1m + artefacts that public wouldn’t have known about otherwise”. But that same voluntary system has allowed 4.3m artefacts not to be reported. Not ever explaining that to the public is to the advantage of only two groups: irresponsible detectorists and PAS themselves.
Third, detectorist-blogger John Winter claimed novice detectorists not asking for permission to detect is down to “education”. It’s not. The rest of the population have zero trouble knowing they shouldn’t go to a farm (or indeed a neighbour’s garden) and help themselves to spuds, flowers, peas, pheasants eggs and anything else they come across. It’s stealing. Only detectorists claim it’s an honest mistake. Diddums. Look how false and irrational it is …..
Fourth, detectorist “hihosilver” reckons the authorities know if find spots are false: “If reported and not found legally then they’d find out pretty fast as they require landowner details and a grid reference of the findspot…” It’s not true. PAS’s database is wide open to falsification for laundering by findspot description is both child’s play and undetectable – and the incentives to do it are massive. If a findspot is changed from Jarrow to Harrow a farmer in Harrow won’t get a penny for his property. Even worse, a Treasure reward may be paid for something “found” at a rally in Harrow that was nighthawked the previous day in Jarrow! What does this tell you about the integrity of the PAS database and the rights of landowners?
And yet, Dear Reader, you have to come here to hear about the reality behind all the myths because in Bonkers Britain neither detectorists nor PAS nor the police nor the CBA nor EH nor Glasgow’s Trafficking Culture project nor the Alliance to Reduce Crime against Heritage say a single word about them to farmers or the taxpaying, stakeholding public. Incidentally, every word of this article is true and you won’t hear any of them say otherwise. Thus are myths maintained.