A US study has concluded that legalising hunting doesn’t reduce illegal hunting. Which begs an important question for Britain: has legalising metal detecting reduced nighthawking? That’s what was intended (and is still claimed by those who oppose regulation) but it’s hard to see how for nighthawks require three things to prosper and in Britain they have been given all three:
> Legal clubs into which they can merge and gain information
> Legal rallies at which they can launder stolen finds by find spot falsification
> An official body to which they can submit stolen goods to be legitimised!
Nighthawks abroad enjoy no such benefits (and that’s why some of them are known to bring items here to avail themselves of ours and even perhaps to receive treasure rewards). So although our liberal arrangements are based on the belief that they reduce criminality the reality may be less certain and less comfortable. Perhaps making it easy for criminals is helpful to criminals. What an obvious observation, yet who mentions it?