Wiltshire Police are launching a new initiative against Heritage Crime (“any offence that harms heritage assets and their settings.”) They specify areas affected by Heritage Crimes:


Listed buildings – like Salisbury Cathedral
Conservation areas
Scheduled monuments
World Heritage sites – like Stonehenge
Registered parks and gardens


….. but that’s misleading. If they wanted to cover all heritage crimes properly they should have included YOUR land. It may not be a conservation area but if you let someone onto it to metal detect and they find recordable archaeology but don’t report it that harms heritage.

It’s not a legal crime in Britain, sadly, but it’s undoubtedly a moral crime as it robs us all of knowledge of our past, in exactly the same way as another selfish scruff who tried to steal Magna Carta from Salisbury Cathedral last year by wielding a hammer. So please, no metal detecting on your land unless you are 100% sure the person will act properly. Ask PAS or your local archaeologists if they’ll vouch for them. It’s not hard to do your bit for heritage.

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More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting
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