A Detectorist (on Twitter): “Please show me a law that says everything should be recorded? I’m all for responsible detecting and recording but draw the line at being called thieves.”

A Non-Detectorist replied: “Well, that’s the point. “Not reporting” is a crime against society as it steals society’s knowledge. That’s why we have civilisation. So people behave well even when there’s no specific law requiring them to.

Of course! So why did the loquacious PAS officials on the thread then go quiet instead of agreeing? Could it be they were frit of offending detectorists?

The Founders of PAS had no such hesitancy about truth. Baroness Blackstone said the aim of PAS was “to change public attitudes to recording finds so that it becomes normal practice for finders to report them“. So “normal practice”. Not “some at least will be responsible, hurrah!”

After all this time (and expense) shouldn’t civilised behaviour be universally known to be the required norm in metal detecting? Why should detectorists still be able to say”“Please show me a law that says everything should be recorded” without PAS explaining it’s not to do with law, it’s to do with being a half-decent citizen?


More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting