Today it’s 10 years since we responded to this enquiry in our Contact Us section from the late Eric Lubbock, Lord Avebury: “Is there any consensus on how the law needs to be changed to stop mass detector plundering?”

We wrote: “Yes, Lord Avebury, there is indeed a worldwide consensus that the way to prevent it is to make it a crime. Except in Britain where the official position is  that most detecting is “responsible” so most detecting should be applauded. We believe it is high time parliamentarians took a close look at both  parts of that claim as it seems very clear to us that the official statistics indicate most finds go unreported and are lost to science. (See our Erosion Counter).

In any case, whatever does or doesn’t get reported it is entirely unclear to us how the progressive removal of a fragile and finite resource for personal recreation or profit is ethical or in the national interest and how such a policy, so at odds with policy elsewhere, can be defended.”

Bizarrely, 10 years later, neither PAS, the police, the press nor politicians DO defend it any more. They just blather on loudly about the minority that report finds, thereby taking farmers, taxpayers and the general public for fools.


More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting