He can hardly cite widespread evidence for that claim since 99% of detectorists seem vehemently opposed to it. That’s more than unfortunate as public money has been put into it. In addition, there are three awkward realities he needs to acknowledge:

Detectorists have a record of claiming to farmers that they have good behaviour badges (i.e. loyalty to PAS) without necessarily behaving well so it follows that any further good behaviour badges are bound to be used in the same way.

PAS was right to say (in its 2000/2001 Report) that “The Scheme believes that people have a moral obligation to their heritage”, ergo archaeological plundering can be defined as finding without reporting. On that basis, most detectorists are guilty of plundering.

There is a worldwide consensus that the way to prevent that is to make it a crime.

(Of course, if he can show otherwise then fine, his Institute really will be “on its way”!)


More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting