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It’s wearisome. Mark Harrison, National Policing and Crime Advisor for Historic England has just said:
“The overwhelming majority of metal detectorists comply with the legislation and code of practice for responsible metal detecting.”

Yes, the overwhelming majority don’t break the law. But why add the falsehood that the overwhelming majority also complies with the code of practice for responsible metal detecting when it is blindingly obvious it’s not true? (Ask PAS). The police, detectorists, archaeologists, and PAS all know it’s not true yet all of them have been pushing the idea for many years that lack of lawbreaking also signals responsibility.

As a result, landowners and the public are misinformed and the amount of legal damage dwarfs the amount of criminal damage. It’s time it ended. It’s hardly an obscure concept.

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More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting
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