The Head of Heritage Strategy at Historic England has just said that the majority of detectorists are law-abiding and report their finds.

There are two statements there. The first may be true, while the second is most certainly untrue. But they are linked with “and” as they have been for two decades by PAS, the police, hapless journalists and detectorists and have served to mislead landowners, taxpayers, politicians and the stakeholding public.

It’s a terrible disgrace on a Johnsonian scale that has cost our country dear.