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For donkey’s years, every account of criminal nighthawking has been accompanied by a formulaic assurance from the police and PAS that the great majority of detectorists are law-abiding (which they are) and responsible (which PAS’s figures of items reported show a majority of them aren’t).

Hence, every nighthawking report in the press has acted as an assurance to farmers that metal detecting is a Good Thing for heritage and encourages them to say yes to it.

But is that changing? Here are two recent reports about nighthawking and there’s not a word about “most detecting is harmless”. How can that not be a constructive development? If PAS has been responsible for it, bravo!

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