Crackdown on illegal metal detecting

Published on March 24th, 2010 | by Admin


Police and archaeologists in Norfolk, UK, have teamed up to crackdown on illegal metal detecting.

Norfolk has the highest number of recovered artefacts in the country declared treasure and a successful long-established working relationship with legitimate metal- detecting enthusiasts.

There were 109 cases of items found in Norfolk being declared treasure in 2008-09. Recent finds include a hoard of 24 Henry III short-cross pennies in Breckland, and an early Saxon gold spangle from south Norfolk.

But illegal metal detecting, known as “night-hawking”, is a big problem and Norfolk Archaeology Unit (NAU) is to prepare a briefing note for police safer neighbourhood teams outlining some of the worst affected areas.

Former Roman sites, such as Caistor St Edmund, are believed to be a particular target for night-hawkers, as well as the area around Snettisham in west Norfolk.

But night-hawking is a county-wide problem and has raised fears among archaeologists and legitimate metal- detecting groups that valuable artefacts are being lost – or sold online for profit.

[Full story] [Photo source]

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