Thursday, 8 December 2011

Essex Tekkie "Eagle1"

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On 8th December 2011, on a metal detecting forum in a topic " Re: The Twinstead Sovereign Hoard - Statement we find the information from member "Eagle1" that
"We are gradually getting all declared [....] We have identified people of have (sic) found these sovereigns and have not yet come forward".
That is the coins - in fact a few days earlier it was reported that in the previous week just "47 and 3 halves" had so far been handed in. "Eagle1" assures list members that "the police are not looking to criminalise people needlessly. All I want is for the entire hoard to be declared, a decent article in the Searcher and the reputation of us detectorists to be restored". The interesting thing is that "Eagle1" signs himself "Andy Long, Essex Police Wildlife & Environmental Crime Officer". The policeman who should be policing "detectorists" is himself a metal detectorist.
"All I want is a sensible resolution to the whole situation. Please feel free to contact me. I am your friend not your enemy, I enjoy this hobby and do not want to see it needlessly tarnished!"
Does PC Long use his metal detector to seek out and collect archaeological artefacts? How long has he been doing this and where, and how many PAS records does he have to his name? What contacts does he have after-hours with people who buy and sell archaeological artefacts on eBay, and does he buy and sell archaeological artefacts himself? Does he belong to any "metal detecting" clubs, if so which ones, and what d they stand for? Does he attend commercial artefact hunting rallies? Is he an NCMD member for example, abiding by the code of practice of that organization?

I would say this situation raises a number of questions and doubts.

5 comments:

Karen Ayleward said...

Hmmm, it does seem a bit strange but then again,the policeman who charged me with driving with undue care and attention was also a car driver himself and in a police car.

Paul Barford said...

Well, I did not say it was "strange", but I do think it is a potential conflict of interest and I feel it would be better if public servants in the UK were not involved in heritage-erosive activities such as artefact hunting.

heritageaction said...

I agree. It leads to some very strange situations. Consider this -

http://www.activchelmsford.com/news/detail/EssexPolicetosupportIvorycampaign-4867.html

“Pc Andy Long, Essex Police’s Wildlife & Environmental Crime Officer for the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: "We are in full support of this initiative. The fact that ivory is still being unlawfully traded is of growing concern and needs to be dealt with. I urge anyone with ivory items they no longer want to surrender them as part of this scheme. I would also ask people not to buy ivory, as it can fuel the poaching trade and fund other criminality.”


Observers might care to note that PC Long is not an elephant hunter or ivory trader himself and did not announce that “the police are not looking to criminalise people needlessly. All I want is for the illicit ivory to be declared, a decent article in the Elephant Hunters’ Gazette and the reputation of you elephant hunters to be restored. I am your friend not your enemy and do not want to see elephant hunting needlessly tarnished!"

- Nor should he have.

Karen Ayleward said...

God points wel made Heritage Action.

Paul Barford said...

yes, he generally does (glad he's on my side and not with the despoilers)

 
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