Heritage Watch begun last year. The scheme hopes to protect historical artefacts and heritage sites by improving communication between people who live near historical sites and monuments who have an interest in the county’s heritage, and the police. The police are now looking to increase membership of Heritage Watch as much as possible.
As Andy Bliss puts it:“Members of the public can help us to tackle heritage crime by joining Heritage Watch. People who live close to historical sites and those who have an awareness of our local history tend to frequent the county’s areas of historical interest more often and are therefore likely to notice anything suspicious or out of the ordinary. Through joining Heritage Watch, we hope the public will become the ‘eyes and ears’ of these precious sites and artefacts and report anything suspicious to us.For some reason, some UK metal detectorists see this as an ominous development. Over on a metal detecting forum near you, member "timesearch" ('Thu Sep 18, 2014 5:38 am ') - referring to the St Albans and Bicester collectable militaria busts - suggests to fellow detectorists: 'You could find yourself in a similar position.'.
I've now read all of this since posting and it has implications which aren't obvious given the subject, so it is worth reading every word, including the fact that English Heritage, police and Archaeologists are inviting the public to join a heritage watch organisation. Someone is sending a very strong message to the detecting community.Actually I think they are sending a very strong message to all who are passionately interested in history and in the protection of historical sites and monuments that we can all do something to help. It also, I guess sends out a very strong message to those whose inclination it may be to conduct illegal activities on such sites. Metal detectorists within the law, surely, have no reason to oppose such a move - indeed one might ask why they are not in the first ranks of its members.