Thursday, 15 October 2015

Catching the Gloucester Three: The Photocard Trail

How intent are the British police on catching the beanie-hat wearing camouflaged 'Gloucestershire Three' metal detectorists filmed artefact hunting on a scheduled site in Gloucesterhire ? Oh yes, they've appealed for help from other metal detectorists who they naively believe will break ranks and shop fellow detectorists. Experience shows that they will not.

Many metal detectorists go to commercial artefact hunting rallies ('grabfests') to meet their mates, have a beer, swap stories, see the latest equipment offered on the manufacturer's stands, sell their finds to dealers, get finds they've found on site or brought along recorded by the FLO, show off their best finds and new detector etc.   Most reputable commercial rally organizers and many club dig organizers insist that all participant are card-carrying members of an organization like the NCMD which offers third-party insurance:

NCMD photo ID card, FID photocard

These are photocards, to avoid fraud (non-transferrable). The FID cards are too. That means that the NCMD and FID will have an archive of the photos and details of a majority of the metal detector users in the UK. These archives should be searched by the police for mugshots that look like the three men filmed, to identify potential persons of interest. Are they doing that now, as I write?

Note what it says on the back of this card: "All members are to observe the National Council for metal Detecting Code of Conduct which is a condition of membership". It does not require adherence to the official one agreed with major archaeological bodies and landowner associations - despite the fact that the NCMD promised the CBA to make it mandatory. This is important as the CBA/PAS one is the only one which defines responsible detecting". The NCMD one tells you to shut farm gates and not scare the animals. 

1 comment:

heritageaction said...

I agree that they may be well known. I've always felt most nighthawks are likely to frequent forums, clubs and rallies, to gain maximum information and even, perhaps, to launder finds.

If that turns out to be so in this case then the current silence will be mighty telling.

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