In the UK, thieves who loot historic sites are likely to face tougher penalties under new sentencing guidelines."Damage to Heritage Assets" is now a category in new sentencing guidelines for Theft offences.
Mark Harrison, the national policing and crime adviser for Historic England, said: “The value of England’s heritage can’t be judged in pounds and pence. The impact of theft on our historic sites and buildings has far-reaching consequences over and above the financial cost of what has been stolen. “Heritage crime comes in many forms. When thieves steal metal from heritage assets such as listed churches, artefacts from the ground or historic stonework from an ancient castle, they are stealing from all of us and damaging something which is often irreplaceable.”Unfortunately, the majority of the damage to heritage assets which is done by UK collectors and artefact hunters does not come under the theft act and covered under a voluntary code, a situation open to much abuse.