Friday 27 September 2013

Focus on UK Metal Detecting: "Not Grassing" - Keeping quiet about illegal artefact hunting"

"We need to coin a word for keeping quiet about nighthawking" say UK tekkies.
The whole matter concerns a problem one member has (MRSP an elderly lady from Garston, Herts Thu Sep 26, 2013 10:58 pm):
[A] bloody nighthawk found rare gold item on my permission...and had the cheek to show it to some people I know. I am livid... the farmer doesnt know.. would you tell? the nighthawk is unlikely to come clean about it
It is not explained whether MRSP is "livid" that somebody got something from "her" field (i.e., something she might have found legally instead) or that somebody has stolen from the landowner for whom she has a lot of love and respect. 

Member "m111kca" thinks of self-preservation (Thu Sep 26, 2013 11:38 pm): "I would tell the farmer as if he starts leaveing holes the farmer may think its you, also contact the police". Member  Nenhyandai (Fri Sep 27, 2013 11:09 am) has a more public-spirited approach:
Why even hesitate? you have a duty to inform the farmer and inform the police. Do you know this chap and are you 100% sure that he found this item on the land you detect on? if so, then you need to inform the correct authorities pronto.
Member "housed" (Fri Sep 27, 2013 12:44 pm) is of like responsible opinion:
definately needs reporting. It's theft pure and simple.   
Now, it is totally clear what anyone (anyone responsible) learning of a crime being committed is obliged to do. There is no question that the landowner should know he has been robbed, and given any information the reporter has. Secondly the police should be informed.

But then, what? "officer, I was talking to this bloke and he said Robbie Robbalot of Lootings Cottages on Church street has been robbing my mate's farm and gotta lotta stuff stashed away". Hardly enough to get a search warrant is it? Robbie Robbalot is going to deny it (and also will be tipped off that someone's blabbing and will try to remember who he showed the stuff to). I doubt whether on the strength of hearsay evidence, Robbie Robbalot would even be put on any kind of watch list. None of which absolves those who know about episodes like this from reporting them. Let them at least figure in the statistics.

UPDATE 28.09.13

MRSP (Fri Sep 27, 2013 6:47 pm) clarified what happened and what her concerns are:
it wasnt exactly treasure,, but the nighthawk found a rather valuable coin which he boasted about. he knows he shouldn't have been on the land, and was trespassing,and in my own personal view he should offer my farmer the 50% value.. which is around 600 pounds (the coin sells for around 1200 in the condition it was) I would have done had I been the finder.. however the guy, who I dont personally have much to do with is rather uncouth.. and is unlikely to own up.. should I leave it and put it down to sour grapes on my part, or let the farmer know? He isnt a rich farmer and I am sure he would appreciate the value of such a coin on his pastures.  if I tell the farmer he still cant get his 50% because I cant make the nighthawk hand it over.. its really sad because this fellow was boasting about finding this, and he shouldnt have even been on the field detecting.. I feel like a 'grass' if I mention it, but I feel sorry for the farmer.. as well as pissed of that I wasnt the finder! 
(so if he was "a rich farmer", she'd have less of a problem not "grassing"?).

I include the next one not because I understand what point the guy is making, but the novel use of apostrophes. Here's the grammatically-challenged "cantfindnothing" (sic) (Fri Sep 27, 2013 11:05 pm):
You should really inform the farmer someone without permission is detecting on his land if you know that to be true' and not just for the finds reasons' as mentioned in a earlier post'..possible holes left everywhere will look bad on the person the farmer knows is on the land' and that is you' and anything else metal detecting related a responsible detectorist would not do'..this person probably will do' again that will be directed at the person he gave permission to'.. So in my opinion you should inform the farmer'..besides why should he find what you and the farmer should be enjoying'
Except as has been made clear above, it would not be the "something" that finder and landowner would "enjoy" together but the dosh from flogging it off (remember the official mantra: "only interestid in th' 'istry, not in it fer the munny").


Anonymous said...

He was trespassing. So he stole it, but.....

"he should offer my farmer the 50% value".....

Same as a burglar or shoplifter, eh? If caught they get to keep half the loot.

Grrr. Much of the trouble with metal detecting, that no-one mentions but both sides know perfectly well is that a lot of those who are engaged in it are not very bright.

Brett said...

Let me get this straight...An individual spent hundreds of dollars to buy a metal detector,spent hours possibly days looking before finding anything at all.Meanwhile your watching tv,lazing on the couch,whatever you do to fill your meaningful day.This person finds something and you want to be the big person and distribute to others what someone worked hard to find ???I just don't get it.I do understand the importance of historical finds needing to be recorded and cataloged to help us understand a bigger picture.But what your whining about was not in situ,it was plowed over dozens of times.

Paul Barford said...

"An individual spent hundreds of dollars to buy a metal detector,spent hours possibly days looking before finding anything at all."

Yet he was on land where he had no legal right to be, and took away something which he had no legal right to take. And you want to condone that because he spent his time on it?

"I just don't get it"
See above.

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