Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Operation Chronos, the Hidden Story?

It's a hard life...
Just a few days ago the boys in blue were spinning a self-congratulatory yarn about their first warrant in Kent and the priceless artefacts they'd seized, including some very nice drink can pulltabs. The raid got some desultory newspaper coverage, and then it all went quiet. Including my two tweets to the people who'd excitedly tweeted about their participation in the raid. I pointed out that the articles mentioned artefacts seized, but I asked what documentation they'd taken with them, and what they hoped it would show. I was trying to find those tweets to chide these two public servants they'd not replied. No luck, I did not delete them, but the tweets seem to have gone the way of all flesh. In just five days. What is more the breaking news on the Kent Police Facebook page has also gone (Thank Goodness for Google cache: ). Why?  Let's Go Digging is sceptical that the haul of objects shown is what a "nighthawk" collects. Is that the reason that the UK police are now trying to cover up the story - they got the wrong guy? If so, what a waste of public money.

My question to them about the documentation of cases like this still stands - though unanswered by these public "servants".

UPDATE 8th June 2016
The question remains, the police seize a load of artefacts from a metal detectorist's home in a raid. But so-called nighthawking is not about mere possession of artefacts, but where they come from. So obviously the raid has to include documentation of that - but then, my question is when there is a raid like that reported in Sittingbourne, what kind of documentation can be seized and how can it prove the an offence has been committed if the only form of evidence that is going to exist is negative evidence (lack of a search and take permit from a specific piece of land - but then how do you prove that a collector's unlabelled objects are from that specific piece of property?)  Basically I think you cannot. So the only way to 'nab' somebody is to find unreported Treasure in their collection - but then can you always prove that the items concerned were found in the UK? I think the whole problem is a whole lot more complex than just knocking on a random door and taking away their artefact collection - and that is the fault of the way British law is written.

Update 31st October 2016
Scam report, the guy was not charged with 'nighthawking' at all, but failing to report a find of Treasure made on a rally: 'Swale metal detectorist pays for heritage crime' Kent police

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