Friday 17 July 2020

Metal Detector Users Stealing Sussex's History

The Pitblado-Thomas thesis that "everyone" holds an unjust stereotype about their collector friends is undermined by media reports like this: John Warburton "Rogue" Metal Detector Users Could Be Stealing Sussex's History' MoreRadio , July 9th, 2020
 As lockdown fragments, police in Sussex have been reporting an increase in damage caused to the county's sensitive heritage sites — and it's thought [...] metal detector users might be behind it. [...] The hobby of metal-detecting includes a vast majority of "detectorists" who abide by the law; who obtain a landowner's permission before scanning the ground; and who declare anything they find to the landowner or, in cases of larger finds, to the local Coroner or the Portable Antiquities Scheme. Oh, again that totally unsubstatiated "a rogue minority" as opposed to "a vast majority" of what Pitblado and Thomas apparently consider to be "Responsible and responsive Stewards" of the past.
Who told the journalist that everything is pocketed after showing the landowner except the "larger finds" (too big to go into the pockets?) that get reported to the Coroner or the PAS?
More Radio has learned of a secretive and illegal minority who may be responsible not only for damage to ancient sites, but for the theft of irreplaceable evidence of Sussex's history.
Funny how that "damage to ancient sites" (which also "irreplaceable") is not seen as so important ("a disturbance to the earth, with the topsoil replaced after digging. ") as the fact that an object has gone. Pitblado and Thomas love PCSO Daryl Holter:
"The vast majority of metal-detectorists are ethical — they record their finds, and the whole reason they do their hobby is because they love history, and this is an important tool to help us understand our past. "But you have a minority who are doing it for their own personal gain, or they're stealing these objects out of the ground to then sell-on, or to make money." PSCO Holter was clear about classifying those carrying out illicit activities: "These people are thieves, they're criminals."

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