Wednesday 29 July 2020

UK Vandals pillage heritage sites during lockdown

There has been a surge of castle break-ins, vandalism of ancient sites and illegal metal detecting as heritage thieves target Britain's history during the Covid19 pandemic lockdown. It is good to see that the trashing of ancient sites by metal detector wielding looters is treated on a par with vandalism in general  (Rory Tingle, 'UK Vandals pillage heritage sites during lockdown: Surge in castle break-ins, vandalism of ancient sites and illegal metal detecting', Mailonline, 29 July 2020).
There has been a rise in reports of illegal metal detecting by Hadrian's Wall, with several thefts recorded near Horsley in Northumberland. On July 12, police were tipped off about a suspicious car in the area and went on to arrest a 44-year-old man on suspicion of theft. Similar incidents were investigated by Cheshire Police as part of its Operation Roudhouse investigation, which involved a series of raids that led to four arrests. [...] Scotland has also seen a spate of heritage crimes during the lockdown. Since the end of March, six people have been arrested for illegal metal detecting, and a report was made of somebody digging at the world-famous Callanish Standing Stones on the Isles of Lewis. [...]. Inspector Alan Dron, chairman of the Scottish Heritage Crime Group, said: 'Over the lockdown period from April to June, rural crime fell by 39 per cent this year, fly tipping spiked and heritage crime also rose. It was one of the areas where we saw a significant increase.  

1 comment:

Hougenai said...

In some small respect, it is encouraging that there are enough people with eyes on sites and enough knowledge to contact police. (This without PAS advice directed at the tens of thousands of non detectorists with an interest in site safeguarding).

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