Saturday 14 August 2021

Metal Detecting: Laundering by Findspot Misreporting


Heritage Action: 'Metal detecting: laundering by find spot falsification? How come you haven’t heard about that?', 14/08/2021

Detectorists reckon the authorities know if reported find spots are false: “If reported and not found legally then they’d find out pretty fast as they require landowner details and a grid reference of the findspot…” It’s not true. PAS’s database is wide open to falsification and laundering by findspot description and the incentives to do it are massive. If the item has been nighthawked or if there’s less obligation to share with Farmer B than Farmer A you just change a letter or two. Thus a find from Jarrow is suddenly found at Harrow. Job done. A farmer in Jarrow has been stolen from and the PAS database has been falsified.
And, how come that the public, who fund the PAS, and the farmers that could be being ripped off because of it, haven’t heard about this problem? Does not thee PAS have an obligation to tell the British public what is happening to the portable heritage? It would seem that such considerations are far from their priorities today.

1 comment:

Brian Mattick said...

They do tell researchers, but not how commonplace it is. All that can be said is that it happens between zero and 100% at rallies, which is hardly a good basis for drawing conclusions but what use is that for research?

But worse, they don't tell landowners it happens AT ALL, which is unconscionable some might say, as it's farmers' pockets that are being directly affected. Directly affected is a nice phrase. It means stolen from.

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