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Friday, 27 May 2011

27/05/2011 - Damage, Old Bolingbroke - Metal Detecting


27/05/2011 - Damage, Old Bolingbroke

Officers involved in ‘Op Totem’, an operation aimed at tackling ‘nighthawking’ practices in the Wolds, are currently investigating an incident at Bolingbroke Castle near Spilsby.

‘Nighthawking’ is the practice of metal detecting without the landowner’s permission for personal gain, an activity that has recently seen damage caused to farmers’ crops in the county.

On Tuesday 24 May, several areas of damage were discovered at the historical site in Old Bolingbroke. Eight large holes had been dug, each between 1 and 4 feet square, and it is believed these have been caused by metal detectorists.

Penny Ward from Heritage Lincolnshire, the organisation that manages Bolingbroke Castle on behalf of English Heritage, said, "Bolingbroke Castle is a Scheduled Monument and metal detecting is illegal on this site. Although the area targeted on this occasion is modern silt and therefore very unlikely to produce any valuable items, unlicensed and irresponsible metal detecting is a serious problem which can cause much damage to archaeological sites. When people remove artefacts without permission, they not only steal the physical item but also the knowledge that might have been gained from the object now or in the future".

Crime Prevention Officer, PC Nic Hanson, is keen to raise awareness about heritage crime and how it impacts on us all.

He said, “Nighthawking sounds like a very romantic activity but those who indulge in it are not Indiana Jones or Lara Croft figures; they are thieves and those who steal our national treasures from underground are no different to those who steal the lead from our church roofs. Whilst there are many principled people who enjoy metal detecting as a perfectly legitimate hobby, it is becoming apparent that there are others who view it as a lucrative means to fund a drug and criminal lifestyle".

Anyone who witnesses metal detector activity at Bolingbroke Castle is asked to contact Lincolnshire Police on 0300 111 0300.

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Footnote: Please scumbags, leave our great hobby of Metal Detecting alone.

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