LETTER:Detector users to suffer with crooks

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The Independent Online
Sir: Your article "Law may soon be watching the detectorists" (1 March) appeared to be another example of the activities of criminals who employ metal detectors being publicised to promote legislation to impose still more controls on legitimate hobbyists.

Responsible detector users are on record as finding and honestly reporting 90 per cent of the treasures recovered over the last five years (Lord lnglewood - Treasure Trove Reviewing Committee Report, December 1995). It must also be appreciated that the controls will be extended to ordinary members of the public because the law will apply to all.

The proposals will vastly increase the number of items that will have to be formally reported, with the threat of criminal proceedings if anything is omitted. The definition of treasure is such that unwary members of the public could be unknowingly in breach of the law.

R Whalley

National Council for Metal Detecting