Meeting to tackle heritage crime at Bexhill Museum

Finds by Sussex Pastfinders.
Finds by Sussex Pastfinders.
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Metal-detecting clubs, the police and antiques experts came together to discuss heritage crime and how to tackle it on Friday (July 10) at Bexhill Museum.

Rother police heritage and wildlife officer Daryl Holter met members of clubs from across the district and Stephanie Smith, Sussex Past’s portable antiquities scheme finds liaison officer, to talk about the issue.

The meeting was to discuss finds that have been made across Sussex and to register them on the national database.

Attendees recognised not only the importance of Sussex Past, part of the Sussex Archaeological Society, but also the role of Sussex Police, especially when reporting heritage crime, ensuring relevant permissions are sought from land owners and ultimately protecting the county’s heritage.

Andrew Stanley, a member of both Brighton and District Metal-Detecting Club and amateur historians’ group, The Sussex Pastfinders, said: “I’ve been detecting for around 14 years, and soon after I started I realised the importance of researching and recording my finds on the national database under the Portable Antiquities Scheme.

“I believe it is important that our history is not lost, but recorded for archaeological reference and for future generations.

“The small number of detectors who choose not to follow the law should be aware that when they are discovered they will end up being punished accordingly. “

Mr Holter, who is also a police community support officer based in Battle, said: “It’s great to know that Stephanie meets these groups.

“She keeps me regularly updated on the progress of finds and provides assurance that the right messages are being reinforced.

“I’m encouraged to learn that these metal detecting groups have Sussex’s best interests at heart and that they can also share valuable heritage crime information with us.”

To find out more about Sussex Pastfinders and their research visit: http://www.spanglefish.com/pastfinders

To see some of the finds Alan Charman from the Hastings Area Archaeological Research Group has unearthed in Sussex visit: http://www.haarg.org.uk/home

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