‘Nighthawk­ers’ sen­tenced

Court: Two men were caught il­le­gally us­ing metal de­tec­tors at Peter­bor­ough Ro­man site

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - News - By Stephen Briggs stephen.briggs@pe­ter­bor­oughto­day.co.uk Twit­ter: @PTstephenB 01733 588734

Two men who were caught il­le­gally us­ing a metal de­tec­tor at a Peter­bor­ough his­tor­i­cal site have been sen­tenced at court. Keith Stacey and Sa­muel Wild­man, from Ket­ter­ing, were con­victed of un­law­ful metal de­tect­ing at Duro­bri­vae Ro­man town, a pro­tected Ro­man site at Wa­ter New­ton near the city.

They were both sen­tenced to a 12 month com­mu­nity or­der, 200 hours un­paid work and have to pay £300 costs af­ter be­ing found guilty at Peter­bor­ough Mag­is­trate s Court of of­fences in­clud­ing at­tempted theft, go­ing equipped to steal and us­ing a metal de­tec­tor on a pro­tected site with­out a li­cence from His­toric Eng­land.

In May 2015, Stacey (38) of Cen­tral Av­enue, Ket­ter­ing, and Wild­man (24) of Or­chard Cres­cent, Ket­ter­ing, were found in pos­ses­sion of metal de­tect­ing equip­ment on pri­vate farm land within the Ro­mano-Bri­tish town of Duro­bri­vae, near Wa­ter New­ton.

This area is pro­tected as a ‘sched­uled mon­u­ment’.

The de­tec­torists’ ac­tiv­ity was wit­nessed by a farm worker who was able to take pho­to­graphic ev­i­dence and re­ported the in­ci­dent to Cam­bridgeshire Po­lice and His­toric Eng­land.

This case forms part of ‘Oper­a­tion Chronos’ the na­tional cam­paign to tackle ‘nighthawk­ing’ - us­ing a metal de­tec­tor il­le­gally.

John Ne ale, As­sis­tant Plan­ning Di­rec­tor for His­toric Eng­land in the East of Eng­land said: “This case sends a clear mes­sage that il­le­gal metal de­tect­ing on pro­tected her­itage sites is not ac­cept­able.

“The lo­cal com­mu­nity are vig­i­lant and en­cour­age a de­ter­mined re­sponse.”

Mark Har­ri­son, Na­tional Polic­ing and Crime Ad­vi­sor for His­toric Eng­land said: “This con­vic­tion is the first for un­law­ful metal de­tect­ing at Duro­bri­vae Ro­man town and sets a prece­dent in the fight against her­itage crime.

“His­toric Eng­land will con­tinue to work with the Po­lice, Crown Prose­cu­tion Ser­vice and the metal de­tect­ing com­mu­nity to iden­tify the small crim­i­nal mi­nor­ity who are in­tent on caus­ing loss and dam­age to our shared cul­tural her­itage and to bring them to jus­tice.”

The Ro­mano-Bri­tish town of Duro­bri­vae an­dits sub­urbs have in the past been the tar­get for il­le­gal metal de­tect­ing or ‘nighthawk­ing’ and perime­ter fenc­ing has re­cently been in­stalled to se­cure vul­ner­a­ble points along the A1 in an at­tempt to pre­vent this form of crim­i­nal be­hav­iour.

The Ro­man site

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