Detecting in five years' time

Pete E
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jcmaloney wrote: Tue Jul 06, 2021 5:27 pm

"Polluter pays" as some archeo-blogger said recently.

Ergo: Licence and/or paid training.

Either that or the taxpayer (all of them) pay for a niche hobby........... why should they? They want the bins emptied, the potholes filled and the Doctors open for appointments, they aren`t interested in old stuff sitting in drawers so the burden of cost is passed back to the hobby.

Whilst it is our (all of us) collective history if it`s left in the ground there are no ongoing costs for research, conservation, Treasure payouts, the PAS etc.

That is cost neutral Stop it dead...... hmmmm tricky to enforce and will lead to extra pressure on police etc. Not an easy fix.

Now it seems those detecting folk are happy enough to pay £20 a day to someone opening a gate so why not charge them £200+ for an annual licence?

That licence is administered through the FLO so they get a cut, a bit goes to the BM, and some goes to the MoJ to fund the Coronial aspect.

The FLO then produces 3 or 4 training days at £50 a pop a year which you need to attend to retain your licence............see it like a CPCS card, ensuring everyone is upto speed and playing by the rules......

There you go. ;)
I don't mind paying a reasonable licence fee if Joe Public (the customer) pays a reasonable fee as admission to our various museums...
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If we paid a license like anglers do and it was used in the same way I’d not have an issue. But I don’t trust that a license wouldn’t be used as the first step to restrict our hobby so personally I’m not a fan. Shame though cause I think using a license fee to fund PAS much better would be good for everyone.
Yes I really don’t like Roman coins, I’m not joking
Steve RC
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Dont even consider the licencing route. This has been mooted for as long as i have been detecting which is a good few decades now and it attracts supporters from both camps who clearly do not think through what it would involve.

Firstly it would require some for of legislation to introduce the process which would then be at the mercy of various archaeological lobby and pressure groups who's aim would be to turn detecting to an adjunct to archaeology with various clauses and requirements added along the way.

Be fully aware that if the archaeological establishment could stop metal detecting tomorrow they would be happy to do so. The PAS would limp on in some form ,but it is not a priority to keep it going as seen by the many attempts to close it down and museumise the process. Anyway that discussion is for another day. The PAS cant cope now with the number of finds they are offered never mind trying to take on another duty. Be realisitc.

Dont be seduced by the "it wont be a problem" arguments from some in the hobby and the archaeological world. There would be many problems. For example how it would be administered and that would need an official body to do it with the costs that would come with it. Staff to pay , computer systems to be developed and all the paperwork to go with it plus a profit ?. That would cost and the " i could cope with £20 " argument would be replaced with hundreds of pounds per licence just to administer it and it would be a renewal yearly basis to deal with perhaps a 30,000 user base. There were moans when the NCMD put up its fees by 50pence many years back so imagine the comments on a £500 a year fee with no benefits.

Naturally as with the old dog licence many people would not bother to get one, but to stop that the new licencing organisation would make it illegal to use a metal detector without one. To do that legislation would be needed to make it so with criminal sanction to enforce it and more addon clauses at the committee stage just to really stuff the hobby.

Think very carefully of the unintended consequences of such a change, And by the way any arguments that it would stop illicit activity are worthless with the Police unwilling and at times unable to deal with the situation now. Criminals dont bother to be concerned about doing something illegal so the nighthawks wont be.
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