NIGHTHAWKERS are the target of a new police operation in the Wolds, launched to tackle the growing problem of heritage crime.
The action follows reports from farmers who have been noticing increased activity from metal detector users operating illegally for personal gain.
The offenders are accessing fields without the landowners’ permission and causing considerable criminal damage to crops by digging large holes.
Sgt Ali Booth said: “This kind of activity is a national problem but, because of the important wealth of Roman and Saxon history in this area, the Wolds are particularly attractive and offenders will come here from far afield to plunder.
“The damage caused to crops can be considerable which greatly affects our farmers’ livelihoods and the safety of farm workers”.
Lincolnshire County Council’s finds liaison officer, Adam Daubney, is concerned the illegal retention of found artefacts is depriving everyone of important knowledge.
He said: “LCC is pleased to support the police in cracking down on illegal metal detecting or ‘nighthawking’ in the county.
“While the majority of metal detector users enjoy their hobby responsibly, there is a minority who search without permission, often under the cover of darkness.