Following on from a pivotal study by the University of Bristol last year, the extent of nighthawking as a problem in the UK has been truly revealed, especially when pertaining to illegal activity on scheduled monuments. However, DD has come together with Russian detecting reporters to bring you exclusive news on a revelation that has dealt a crippling blow to nighthawkers and their illegal activities over the past few months. It has become known to us that Vladimir Putin, he himself a staunch supporter of cultural heritage preservation, has sent over an elite Spetznaz regiment of soldiers to aid in the UK struggle against nighthawks. They are at this very moment actively combating the threat of nighthawking and taking the fight to the enemy. We sent Heritage crime reporter Robin Fields to speak to a custodian of a scheduled Romano-British enclosure in Wiltshire, for her side of the story.
‘Well, it’s quite incredible really. We used to be plagued with nighthawks every night, who would just turn up and plunder the site indiscriminately. The police used to take too long to arrive, so I was at my wits end, as they would simply run away into the woods when they saw the car coming down the lane. However, then I heard about what Mr Putin was doing, and deciding that the Russian special forces would probably be better to handle the situation than me, I gave the hotline a call! Anyway, a platoon of nice men arrived about 6 hours later and set up in the ditch that runs around the site with a couple of light machine guns and a 3 inch mortar, as well as their personal assault rifles and a few RPGs thrown in for good measure. At about 2am, two pickup trucks filled with about 10-12 nighthawks arrived expecting a spot of looting, which the Russians promptly engaged with all force. There wasn’t much left by morning, the Russians piled the various detector bits and body parts inside what was left of the two trucks and burnt the lot. I haven’t seen any nighthawks since, so that’s what I call an appropriate response!’
This report mirrors those of hundreds of other custodians around the UK who have received assistance from the Russian special forces in their daily battle against heritage crime. In instances where physical attendance has been difficult, soldiers have often deployed sentry drones and automated movement-activated turret systems in order to bushwhack unsuspecting nighthawks. Some of the more problematic sites have even been laid with anti-personnel mines in order to deter would be pillagers. The efforts of Russian soldiers in the UK have been an inspiring example to our own troops, and elements of our own special forces are reportedly undergoing anti heritage-crime training. Captain John Price of the 1st battalion SAS gave the following comment regarding successful anti-nighthawking operations in Hampshire;
‘We have engaged the enemy on numerous occasions and inflicted heavy casualties on nighthawks. One particular operation resulted in the maiming of the infamous Doug Knightley, who lost his swinging arm to several direct hits from a Jackal-mounted machine gun. We were able to identify Mr Knightley as being the owner of the arm from pornographic tattoos detailing his various sexual conquests, as well as his predominantly chimpanzee DNA. Sadly though, we believe him to still be at large, as his body was not found alongside the detached arm and detector. If Mr Knightley would like to collect his arm and the chavvy jewellery that went with it, as well as his rather shot-up XP Goldmaxx, then he is most welcome to file a lost property application at any police station in the Hampshire area’.
Although the joint Russian and SAS operations against nighthawks are continuing with success, some are concerned that their victories might bring about a certain trigger-happiness. Complaints from the covert Sussex based dogging club ‘Southern Swingers’ have reached the ears of DD reporters, with a number of members reporting that one of their weekly meetings near Chichester was disturbed by a Spetznaz squad who cuffed them, stripped them naked and made them kneel on the ground with bags on their heads at gunpoint for 45 minutes while the police tried to explain on the phone to the overly-keen non-english speaking Russians that they had in fact caught a completely different sort of criminal hardly worthy of shooting.