Dorset Police to tackle ‘Dayhawkers’ as part of national campaign against illegal metal detecting.

Dorset police force are at the forefront of launching a countywide campaign to tackle illegal metal detecting which could deprive the county of important historical artifacts and treasures.

Operation “OOAR”,(Operation of artifact recovery ) sees the police team up with Historic England and other partners to urge land owners to report the practice known as “day hawking”, where people often in large gangs, enter farmland armed with metal detectors, tactical equipment and camouflage clothing, with the blatant intent of plundering Valuable coins and artifacts and quite often without the landowners consent.

The practice can damage farmland, disturb wildlife ,destroy archaeological sites, and scare dog walkers.

All finds removed by them whilst trespassing WILL amount to theft.

Coins and artifacts found by day hawkers are usually kept in private collections or sold to fund class A drug habits.

because the objects are stolen property, day hawkers are unlikely to report their finds, leading to valuable historic data being lost for good.

Counties like Dorset are particularly vulnerable to this crime due to the rich heritage and large amounts of arable land in these areas. Plans have also been made to set up similar day hawking divisions in every county by 2016.

Assistant Chief Constable,Dolly Sampson of  Dorset Police lead on Territorial Policing, said:

“So-called dayhawkers might think they’re no different to people who go metal-detecting for a hobby, but the fact they choose to wear camouflage makes them far easier to distinguish.Their actions damage the countryside, threaten our heritage and lead to the loss of important and invaluable national artifacts simply to satisfy the greed of a small group of criminals.”

PC Aidy Lang, Wildlife, Heritage and Environmental Crime officer, said: “Most people who metal detect as a hobby don’t abide to the law and codes of practice and have a love of the financial value of finds, disrespecting farmland and other surroundings.

“dayhawkers”  seriously damage an already bad reputation.

“We are asking land owners and people in rural areas to gather evidence by taking registration numbers of vehicles and descriptions of those involved, and pass these details to the police immediately by calling 101.

“We would urge people not to approach Dayhawkers as you may be placing yourself in danger if they become aggressive.”

Mac Harriton, National Policing and Crime advisor for Historic England, said: “The practice of Dayhawking is an issue that we take very seriously.

“We recognise that the majority of the metal detecting community don’t comply with the laws and regulations relating to the discovery and recovery of objects from the land.

“However, just as it is against the law to break into someone’s house and steal their possessions, so it is illegal to damage land and steal valuable historical artifacts.

“We are working hard with the police service at a national and local level to identify the criminal majority who operate outside of the law”.

Landowners are advised that evidence of dayhawking includes:

•  spotting large groups of detectorists ,anything from 12 - 50 of them,

• particularly if any are wearing camouflage clothing,

• lots of vehicles parked next to a field between 6am -noon

• People using any telescopic metal detector,

• ANY detectorist using a small spade
The Daily detectorist urges the general public to please call 999 immediately should they come across any large gangs of metal detectorists in fields wearing camouflage clothing.

Published by

the daily detectorist

The Daily Detectorist unearthing metal detecting stories from around the globe . (we also feature satire comedy and not all of which is fully factional )

17 thoughts on “Dorset Police to tackle ‘Dayhawkers’ as part of national campaign against illegal metal detecting.”

  1. As against criminal activities as one is,’Coins and artifacts found by Day hawkers are usually sold to fund class A drug habits’?….

    …classic propaganda banter 👍


  2. What a crock of $¥!€ “most people who detect as a hobby dont abide by the laws and codes of practice” total rubbish, another attack on our hobby. Theres a very small minortity who steal not MOST!!


  3. This is an outrageously pathetic attempt at journalism.
    Selling finds to fund class A drug habits?
    Camo clothing is a telltale sign?
    Most detectorists don’t abide by rules and report finds?
    So much biased nonsense.
    Go get your facts right before sabotaging a hobby through misrepresentation.
    The illegal hawkers work at night.
    Daytime detectorists are the ones WITH permission who often PAY to be on that land.
    And camo clothing is outdoor pursuit utility clothing that suits the need for pockets, straps, and minimal disturbance to wildlife.


  4. You have no permission to use this photo which is copyright, please remove or face the consequences


  5. 11 bodies and only 5 metal detectors in the image above…
    So am I to assume that metal detectorists go round in pairs.
    Also 1 in 11 is a female…


  6. Class A DRUG habbit, are you having a laugh!!!, if there was a way to get you done for slander i would, how dare you accuse myself of stealing and using the proceeds for drugs. I think you should change the way this article is written Debbie Simpson this is disrespectful.


  7. Your talking absolute bollocks majority of people who carry out metal detecting as a hobby, and are registered with the NDMC OR FID do abide by the rules.
    Get a life and concentrate on the night hawkers.


  8. What a load of crap, why don’t they police look at themselves as most of them are bent and crooked, what about the amount of drugs that get confiscated yet dont get handed in to the evidence room, where is it all going? In the officers pockets to either be used by them or to be sold on by them to make a profit, guarantee that if they did checks on the police force more than 50 percent would have some drug in there system, there bigger criminals than most people in UK, yet they say we’re the ones that are the drug addicts, we should start a petition to have all officers drug tested by an independent company then we will see who the real druggies are!


  9. What a load of shit just like in Australia the do gooders claim we destroy this and that with any hobby get a life.


  10. To support there class A drug habbits your joking…. You dont actually beleave what you have written do you ?


  11. Seems like all Governments and do gooders around the world want to make people that do the right thing actually break the law. There is only so much people will take karma exsists lol destroying land blah blah so if not detectorists then who…. who will uncover these items that are slowly getting destroyed staying in the dirt ?


  12. Probably the worst piece of journalism I have ever read.

    You have taken a reasonably well written article on nighthawking from here

    (a criminal practice abhorrent to the vast majority of hobby detectorists) plagiarised and badly quoted from it and created a completely untruthful representation of a hobby enjoyed by thousands of genuine people many of them are members of the FID/NCMD.
    I suggest you either retract this utter nonsense immediately and publish an apology to the vast majority of law abiding history loving hobby detectorists you have besmerched with this drivel.

    You fail to mention our countries museums are filled with artifacts for academics and the public to enjoy as a result of legal hobby detectoring.

    I am now off to get some legal advice from my solicitor I will be in touch.


  13. This article is a joke, and not a very funny one. It is based on the below news report and has been doctored for effect. Whoever changed the wording, get a life.


  14. what a crock of shite,what the general public fail to understand is that so called day hawkers pay the farmers for the pleasure of a days fun and respect the landowner and land,we saving history not destroying it and the landowner are benefiting as well,put that in yer pipe you idiots


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