Welsh forces lead the way with heritage crime drive
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Working together to protect our heritage and history.
Heritage crime harms historic assets and sites, and includes illegal metal detecting, or nighthawking, and off-roading on such sites.
We are launching Operation Heritage Cymru on 21 June, alongside Dyfed-Powys Police, South Wales Police and North Wales Police.
The initiative is the first of its kind in the UK and is aimed at raising awareness and preventing heritage crime across Wales.
Deputy Chief Constable Amanda Blakeman, NPCC lead for serious and organised acquisitive crime said:
"Across Wales, and the rest of the UK there are many areas of cultural and heritage importance.
"These areas attract tourist, bringing much need income generation and act as a hub for the local community.
"As Op Heritage starts we're reaffirming our commitment to working with the public and tackling this type of crime.
"We need members of the public to be our eyes and ears, if you see something suspicious, please come talk to us."
We will be working with CADW, Welsh Government, Natural Resources Wales, National Parks, National Trust, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, archaeological trusts and various volunteers across the sector to work towards a greater understanding of heritage crime.
To coincide with the launch, our police cadets, rural crime teams and neighbourhood policing teams are being trained to recognise heritage crime and how best to support the local communities protect their historical assets.
Heritage crime is any unlawful activity which harms historic assets including buildings, monuments, parks, gardens and landscapes.
Some of these assets are protected by specific criminal offences but heritage crime often takes the form of ‘general’ offences such as theft, criminal damage, arson, unlawful salvage of shipwrecks and anti-social behaviour which are equally damaging to historic assets and interfere with the public’s understanding and enjoyment of them.
Metal detecting, commonly known as nighthawking, is the illegal search for, and removal of, antiquities from the ground using metal detectors, without the permission of the landowners, or on prohibited land such as Scheduled Monuments. Nighthawking is therefore theft.
If you are concerned about crime affecting historic buildings or monuments or other sites in Gwent, whether generally or in relation to a particular place, the information below provides advice on what is being done about the problem and what action you can take yourself.
If you are aware of a crime currently taking place, please telephone the police immediately on 999.
If you are concerned that a recent incident has taken place which has damaged a historic asset, please direct message us on Facebook or Twitter, or call 101 to report the incident to the police.
Please quote “Op Heritage Cymru” when reporting.
To pass on information about criminal activity and remain anonymous, contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or by visiting www.crimestoppers-uk.org