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Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

42Restrictions on use of metal detectors

(1)If a person uses a metal detector in a protected place without the written consent of the Secretary of State he shall be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction or, in Scotland, on conviction before a court of summary jurisdiction, to a fine not exceeding £200.

(2)In this section—

  • " metal detector " means any device designed or adapted for detecting or locating any metal or mineral in the ground; and

  • " protected place " means any place which is either—

    (a)

    the site of a scheduled monument or of any monument under the ownership or guardianship of the Secretary of State or a local authority by virtue of this Act; or

    (b)

    situated in an area of archaeological importance.

(3)If a person without the written consent of the Secretary of State removes any object of archaeological or historical interest which he has discovered by the use of a metal detector in a protected place he shall be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or on conviction on indictment to a fine.

(4)A consent granted by the Secretary of State for the purposes of this section may be granted either unconditionally or subject to conditions.

(5)If any person—

(a)in using a metal detector in a protected place in accordance with any consent granted by the Secretary of State for the purposes of this section; or

(b)in removing or otherwise dealing with any object which he has discovered by the use of a metal detector in a protected place in accordance with any such consent;

fails to comply with any condition attached to the consent, he shall be guilty of an offence and liable, in a case falling within paragraph (a) above, to the penalty provided by subsection (1) above, and in a case falling within paragraph (b) above, to the penalty provided by subsection (3) above.

(6)In any proceedings for an offence under subsection (1) above, it shall be a defence for the accused to prove that he used the metal detector for a purpose other than detecting or locating objects of archaeological or historical interest.

(7)In any proceedings for an offence under subsection (1) or (3) above, it shall be a defence for the accused to prove that he had taken all reasonable precautions to find out whether the place where he used the metal detector was a protected place and did not believe that it was.

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