from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The practice of being out late at night, for work or pleasure.
- n. The action of a nighthawker; the practice of metal-detecting late at night to illegally remove artifacts from restricted sites.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that some tours act in an unprincipled and illegal manner, taking participants detecting on private land without permission and even "nighthawking" (staging nighttime raids) on protected sites.
Norfolk is one of the richest areas in the country for archaeological finds, but has the second highest number of cases of nighthawking after Lincolnshire, according to a survey published by English Heritage.
But although the threat of nighthawking remains high, experts said the chances of prosecution remain at an all time low and penalties are "woefully insufficient".
Do not tar treasure seeking, nighthawking scum with the same brush as responsible honest knowledgeable people who willingly work with landowners and archaeologists and the PAS to ensure the proper recording of artifacts.
As you have demonstrated, most detectorists are impervious to statistics and have spent a decade bleating they are distinct from nighthawking scum while denying or not getting it that the majority of them don't report what they find to PAS (as confirmed by PAS) and therefore have the same moral standing as nighthawks (and incidentally, are responsible for vastly more information loss than nighthawks).
MICHAEL LEWIS: nighthawking is kind of a glamorous term, I suppose, given to people who are basically thieves.
Rural counties such as Norfolk (23), Essex (14), Oxfordshire (13), Suffolk (12), Lincolnshire and Kent (both 11) recorded the highest number of sites hit by nighthawking.