Heritage Crime: A Guide for Law Enforcement Officers

Heritage and cultural property crime poses a significant threat both to the historic environment and to the security of cultural property in museums, archives, private collections and libraries, which conserve and display our national and international cultural heritage for the enjoyment of future generations.

This document is intended to assist front line officers with information on the most common heritage offences and to signpost additional support and contacts. The emphasis is on a diligent investigation by attending officers at any heritage crime including early liaison by the newly formed Heritage and Cultural Liaison Officer network (HCLO's), the CPS and partner agencies for support and guidance.


  • Introduction
  • What is heritage crime
  • Protected sites and buildings – how to identify and locate them
  • Investigation: crime is crime
  • Crime prevention suggestions
  • What is nighthawking?
  • Theft of metal from churches
  • What is treasure?
  • Heritage crime impact statements
  • Legislation:
    The use of metal detectors
    Dealing in objects
    Protected wrecks
    Protection of military remains
    Further reading and best practice guidance

Additional Information

  • Publication Status: Completed
  • Pages: 23


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