§ Mr. Fisher
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what discussions he has had with the Metropolitan police about investigating thefts from scheduled archaeological sites in London.
§ Mr. Trippier
None. Neither my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State nor his advisers English Heritage have received any reports of thefts from scheduled archaeological sites in London. My noble Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State has announced the Government's intention to seek legislation to strengthen controls over scheduled sites by making it an offence to remove any finds whether or not discovered by a metal detector. At present objects may be removed from a scheduled site without consent, if found on the surface. The general laws of trespass and theft apply to444W archaeological sites that are not scheduled as they do elsewhere.