Abatement of Rewards

Abatement of Rewards - Discouraging wrong behaviour

As explained in the Treasure Act 1996 Code of Practice (CoP), paragraph 71: 'The paramount objective in the payment of ex gratia rewards for finds of treasure is to encourage the reporting of finds and to ensure that there are adequate incentives to finders while at the same time discouraging wrong behaviour'. The Treasure Valuation Committee, in its terms of reference, is tasked to 'provide advice to the Secretary of State in cases where there are grounds for either no reward to be paid to the finder, or for a reduced reward to be paid' (paragraph 65, CoP).

Paragraph 79 of the CoP lists a number of reasons why a reward might be abated, and it is worthwhile for interested parties to acquaint themselves with these. The CoP grants a wide range of discretion to the Secretary of State when deciding whether, and by how much, to abate a reward. The best way to ensure that a reward is not abated is to follow the principles outlined in the Code of Practice for Responsible Detecting, available for download on these pages, and to follow the advice of the Coroners, Finds Liaison Officers, and national museums.

Below is a table of cases considered by the Treasure Valuation Committee from 2007 onwards where abatements have been recommended.

TVC meeting date, amount abated and reason for this">

Treasure Number Description Findspot County TVC Meeting Date £ Abated Reason
2003 T37 Iron Age and Roman coins (36) and pot South Oxfordshire Oxfordshire 07/08/2007 £1,552.50 Obsfucation of information at time of initial reporting; finder only became cooperative further into the process.
2004 T242 Bronze Age assemblage Northampton Northamptonshire 27/06/2007 £300.00 Finder not sought permission to detect on common land. Was member of club and tried to seek retrospective permission in evasive manner, but was otherwise cooperative.
2005 T261 Bronze Age base metal hoard Ramsgate area Kent 07/08/2007 £550.00 Finder was arrested by police in early hours of the morning with artefacts in boot of car. No evidence he actually intended to report the finds, nor had he sought permission.
2005 T418 Roman coin hoard Doncaster South Yorkshire 04/04/2008 £29.75 Finders not sought permission to detect
2006 T4 Roman coin hoard Burwash East Sussex 22/09/2011 £2,300.50 Seemed to go on land after permission had been retracted
2006 T298 Post-Medieval silver forger's hoard Stockbridge South Yorkshire 06/01/2009 £5.50 Finder not sought permission, but cooperated afterward
2006 T611 Roman coins Sherfield on Loddon Hampshire 04/04/2008 £12.50 Finder not sought permission to detect
2007 T39 Medieval silver seal matrix Sealfield North Yorkshire 27/06/2008 £95.00 One of the finders delayed in reporting find, so he was abated 10% of his 25% share
2007 T311 Anglo-Saxon coins Harswell ER of Yorkshire 01/10/2010 £250.00 Finder refused to disclose findspot
2008 T485 Bronze Age axe hoard Uttlesford Essex 13/01/2011 £750.00 Nighthawking; finders caught in layby by police
2009 T125 Medieval silver coins (16) King's Langley Hertfordshire 25/02/2011 £40.00 Finder not sought permission for detecting on Common land. Signs present but not clear.
2009 T450 Roman coin hoard Shrewsbury Shropshire 09/03/2012 £6,739.50 Detecting on SAM, but cooperated afterward
2009 T656 Medieval silver ring Bishop Wilton ER of Yorkshire 20/07/2012 £25.00 Detecting without permission of landowner
2010 T107 Medieval silver piedfort Uncertain Shropshire 28/10/2011 £640.00 Failure to report, but she had at least shown it to a museum for recording. Only handed in after police involved.
2012 T196 Roman silver coins Wetherby North Yorkshire 29/01/2014 £100.00 4 groups of coins; one group left them anonymously with group leader only after prompting and were abated
2013 T188 Viking gold pendant Spilsby Lincolnshire 13/03/2014 £112.50 Overcleaning of object
2012 T674 Roman gold coins (159) Sandridge Hertfordshire 17/12/2014 £4,942.50 Finder detected without permission on so-called 'no man's land'. Reported finds and behaved properly otherwise.
NI 14.03 Roman gold rings & s. buckle Murlough County Down 12/02/2015 £153.00 Finder detected on land where detecting is forbidden, but no clear boundaries or signs present. Reported finds.
2015 T94 BA gold penannular ring Cranleigh Surrey 25/04/2018 £330.00 Failed to report find when prompted; police seized and finder convicted of theft.
2016 T294 Medieval gold finger-ring Bobbington Staffordshire 03/05/2017 £100.00 Restoration of object prior to reporting to FLO
2016 T820 Post-Medieval silver coins (1,201) Ewerby Lincolnshire 14/11/2018 £1,637.98 + 50% of disclaimed coins Finder withheld 20 coins to sell privately; subsequently recovered by police action.
2018 T252 Early Medieval gold setting Wingerworth Derbyshire 02/11/2020 £180 Finder initially refused to hand over item and report all details until Coroner, police involved. Then claimed it was lost. Later handed in. Threatened not to report Treasure again
2018 T340 Iron Age coin hoard (15) Teme Valley Shropshire 11/12/2019 £1,600 Finders left coins with landowner but never disclosed identity or reported the coins themselves to FLO/Coroner. Suspected that finders retained some coins themselves.