Police caution Baylham nighthawkers after raid

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TWO men arrested following an incident at a farm in Baylham have been cautioned by police.

Emergency services were called to Baylham House Rare Breeds Farm at 3am on February 19 after an alleged confrontation between rival metal detectorists, also known as nighthawkers.

Paramedics took a 38-year-old man to West Suffolk Hospital with head injuries and a 41-year-old man to Ipswich Hospital with a wound.

Police arrested three men on suspicion of assault, after one of the injured men said he had been attacked. On Friday, a 43-year-old man of no fixed address and a 41-year-old man from Essex were both cautioned for the theft of coins and given community resolution for the assault.

The farm, in Mill Lane, sits on an ancient Roman fortress and often attracts nighthawkers who visit after dark.

Nighthawkers flock to the farm, owned by Richard Storey, to search the ploughed fields with the hope of making a valuable find.

He said he was pleased that the latest metal detectorists had been punished.

“I’m happy with the result and hopefully the fact that it has had some publicity and the police have been involved and caught them it will put people off,” he said.

But he also said that it was difficult for police and prosecutors to prove that nighthawkers had been metal detecting illegally.

“To catch them, the police would have to stake out the place with at least two constables and a dog for a whole week and they haven’t got the resources,” he said.